Traverse City Guide
City Guides Lifestyle Travel

Traverse City Guide

July 19, 2022

Nestled in Michigan’s gold coast, Traverse City is a bustling, low-key community awash with positive vibes, wineries, and great food!


From landing a catch on the big lake to dining downtown, or walking the beach on East Bay, adventure is the goal for tourists and local alike. Check out some of our favorite places to eat, drink, shop and explore in Traverse City!

Where to Eat + Drink in Traverse City


Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Brew Traverse City

Located downtown Traverse City in the Opera House building, this locally sourced coffeehouse and cafe is open all day and serves sandwiches, pastries, and beverages with a twist. If you’re tempted by some ingenious craft cocktails, you’re in the right place. Start or end your day of adventure in TC with the Millionaire: coffee, Baileys, Kahlua, hazelnut, Grand Marnier, and topped with whipped cream.

108 E. Front St.



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of The Cook's House

This farm-to-fork restaurant relies on local harvests to create the daily menu and aims to educate its guests about sustainable eating. A petite, chef-owned establishment, The Cook’s House will stimulate your palette with simple yet flavorful cuisine prepared from locally grown and foraged foods. Enjoy their five- or seven-course tasting menu or a la carte options, along with good conversation with other guests and great wine.

115 Wellington St.




Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of The Cottage

Looking for some homestyle food just like mom made? This TC restaurant will make you feel right at home. Serving breakfast, lunch, and BrewThe Cook’s House dinner, The Cottage specializes in comfort food flare, from French toast to pancakes and burgers to pot roast. If you’re feeling adventuresome, try the perch Reuben or perch bites. Seafood fanatic? The list of perch, cod, and shrimp dishes are abundant.

472 Munson Ave.



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of H & L Social & Hotel Indigo

Located on the top floor of the Hotel Indigo is the rooftop bar and restaurant, H & L Social. This hidden gem is the place to go for a cocktail and one of the best views of Traverse City and the bay. Open from May through October, weather permitting.

263 W Grandview Pkwy.



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Little Fleet

This unique dining space features four outdoor food trucks and one indoor restaurant, Happy’s Taco Shop, as well as a bar, both of which are open year-round. Outside in the lot,Glendale Ave is the go-to for a variety of smash burgers and fries. Cordwood BBQ serves up tasty barbecue plates, sandwiches, chopped salads, and lettuce cups — including a vegan Korean barbecue tofu one. Good on Wheels offers Vietnamese street food — everything from bao to banh mi fries to green papaya salad. Traverse City Pizza Company features 11 brick-oven artisan pizzas. Stop by each day for a different experience.448 E. Front St. LOW BARThis subterranean speakeasy drips cool and classy. Take the elevator downstairs and let yourself indulge in fine spirits. Become a whiskey connoisseur or try their extensive selection of crafted cocktails. Experience extraordinary mixologists, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and an extensive list of rare spirits.

128 S. Union St.



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Moomers

Bring the family for an experience everyone will enjoy. It’s located on a dairy farm, so you can’t get any closer to farm-to-fork — or spoon —in this case. Moomers makes more than 160 ice cream flavors in house, most of which are gluten-free. They also have vegan, non-dairy, and sugar-free options. And It doesn’t stop with fresh ice cream: Try one of their many yummy treats like the Cow-A-Bunga. Still can’t decide? Go for the five-flavor ice cream flight.

7263 N. Long Lake Road



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Sleder's Family Tavern

Founded in 1882, Sleder’s prides itself as the oldest continuously run restaurant in Michigan. Stop by for a laidback, neighborhood feel, and order off an extensive family-friendly menu, including everything from starters, salads, and dinners to burgers and baskets, plus a kids’ menu. And don’t forget to kiss the moose!

717 Randolph St.


Things to do in Traverse City

Traverse City GuideGetty Images/iStockphoto

End of summer sunset sailing on West Bay, Traverse City Michigan


Photo courtesy of the National Cherry Festival

Featuring 150 events and activities, including parades, cherry pie-eating contests, and more, the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City celebrating it’s96-year anniversary this year. Held each year in around July 1 – July 8, this is a bucket-list event for all Michiganders!




Photo courtesy of Traverse City

This downtown Traverse City Park has a great beach with over 1500 feet of sand near the marina on West Grand Traverse Bay. They have nice changing rooms, paddle board rental, snack bars and ice cream and it’s just a short walk to downtown.

161 E. Grandview Parkway



Located at Northwestern Michigan College, The Dennos Museum Center curates six distinct permanent collection galleries in addition to temporary exhibitions. Over half of the 3,000-piece collection is created by Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, and Alaska. The works include various media, namely painting, sculpture, prints, and photography. Significant collections include contemporary works by Michigan artists, 19th- and 20th-century American and European graphic art, and 20th-century Great Lakes Indian and Canadian Indian art.

1701 E. Front St.



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Mega Bite Fishing Charters

The big catch is within your grasp in Grand Traverse Bay, which spans 32 miles long and up to 620 feet deep. Book a four-hour excursion with the experienced Mega-Bite crew, hit the open waters, and reel in an abundance of lake trout, brown trout, king salmon, and more. Mega-Bite provides all the equipment, as well as a souvenir photo, and will clean your fish when you return to land. Just bring along personal items like sunglasses and a jacket, as well as a cooler to transport your catch of the day. The boat is located in East Bay Harbor.

5517 U.S. Highway 31, Williamsburg



Traverse City Guide

For a small fee, you can take a self-guided historical tour through the lighthouse and climb to the lantern deck to catch unparalleled views of West Grand Traverse Bay. The park is also home to the historic Hessler Log Cabin and miles of unspoiled trails, making it the perfect place to spend a day or a few hours connecting with the natural world.

20500 Center Road



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Traverse City Wine and Beer Tours

Traverse City wineries produce award-winning wines; white or red, sweet or dry, sparkling or ice — you’ll find it all in the TC region. Wine not your thing? Tour a number of craft breweries, distilleries, and hard apple cider producers instead. Celebrate with a group of friends, or share a romantic day with your sweetheart. Tours run seven days a week and can be scheduled for the morning, the afternoon, or for the entire day.

891 Industrial Circle



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Wind Dancer

Take to the Grand Traverse Bay on the Wind Dancer, a 63-foot-long custom Colvin Gazelle schooner offering a variety of three-hour signature sailing tours. Departing Wednesday through Saturday in the early afternoons and evenings, these all-inclusive tours are limited to guests 16 and older and include regional food and drink. Pontoon charters and private Wind Dancer tours are also available for visitors with children under 16. If you prefer to cruise on land, Wind Dancer Traverse City Tours also offers guided and private e-bike tours, as well as e-bike rentals.

615 Front St.


Where to Shop in Traverse City



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Back Country North

Looking to try a new outdoor activity or forgot your gear at home? This is the place for you to find everything you need for the trails and the waterways. Find backpacks, footwear, cloth-ing, kayaks, canoes, and more at this independently owned local outfitter, which has two locations.

227 E. Front St. and 2820 U.S. Highway 31



Traverse City Guide

This full-service general book-store is truly a “readers’ store” with an amazing selection of non-fiction, fiction, literature, and poetry — including a local author section — as well as a diverse collection of children’s books. The shop also carries cards, stationary, and magazines. Self-branded as “Your Long Distance Local Bookstore,” Brilliant Books never charges for shipping.

118 E. Front St.



Traverse City Guide

This distinctive women’s clothing store offers upscale comfort and effortless casual apparel as well as home decor, beautiful pottery, unique jewelry, and more. Indulge in some me-time and personalized service — and discover treasures in every corner of this cozy shop.

242 E. Front St.



Traverse City GuidePhoto courtesy of Captain's Quarters

A go-to men’s clothing store since 1955, Captain’s Quarters carries casual wear, business attire, formal wear and accessories. They carry a variety of brands including Vineyard Vines, Tommy Bahama, Peter Millar and Johnnie O and more.

151 E Front St.



Traverse City Guide

Truly a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, Moonstruck Gardens is known for its remarkable floral creations, comprehensive selection of house plants, gifts, kitchen items, and an extensive selection of sustainably sourced items. Check out the handmade, locally crafted, and women-made products. Located in Mercato at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

800 Cottageview Drive, Suite 40



Traverse City Guide

Featuring handmade jewelry, fine art, specialty foods, Michigan-made souvenirs, home decor, handbags, accessories, and more, this shop is something to see. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or something special for yourself, you’ll find the best-selling lifestyle products at Sanctuary. Located in Mercato at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

800 Cottageview Drive, Suite 50

Looking for a place to stay in Traverse City? Check out the newly opened 539 Bay Street. For more great city guides, click here.

What are your favorite places in Traverse City? Comment below.


  • MIndy Fernandes
    July 20, 2022 at 9:59 PM

    Bad dog deli-great place to stop for lunch while out on a wine tour. Build your sandwich, built on demand and wine and beer available.

  • Amy Gill
    July 21, 2022 at 12:03 PM

    Thanks for the heads up on Bad Dog Deli! We will definitely check it out!

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