Thursday, July 14, 2011

Off-Season in Traverse City

Earlier this year - toward the end of March, to be exact - I had the option of taking a short trip up to Traverse City, Michigan. In the summer - and especially during the time of their Cherry Festival - Traverse City is bustling with tourists. But in the winter, it's cold, the beach isn't an option, and to be honest there isn't a whole lot to do.

Thankfully I still had a blast, as I was visiting a good friend of mine, someone I hadn't seen in about three and a half years - and I was at least able to get a taste of what Traverse City has to offer. It's a quaint little lakeside town and I can only imagine how much fun it is in the summer!

(Of course, that's me writing knowing that people from the surrounding - a.k.a. driveable - areas are the ones who frequent TC the most. To be completely honest it's not exactly the place one would plan a full vacation to, involving flights and whatnot.)

My trip, though quick, consisted of a few great highlights, starting with great meal at North Peak Brewing. This was later followed by a few drinks at what locals call "The Top of the Park", officially known as the Beacon Lounge. This cozy bar has some amazing views of downtown Traverse City and Lake Michigan!

After Top of the Park Beacon Lounge, we headed over to Kilkenny's, an Irish Pub located under North Peak. There was a great live band and we even got a glimpse of some of the local color as we watched people dance ;) And of course, more drinks were had and we got a bit, well, silly...
Kelly and I
Mocking the crazy people dancing

Eventually the band took an extended break and we headed over to one of TC's other [few] nightlife spots, two connected bars that are locally known as "The Doublewide" but officially named Bootleggers and Dillinger's. They were playing a decent mix of 80s hits, 90s alternative and current pop and hip hop and whereas I can see it getting old if it was one of the only places to ever go, it was fun that night. Of course, the tequila helped.

The next day was a late wake-up and a yummy hangover meal at local favorite Bubba's, and then I had to say goodbye to Kelly (sad) and head back to southern Michigan for a very early flight the next day.
One last picture with my girl!
(Told you it was a short trip!)

The short of it is, I doubt I'll ever return to TC, especially as my friend is now talking about moving away from Michigan. But I can definitely see why someone who lives within a few hours of the area would return there for long weekends time and time again. Even at only 25-ish degrees, it was a pretty little city and the option of the lake in the summertime is surely a huge bonus :)


  1. Traverse has amazing wineries and breweries. The Old Mission Peninsula has a great wine trail, including Jolly Pumpkin brewery, one of my favs from MI. It's beautiful in the summer and completely worth the trip, if you're in Michigan. Mackinac is another awesome summer spot, just across the lake from Traverse.

  2. Looks like a fun short trip! I'm intrigued by the cherry festival- see any of that?

  3. @Stacy - My friend did mention the wineries but I wasn't really there long enough to get to any of it was FREEZING! I can see why people who live closer go up there though :)

    @Meri - I didn't get to do any of the Cherry Festival's actually very well known, I had even heard of it before (though maybe that was because I know someone who lives there, haha). But I was up there in late March and the festival is in July :)