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35 Best Things to Do in Traverse City, Michigan, USA

35 Best Things to Do in Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: plymouth voice

Welcome to the cherry capital in the world, Traverse City, Michigan. Having around 15,500 population, the major industry is tourism. So, obviously, visitors have plenty of enjoyable things to do in Traverse City. 

Since this land is very fertile, you can see plenty of cherry cultivations and vineyards all over the city at any time of the year. Apart from that, it offers you stunning beaches, museums, art galleries, monuments, historical sites, beautiful botanical gardens, and more.   

So, let’s discover the best 35 things to do in Traverse City, Michigan, USA. 

Things to Do in Traverse City

1. TC Flyboard

Flyboarding is one of the most adventurous things to do in Traverse City. What is flyboarding? It is a combination of skateboarding and wakeboarding. And it runs with the power of a jet ski. 

Are you ready to fly above the water? That’s what exactly a flyboard does. It takes you up for around 40 feet in the air with the help of a 55 feet hose attached to the flyboard. And the boards are powered by 130 horsepower Honda, Yamaha, or Kawasaki personal watercraft. 

TC Flyboard

TC Flyboard: TripAdvisor

Well, who provides the best and safest flyboarding in Traverse City? No doubt, it is TC Flyboard

They offer the best experience for both beginners and experienced riders. And their packages include the training with all the guidelines, safety equipment (helmet, life jacket, wet suit, etc.), and supervision. If you are a frequent flyer, you’ll get discounts as well.  

So, be adventurous and have fun with TC Flyboard. 

2. Mission Point Lighthouse

Locating at the end of the Old Mission Peninsula, Mission Point Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful attractions in Traverse City.

Being the exact copy of Mama Juda Lighthouse, this one is located 19 miles up in the Old Mission Point. So, you need to take a scenic drive through cherry orchards and vineyards to reach there. 

Built in 1870, it functioned until 1933. Since then, people visit Mission Point Lighthouse to experience the beauty of nature. 

Mission Point Lighthouse Traverse City

Mission Point Lighthouse: Traverse Magazine

What is the story behind this lighthouse?

Before constructing this lighthouse, a ship was totally sunk in Lake Michigan by crashing into a coral reef near the shore. Then, this lighthouse was built as a safety step. 

But, now it is a travel hotspot in Traverse City for both tourists and locals.

Apart from sightseeing, there are some fun activities to do as well. For example, walk around the grounds, take a beach walk on the Lake Michigan shores, climb the stairs, visit nearby cherry orchards, and more. 

And on the other hand, there’s a small gift shop to buy souvenirs as well. 

Before planning your tour to the Mission Point Lighthouse, keep in mind, it normally opens to the public only between May to November.   

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3. The Village at Grand Traverse Common

In 1884, the Village at Grand Traverse Common was a hospital complex (with an asylum). It is now a business center, a shopping and dining spot, and a stunning, natural arboretum. Don’t worry; still, you can see those historical features because it is well preserved.

So, this has become one of the most attractive family destinations in Traverse City.

The Village at Grand Traverse Common

The Village at Grand Traverse Common:

The old buildings in this place clearly represent a delightful Victorian- Italianate architecture style. And they spread over 63 acres of land area.

The interesting feature is, nothing has changed, although this place has converted into a commercial travel area. So, both locals and tourists surely visit this authentic place.

Following the advice of medical officials at that time, this building was crafted very beautifully and peacefully. Because they had thoroughly believed that a lovely and peaceful environment surely helps patients to recover any kind of mental and physical problem, and it is true.

We should highly appreciate the environment and the way of treating the patients at that time. Patients were treated well with fresh food and drinks in designed China dinnerware sets, and their room walls were designed with creative artwork.     

If you like to know more about this place’s history, just plan a visit and take a walking tour.

On the other hand, the Village at Grand Traverse Common offers you nice picnicking areas, biking trails, hiking trails, kids playground, and dining/shopping opportunities as well. 

4. Things to do in Traverse City: The Fairy Trails

Let’s walk through a fairy trail located in a fairy tale forest. Not a joke, The Fairy Trails is a really existing place and considers as one of the most attractive places to visit in the USA. Your kids will love it.  

Locating in the Northwoods forest, this is a natural trail decorated with natural materials. It officially considers as a part of Historic Barn Park in TC, MI. 

But why does it called “The Fairy Trail”?

Because the whole trail is decorated with around 40 small fairy houses made with natural things, and it is open year-round to any visitor to create their own fairy houses. 

Things to do in Traverse City The Fairy Trails

The Fairy Trails: Life and Whim

Who started this first?

All the credit goes to a lovely couple named Jay and Heather Harrington, who invented this creative work for all the visitors. Actually, it was a project called Eagle Scout Project that started in 2015. And, now, it is a joyful trail forever.

Every time you visit, you’ll see plenty of new fairy houses. People who live in nearby areas design beautiful fairy houses with natural materials and bring them all the way to keep here, mostly in the summer and early fall.

It is really admirable community work. So, let’s join it. 

5. Things to do in Traverse City: Front Street

Traverse City is one of the major tourism hubs of Northwestern Michigan. So, obviously, it offers educational, cultural, historical, business, and enjoyable experiences to all the visitors.

Front City in Downtown TC is more special for any visitor as it considers the city’s heart. So, Nobody leaves TC without visiting Front Street.

Things to do in Traverse City Front Street

Front Street: Traverse Magazine

It is the best place to discover the city and observe the city’s evolution from historical heritage to modern things. But, still, you can find the authentic historical features at almost every shop, restaurant, business center, or educational center.

Front Street offers thousands of enjoyable things to do by any traveler. Like shopping, dining, learning history, cultural events, visiting art galleries, touring around farmers’ markets, looking for antiques, and more.

In the case of events, Front Street hosts many enjoyable annual festivals. For example, National Cherry Festival (every July) and Winter Comedy Festival (attracts famous comedians from all over the USA).

Are you still going to miss this happening street in TC?

Things to do in Traverse City

6. The Dennos Museum Center

Are you an art lover? Then, visiting the Dennos Museum Center is one of the best things to do in Traverse City, Michigan. 

It is a cultural center and a fine art gallery located in the Northwestern Michigan College.

Opened in 1991, this museum is more famous for its unique Inuit art collection with over 1600 pieces of artwork. (Inuit artworks were designed by the Eskimos or people who lived in the Arctic). Like drawings, sculptures, textiles, and more.  

The Dennos Museum Center

The Dennos Museum Center: TripAdvisor

According to the records, all of that Inuit artwork was found from the Nunavut’s Baffin Island, Canada.      

Apart from that, it contains beautiful modern and contemporary artworks that represent the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Some collections are permanent, and some are rotating exhibits. 

[For example, Canadian Woodland Indian Collection is a unique permanent collection] Also, you’ll find impressive woodcut artwork of the famous American artist Jozsef Domejen.

On the other hand, Dennos Museum Center hosts performances, events, film screenings, exhibitions, and concerts-like things.  

Considering all the features, it considers as one of the most prominent cultural centers in the area. So, do not miss it.  

7. Old Mission General Store

Let’s go back to the 1800s. Do you like it? If yes, just visit Old Mission General Store in Traverse City, Michigan.  

Old Mission General Store

Old Mission General Store: Old Mission Gazette

Since the store was opened 160 years ago, its atmosphere reminds you the old Traverse City existed in the 1800s. And especially, this was the only retail shop that existed between Fort Wayne and Mackinaw. 

Although it is ancient, please do not underestimate the things inside it. They are fresh and delicious. For example, they offer you fresh pickles, delicious snacks, handmade cookies, deli sandwiches, and more.  

8. Great Lakes Children’s Museum

If you are looking for things to do in Traverse City with kids, here’s the best place to visit. 

Great Lakes Children’s Museum provides education through their interactive and hands-on type of exhibits. Actually, it has so much space and offers so many fun activities to do. Kids between 1 to 10 can participate in all of those activities. 

Great Lakes Children's Museum

Great Lakes Children’s Museum:

Opened in 1988, it tries to teach the topics like gravity, water cycle, bridge building, use a periscope, replica lighthouses, Great Lakes watershed, Great Lakes Freightliner, test a water table, and more. 

On the other hand, it hosts educational events, dresses up games, storytime programs, puppet theater events, fine and gross motor skills development programs, craft classes, and more. 

If your kid is more curious about everything, you should take him/her to Great Lakes Children’s Museum to solve all the problems. 

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9. Things to do in Traverse City: Clinch Park

Clinch Park has created based on the West Grand Traverse Bay (a deep bay of Lake Michigan). So, this park is all about fun and entertaining.

Although it is a small beach with 1500 feet, you can have a lot of fun because this park is very close to Front Street.

Things to do in Traverse City Clinch Park

Clinch Park: Ciahasher TripAdvisor

Clinch Park has a snack bar, picnic tables, splash pads, bike trails, and kayak rentals like things. Now you may think, is it safe to kayak in this deep bay?

West Grand Traverse Bay is deep, around 620 feet in some spots. So, be careful. Try water activities only if you can swim well. However, Clinch Park beach has lifeguards on duty (especially in the summer).  

On the other hand, this beach offers you killer views. So, many visitors attract to this recreational area to get Instagramable photos.  

Do not miss this wonderful and relaxing urban beach park on your Traverse City tour. 

10. TART Trails  (Traverse Area Recreation Trails)

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) considers as a part of U.S. Bicycle Route 35. It offers recreational paths for transportation around Traverse City. So, this is one of the best ways to explore the city. 

TART Trails  (Traverse Area Recreation Trails)

TART Trails

Locating on the Leelanau Peninsula, establishing TART Trails promotes healthy outdoor activities and provides space for bike rides.

TART Trails contain 8 multi-use trails spreading for 60 miles. And the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is the longest trail with 27 miles. It connects major parks and major travel spots in the city very quickly. 

Another famous trail of TART is Vasa Pathway. It is ideal for challenge seekers like hikers, joggers, runners, and bikers. On the other hand, Boardman Lake Trail is a scenic trail that offers stunning views. 

So, select your favorite trail and explore more about Traverse City. 

11. Things to do in Traverse City: Suttons Bay

Suttons Bay is a nice village located on Suttons Bay’s shores in Leelanau Country, Michigan, USA. That means just 20 mins away from Traverse City. 

Actually, it is a wonderful inlet of Lake Michigan that offers visitors many enjoyable things to do. So, it is an ideal family vacation destination near TC. 

Especially, the Marina Park in Suttons Bay offers a stunning beach with turquoise water. Just plan a day tour to this place and have fun. 

Things to do in Traverse City Suttons Bay

Suttons Bay:

After enjoying the time on the beach, you can visit wonderful art galleries, casino gaming, and historical museums in the city as well. 

On the other hand, the town offers you delicious food made with fresh and locally grown things, like homemade ice cream, candy, pastries, and more. 

So, visiting Suttons Bay is one of the best things to do in Traverse City to escape from busy life. Just grab the chance.  

12. Traverse Tall Ship Company

Never leave Traverse City without sailing on Grand Traverse Bay. And Traverse Tall Ship Company offers the best and safe sailing experiences for every visitor.  

You can get a yacht or a tall ship tour from them. Especially, their tall ship is famous, and its name is Manitou. The design of it has followed the 19th-century cargo schooner with 114′ long and has the capacity to carry around 60 passengers per tour. 

Traverse Tall Ship Company

Traverse Tall Ship Company:

So, Manitou is for large groups, and The Scout (38′ sailing yacht) is for small groups.

If you are planning a cruise tour in Traverse with your family, Manitou is the ideal one. It offers several packages like two-hour cruises, 4-6 days cruises in the Fall, and overnight dinner and breakfast cruises. So, select the ideal one for your family. 

Further, Manitou offers some special entertaining cruises on-demand as well. For example, wine tasting cruises, night party cruises, ice cream cruises, and more. So, sailing in Manitou is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Traverse City for sure. 

And most importantly, Traverse Tall Ship Company always offers the most delicious food for sailors. So, plan your tour to get an authentic sailing experience on Grand Traverse Bay.       

13. Doug Murdick’s Fudge

Dough Murdick’s Fudge is a homemade delicious candy and chocolate provider since 1964. If you are in Traverse City with your kids or if you are a candy lover, you should not miss this fudge. 

Locating on Front Street, you can easily find Doug Murdick’s Fudge because of its unique signboard. 

Doug Murdick's Fudge

Doug Murdick’s Fudge

So, do not miss this sweet treat when you are in TC, Michigan.  

14. Things to do in Traverse City: The Hippie Tree

Looking for unique things to do in Traverse City? Here’s the ideal place to visit the Hippie Tree. Located in Garfield Township, Michigan, it is a unique landmark in the area. 

It is an old, dead willow tree situated near the area of Old State Hospital. And the area is totally covered with trees and woods. So, you need to clear up the path while reaching there. And it is quite a steep path as well.  

Finally, you’ll reach the remnants of a dead, but colorful willow tree called The Hippie Tree. 

Things to do in Traverse City The Hippie Tree

The Hippie Tree: Thomas Kachadurian/

Although the tree’s heart was dead a long time ago, you can still see some live branches. But who painted this dead tree with vibrant colors?

Local painters and artists and some foreign painters come to this tree and paint it with vibrant colors. This unique habit is happening for many generations now. 

But, the problem is who started and why started this?

Locals say that this habit was started based on an old storybook. Then, it was continued over the generations. And there were some spiritual beliefs as well. 

Many rumors about “The Hippie Tree” say about abnormal things like ghosts, haunting stories, supernatural forces, and spiritual things. 

If you are more adventurous and curious to know more, just visit this unique place in Traverse City. 

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15. Grand Traverse Balloon Tours

How about getting an aerial view of Traverse City and the Bay?

That is what exactly does by Grand Traverse Balloon Tours. They have been doing this since 1987. So, you don’t need to worry about safety.

You can go up to the Traverse City sky in a seven-story tall hot air balloon. Are you still worry about safety. Well, here’s more information.

Grand Traverse Balloon Tours

Grand Traverse Balloon Tours:

All the pilots in Grand Traverse Balloon Tours are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. And each balloon tour is carefully handled by those certified pilots.

Normally the tour takes you up to two to three thousand feet, and it lasts for around one hour. That one hour will be the most unforgettable in your life for sure.

Grand Traverse Balloon Tours is always great. They arrange champagne ceremonies in the balloon and surprise parties on your demand. So, if you are looking for a thing to surprise one of your favorites, here’s the best idea.

In the end, you are offered priceless souvenirs like a First Flight Certificate, a commemorative pin, and a color photo.

So, what is the best time to take a hot air balloon tour?

Well, summertime offers marvelous views of the Grand Traverse Bay, vineyards, forests, farms, lakes, and rivers. And also, if you like to take colorful views of the environment, just take a ride in the fall. Decide your favorite.

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16. Gallagher’s Farm Market and Bakery

Started in 1971, Gallagher’s Farm Market and Bakery are still famous for fresh farm products and bakery items. 

It owns and runs by a local family. So, it is more famous among locals. If you are looking for an agro-tourism experience in Traverse, you should visit this farm because it is unique and interactive.

Gallagher's Farm Market and Bakery

Gallagher’s Farm Market and Bakery: Life and Whim

You can really join with farming activities like herding sheep, goats, cows/ harvesting corns and pumpkins/. 

But, keep in mind, it normally opens from June to late October. In that period, you can buy seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, and also delicious, homemade bakery products (Ex: jams, bread, pastries, pies, salsa, maple syrup, honey, and jellies). 

Especially, the pies in here are more famous as it has won an award.    

You should visit this unique Gallagher’s Farm Market and Bakery with your kids for sure. It will be an unforgettable experience for everyone. 

17. Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

Located in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is one of the most exciting places to visit. As it is just 26 miles away from Traverse City, it is worth planning a day trip to this wonderful national park. 

This park’s most famous feature is its impressive sand dunes of the Dune Climb that rise over Lake Michigan with 450′ height. Just imagine the stunning views of it.  

This place’s authentic natural beauty was selected as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USA for several years. 

Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

The beaches in this park are almost like real ocean beaches. You’ll feel like you are by the sea, not by a lake. Turquoise water and white sand beaches are picture-perfect and eye-catching.

Especially, Platte River Point has a nice beach. And it is the point that river flows into the lake.   

Apart from hiking dunes, getting stunning lake views and beach views, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore offers some other exciting things to do as well. 

It has lush forests that contain unique fauna and flora. On the other hand, there’s an island lighthouse, coastal villages with fertile farms, and a US life-saving Service Station like things.     

So, do not miss these wonderful 360′ views of Michigan. And also, it is one of the best day trips from Traverse City. 

18. Grand Traverse Adventure Company

Are you looking for a professional guide to lead your Traverse city tour? 

Well, the ideal one is Grand Traverse Adventure Company. They specifically offer the best wine tours in Northern Michigan. So, if you are a wine lover, just join with them. 

They cover some of the best wineries, distilleries, breweries, and cider makers. Starting from airport pick-ups, they take care of you and guide you to offer the best wine experience. (Especially on Old Mission Peninsula or on Leelanau Peninsula)     

In the wine tours, you can meet creative winemakers and talk about wine as much as you need. Also, you can taste authentic wines at the tasting rooms of Traverse City wine estates. 

In craft beer tours, you get the same experience as wine tours. (Talk with brewers, visit distilleries, visit hops fields, and taste authentic craft beer)

Finally, Grand Traverse Adventure Company offers you a grand end to the tour with some outdoor activities. After visiting the wineries and breweries, they arrange a stand-up-paddle boarding or kayaking session on the Boardman River. If you like, you can go for it. 

However, Grand Traverse Adventure Company is one of the best guide tours in TC. You can check TripAdvisor reviews from the above link.  

19. Things to do in Traverse City: The Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park spreads over 25 acres of land area. Handling under the environmental sustainability theme, this garden was first opened in 1886. 

Things to do in Traverse City The Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park

The Botanic Garden’s visitor center offers free guided tours to show the unique fauna and flora collections. It also organizes some workshops and events like barn concerts, harvest cooking classes, monthly visual artist series, and more.

Just check their official website to catch an event. (best things to do in Traverse City)   

20. Traverse City Beach Bums

Founded in 1995, Traverse City Beach Bums was a major baseball team played in the East Division of the Frontier League until 2018. (not affiliated with Major League Baseball)

Their home/ballpark is Turtle Creek Stadium, and it is located in Blair Township, Traverse City. It is an official Minor League Baseball stadium that has the capacity to seat around 4660 fans.

Traverse City Beach Bums played its first game in 2006, and it attracted over 200,000 fans to watch it. Impressive. So, they are considered as one of the most popular Independent Baseball teams in the USA.  

Traverse City Beach Bums

Traverse City Beach Bums: My City Magazine

Now, Turtle Creek Stadium hosts 48 home games annually, and they budget-friendly as well. So, a lot of sports lovers like to spend their evenings in this place. 

On the other hand, this place offers you some other fun activities as well. Especially for the kids (under age 12) who love baseball, there’s a Kids’ Club.  It organizes mini camping programs and classes to instruct about baseball. 

So, this place is not only for you. It is more for your kids. Just take your little baseball fan to see Traverse City Beach Bums. 

21. Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop

Before explaining the Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop, you should know the meaning of biodynamic agriculture. 

Invented in 1924 by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic agriculture is almost the same as organic farming. It also explains holistic, ethical, and ecological methods of farming, food processing, and gardening. 

And the only tea producer in Michigan that follows biodynamic techniques is the Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop

Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop

Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop: Official website

Spreading over 25 acres of land area, this farm uses both organic and holistic techniques. They handpick tea, make small batches, and use sustainable packaging. Since those tea products are 100% natural, they heal your body and get holistic mental and physical energy.   

Do not hesitate about the quality of their tea because they have won national and international awards. Also, they conduct tea tasting sessions and tea wellness classes.  

Tea lovers, are you ready to boost your holistic side? To get more information about their products, just click the above official link. 

22. Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery

Vineyards and lavender gardens at the same place? Yes, it is Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery

Run by a family, this vineyard is located on the Old Mission Peninsula near Grand Traverse Bay. Therefore, this land has ideal wine production requirements, like the temperature, fertile soil, soft breeze, and warm sunlight. 

So, if you visit Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery, you can surely taste impressive wineries.

Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery

Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery: Traverse Magazine

Especially, this winery is located in an 1890s homestead. Although now it is restored, you are still served with quality wine and cheese in a beautiful tasting room made with brick and mahogany. 

Since there’s a wonderful viewpoint on the Upper Deck, you can experience scenic views of vineyards, lavender gardens, and the Grand Traverse Bay while having world-class wine.  

So, do not miss this awesome chance when you are in Traverse City, Michigan, USA. (best things to do in Traverse City)

23. Things to do in Traverse City: Long Lake

Locating 15 minutes west of Traverse City, Long Lake is the largest lake in Grand Traverse Country, Michigan. Formerly it was called Neal Lake, and it is famous among locals for fishing.  

Why does it call Long Lake? Because it spreads for 4.5 square miles and ideal for a scenic boat ride. On the other hand, the lake’s 88 000 feet of sandy beaches add more value. (especially, the northwest side of the lake)     

Therefore, Long Lake is more famous as a recreation lake as well.

Things to do in Traverse City Long Lake

Long Lake; TripAdvisor

As it has a sandy bottom with crystal clear water, swimmers love to swim here. And also, fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, boating, camping, and picnicking are other wonderful things to do in Long Lake. 

Especially in picnicking, there are four islands in the lake that are perfect for that. There are hiking trails as well. 

Day trippers, are you ready to plan your Long Lake day trip?   

24. Chateau Grand Traverse Winery

If you miss the Brys Estate Vineyard, here’s another chance for you. 

Chateau Grand Traverse Winery is one of the most famous wineries in Traverse City that started in 1974. Like Brys, located on the Old Mission Peninsula (north side of Grand Traverse), Chateau Estate also runs by a family. 

Chateau Grand Traverse Winery

Chateau Grand Traverse Winery

Visiting this place, just like taking a European wine tour. Same surroundings and the same experience. Who doesn’t like it?

All the visitors who come are offered 30 minutes tour to explain the things like the history of the vineyard, the history of the Northern Michigan Wine Industry, wine processing, the bottling process in Chateau, and more.   

After that, obviously, you can visit the tasting room and spend a classy wine day. On the other hand, Chateau Grand Traverse Winery has a shop that sells all the wine-related items and apparel.  

25. Things to do in Traverse City: The State Theater

The State Theater was an old building in the city. Then, it has been destroyed by fire two times. After that, it was rebuilt in 1916. Currently, you can see modern and comfortable amenities in this theater. 

However, in 2008 this theater was donated to the Traverse City Film Festival.

Things to do in Traverse City The State Theater

Things to do in Traverse City The State Theater:

It officially runs by the Oscar award-winning filmmaker Micheal Moore and the Traverse City Film Festival, Michigan. 

In late July every year, Traverse City Film Festival celebrates the world cinema and performance art talents in this theater. Over 250 creative films are attracted to this festival from all over the world.      

Apart from the TC Film Festival, generally, The State Theater shows around 400 classical movies every year. If you love classical-type movies, just visit this place and enjoy the time.  (best things to do in Traverse City)

26. Bay Meadows Family Golf Course

Founded in 1995, Bay Meadows Family Golf Course is owned and run by a family. Locating just 5 mins away from downtown, this golf course is one of the most enjoyable places to visit with your family.    

They have a 9-hole par three course, a 9-hole executive course, a practice sand trap for beginners and trainers, three practice greens, and a huge driving range. 

Bay Meadows Family Golf Course

Bay Meadows Family Golf Course

Also, this course has PGA-winning players to guide the visitors who like to learn golf. Those professional players use the latest techniques, teachings aids, and equipment for the training sessions. At the end of every training session, they offer videos to refer to later as well. 

If your kid love to learn golf, then here’s the chance for that. Bay Meadows Family Golf Course offers golf camping sessions for kids. Since they have membership in the PGA Junior League, they surely offer the best training sessions. 

27. Traverse City State Park

Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park is one of the best places in the city for camping. Spreading over 47 acres of land area, this park is located on the southern shoreline of East Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan. 

Since it is just 2 miles away from the Downtown TC, many visitors come for camping or spend some relaxing time. Importantly, its nice sandy beaches of Grand Traverse Bay add a unique value to the park.    

Traverse City State Park

Traverse City State Park: David D.

So, whether you are a camper, a beach lover, picnicker, or a day-tripper, you have plenty of things to do in Traverse City State Park.   

It is filled with various outdoor activities like hiking, biking, camping, metal detecting, swimming, sunbathing, boat riding, play on the playground, and more. 

In the camping case, Traverse City State Park campground has all the facilities for camping with picnic tables, electrical hookups, water, fire pits, and bathrooms (with hot showers). 

Even wood and ice are also available to purchase. And the most important feature of this campground is since there are 343 campsites, you don’t need to compete to get a site.   

So, camping in this park is surely one of the best things to do in Traverse City.  

28. Things to do in Traverse City: Scuba North

Ready to dive in Lake Michigan?? Here we go. 

Scuba North is one of the best diving instructors in Michigan. They really teach you every aspect of diving by using the correct theories and equipment.

Snorkeling, scuba diving, advanced scuba diving, rescue diving, ice diving, technical diving, or whatever you want, you can learn from Scuba North. And also, they join you with local and international diving tours as well. 

If you still have any doubt, here’ the fact. They have been doing this since 1971. Over 50 years of experience is not a joke. 

Starting from beginners to experts, they offer training matching with any skill level. Especially, they guide the beginners to get their open water diving certification. You also can try that.  

First, they start the sessions in their swimming pools, and then gradually, they train to dive in natural places like the Great Lakes and the ocean.     

29. Things to do in Traverse City: City Opera House

City Opera House in Traverse City was recognized as a National Historic Place in 1972. Located on the Front Street of Traverse City, it was built in 1892. 

Its luxurious architecture and interior are carefully restored, and still, you can see its impressive gold-leaf accents, fresco paintings, and barrel vault ceiling. You’ll feel like you are in a Victorian-style building.  

City Opera House

City Opera House:

City Opera House has a capacity to seat around 650 people, and it hosts quality and wonderful opera shows, comedy nights, Broadway musicals, concerts, and dramas.    

And on the other hand, it hosts events like film festivals and Art Education. So, if you are an art lover, you cannot miss City Opera House at all.  

30. Things to do in Traverse City: Old Town Playhouse

Traverse City is filled with theaters, opera houses, and playhouses like performing art centers. Old Town Playhouse is also a performing art center that offers wonderful programs and plays for art lovers. Especially for art students. 

Actually, this playhouse results from the dedication of a volunteer production group that tried to bring local theater to the wider area of Michigan. Before constructing the playhouse, this volunteer group was started the journey from high school auditoriums in 1960.      

After that, the playhouse was built with another smaller stage called Studio Theater. The main stage (with a capacity of 277 seats) is located on East Eighth Street, while the Studio Theater (with 80 seats) is located on Railroad Place. 

Things to do in Traverse City Old Town Playhouse

Old Town Playhouse:

Mainstage presents at least five productions annually. On the other side, Studio Theater presents four productions annually. Also, they do some theatrical shows with children who have acting talents.

It should be admired that their help to improve the artistic talents of children through various art events. Especially, the four-week summer theater camp for children is top-rated and successful.   

If your child is talented in art, bring to this place and join with an art program. For more information, just click this official link of Old Town Playhouse, TC.  

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31. KaBrew Tours with The River Outfitters

Don’t leave Traverse City without kayaking in Grand Traverse Bay. But, where to rent kayaks? The River Outfitters is the best provider. As it is located on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, it is very easy to find. 

You can get kayaks, canoes, tubes, bicycles, rafts, and any kind of boat you want from The River Outfitters. They rent for really affordable prices. 

KaBrew Tours with The River Outfitters

The River Outfitters Traverse City

The best feature about The River Outfitters is their KaBrew Tours. What does it mean?

It is a combination of bike riding, beer touring, and kayaking. First, they offer you a bike ride around the city, then paddling and kayaking. Finally, the tour ends with a grand beer tour. Actually, they take you to one of the four best breweries in Traverse City. 

KaBrew Tour is ideal for a group of people. But, it doesn’t matter, The River Outfitters arranges tours for couples and individuals as well.   

If you take your own kayak, they reduce charges for tours. And another good feature about The River Outfitters is, they offer flexible tour packages on demand. If you want to add more activities (like hiking, swimming), they offer exactly what you request.    

So, this is one of the best things to do in Traverse City for sure.

32. Michigan Artists Gallery

Michigan Artists Gallery is one of the best platforms for artists all over the state. This is a mix-media contemporary art gallery that shows very creative paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and more. 

Michigan Artists Gallery

Michigan Artists Gallery

And importantly, all are created by local artists. 

Visiting this gallery means enjoying unique artworks and appreciating local artists’ talent and efforts in the state. So, add this to your Traverse City bucket list.   

33. World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan

Welcome to the cherry capital in the world. Yes, as mentioned in the introduction, Traverse City has numerous cherry estates, just like vineyards. 

So, obviously, the world’s largest cherry pie pan should be in here. But, who made this huge pie and when?

World's Largest Cherry Pie Pan

World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan: Edward Pevos, MLive

It happened in July 1987. Chef Pierre Bakeries baked 28,350 ponds weighed and 17.6 feet wide cherry pie to celebrate Traverse City cherries’ world popularity. 

Who ate that? The Guinness Book of World Records mentions that around 35,000 people gathered to consume that delicious, huge pie.  

Now what? 

Still, you can see the pan that made the grand pie in 1987 as a sweet reminder. It is 18 feet wide and 26 feet deep. Jacklin Steel Supply Company was the producer of it.  

Surely add this place to your Traverse bucket list. 

34. Things to do in Traverse City: Little Bohemia

A nice little place to end your Traverse City journey. 

Little Bohemia is a tavern that opened in 1932. Since then, it has been serving delicious food with local beer types. Then why do they call Little Bohemia?

Because they offer Bohemian-midwestern-style food like slow-roasted pork, cheese, beer, goulash, butter cookies, cream cheese, and more. 

Although the place has been renovated, you can still see the old look with old serving styles. So, this place is ideal for reminding all the things you did in Traverse City while having Bohemian-style beer.  

Things to do in Traverse City

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