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Guidebook for Traverse City

Chris

Guidebook for Traverse City

Food Scene
It's a fine dining experience in the heart of downtown Traverse City. The food is mostly Asian-fusion. Going during happy hour is my personal recommendation because they have some really good small plates and cocktails available on the cheap.
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Red Ginger
237 East Front Street
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It's a fine dining experience in the heart of downtown Traverse City. The food is mostly Asian-fusion. Going during happy hour is my personal recommendation because they have some really good small plates and cocktails available on the cheap.
A local institution, it's one of my favorite breakfast restaurants in town. Be sure to get there early on a weekend as it has the tendency to get pretty busy.
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The Omelette Shoppe
124 Cass Street
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A local institution, it's one of my favorite breakfast restaurants in town. Be sure to get there early on a weekend as it has the tendency to get pretty busy.
It's a relatively new restaurant that specializes in breakfast food. Located in the Mercado, part of the iconic and renovated State Hospital grounds, it's a memorable and quaint place to enjoy breakfast or brunch.
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Red Spire Brunch House
800 Cottageview Dr
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It's a relatively new restaurant that specializes in breakfast food. Located in the Mercado, part of the iconic and renovated State Hospital grounds, it's a memorable and quaint place to enjoy breakfast or brunch.
This is one of my favorite coffee spots ANYWHERE! This place has been operating in the shadows of the State Hospital Grounds' expansion for years and only now are being recognized. Their mission is to source fair trade and sustainably farmed coffee beans from around the world, to then roast here in Northern Michigan. In addition to being a cool concept, it's a fun place to bring a laptop, book, or friend to engage with. Also, you can see their roasting facility and if you're lucky, you might even get to watch them in action.
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Higher Grounds Trading Company
806 Red Drive
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This is one of my favorite coffee spots ANYWHERE! This place has been operating in the shadows of the State Hospital Grounds' expansion for years and only now are being recognized. Their mission is to source fair trade and sustainably farmed coffee beans from around the world, to then roast here in Northern Michigan. In addition to being a cool concept, it's a fun place to bring a laptop, book, or friend to engage with. Also, you can see their roasting facility and if you're lucky, you might even get to watch them in action.
This is a trendy cafe that serves both coffee and some alcoholic drinks too. I personally like to use this as my remote working space when I'm visiting. I find that the ambiance is classic coffee shop vibe and I enjoy the space. Also, after around 7 PM they convert it into an adults only atmosphere and it functions more as a low key bar; definitely worth a visit.
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Brew
108 East Front Street
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This is a trendy cafe that serves both coffee and some alcoholic drinks too. I personally like to use this as my remote working space when I'm visiting. I find that the ambiance is classic coffee shop vibe and I enjoy the space. Also, after around 7 PM they convert it into an adults only atmosphere and it functions more as a low key bar; definitely worth a visit.
An American Cuisine style restaurant with a surprisingly good bar. It's food is good, prices aren't too bad, and has a great happy hour menu if you sit at the bar (be sure to specifically ask for the bar menu though).
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Harrington's By The Bay
13890 South West Bay Shore Drive
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An American Cuisine style restaurant with a surprisingly good bar. It's food is good, prices aren't too bad, and has a great happy hour menu if you sit at the bar (be sure to specifically ask for the bar menu though).
Voted #1 in America, it's been a Traverse City institution since 1998! Your hosts used to go here when they were in high school about three times a week ;) You'll love the atmosphere, friendliness, and of course the ice cream!
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Moomers Homemade Ice Cream
7263 North Long Lake Road
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Voted #1 in America, it's been a Traverse City institution since 1998! Your hosts used to go here when they were in high school about three times a week ;) You'll love the atmosphere, friendliness, and of course the ice cream!
This is a tasty sandwich shop + convenience store that has a full assortment of alcoholic drinks, snacks, and a deli. It also is directly across the street from Moomers so it's not a bad double-whammy for when you aren't too enthusiastic to cook for yourself ;)
Fresh Coast Market
7270 North Long Lake Road
This is a tasty sandwich shop + convenience store that has a full assortment of alcoholic drinks, snacks, and a deli. It also is directly across the street from Moomers so it's not a bad double-whammy for when you aren't too enthusiastic to cook for yourself ;)
This is the closest restaurant to the Cabin and it's something else... It's got a country motif and even has a place to hitch up your horse outside in case you decide to travel there on horseback. The food is tasty and the service is friendly.
Hayloft Inn
5100 E Traverse Hwy
This is the closest restaurant to the Cabin and it's something else... It's got a country motif and even has a place to hitch up your horse outside in case you decide to travel there on horseback. The food is tasty and the service is friendly.
Drinks & Nightlife
A local's favorite. This brewery is only a few years old but it's definitely the most popular and trendy. They brew a really wide selection of beers and regularly carry other Michigan favorites. Also, it's a great place to catch regular live music.
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Rare Bird Brewpub
229 Lake Avenue
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A local's favorite. This brewery is only a few years old but it's definitely the most popular and trendy. They brew a really wide selection of beers and regularly carry other Michigan favorites. Also, it's a great place to catch regular live music.
This is a tap house with a very substantial beer list. If you're looking for a fun place to have fun being a beer snob while mingle with young professionals, this is the place for you.
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7 Monks Taproom
128 South Union Street
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This is a tap house with a very substantial beer list. If you're looking for a fun place to have fun being a beer snob while mingle with young professionals, this is the place for you.
This speakeasy is hard to find but worth the effort! Located in the basement of an unassuming building, you'll enter a swanky atmosphere that's down-tempo and chill. Highly recommended for whisky, scotch, and bourbon drinkers as they have a great selection available.
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Low Bar
128 S Union St
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This speakeasy is hard to find but worth the effort! Located in the basement of an unassuming building, you'll enter a swanky atmosphere that's down-tempo and chill. Highly recommended for whisky, scotch, and bourbon drinkers as they have a great selection available.
This bar is part of North Peak Brewery and serves their beer. It's a typical Irish style pub vibe and depending on the day, there can be a number of different activities going on : live music (weekends), trivia night (multiple days per week), karaoke, etc.
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Kilkennys Irish Public House
400 West Front Street
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This bar is part of North Peak Brewery and serves their beer. It's a typical Irish style pub vibe and depending on the day, there can be a number of different activities going on : live music (weekends), trivia night (multiple days per week), karaoke, etc.
Tandem is actually not a winery but instead makes hard cider. They source a lot of their apples from Michigan and produce them on site. It's one of our favorite places to grab a cold drink and the ambiance is second to none: in the middle of an apple orchard next to a romantic county road. This is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys cider or wants to experience a unique farm-like experience.
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Tandem Ciders
2055 North Setterbo Road
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Tandem is actually not a winery but instead makes hard cider. They source a lot of their apples from Michigan and produce them on site. It's one of our favorite places to grab a cold drink and the ambiance is second to none: in the middle of an apple orchard next to a romantic county road. This is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys cider or wants to experience a unique farm-like experience.
A newer brewery that has a fun outdoor ambiance, great food and drink, and is definitely worth the trip!
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Hop Lot Brewing Co.
658 S W Bay Shore Dr
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A newer brewery that has a fun outdoor ambiance, great food and drink, and is definitely worth the trip!
Sightseeing
There's no better place to get a bird's eye view of Traverse City than to drive up Wayne Hill and take a look at West Bay, downtown TC and the Old Mission Peninsula. We like the view to much that we're getting married up here!
Incochee Road
There's no better place to get a bird's eye view of Traverse City than to drive up Wayne Hill and take a look at West Bay, downtown TC and the Old Mission Peninsula. We like the view to much that we're getting married up here!
Parks & Nature
This is one of my favorite scenic overlooks anywhere... After an easy 15 minute hike, you'll come out of the forest to discover a stunning view overlooking both Manitou Islands (North and South) as well as the gorgeous Lake Michigan coastline. If you're really adventurous (and in great shape), you can run down the dune and into Lake Michigan below... but beware! It's 30 minute climb up some very steep dunes (for the fittest of people).
Pyramid Point
This is one of my favorite scenic overlooks anywhere... After an easy 15 minute hike, you'll come out of the forest to discover a stunning view overlooking both Manitou Islands (North and South) as well as the gorgeous Lake Michigan coastline. If you're really adventurous (and in great shape), you can run down the dune and into Lake Michigan below... but beware! It's 30 minute climb up some very steep dunes (for the fittest of people).
The Sleeping Bear Dunes are a National Park and rightfully so. The park features a dune climb that everyone can enjoy, as well as the option to hike all the way to Lake Michigan (if you're brave enough). To do the hike, be prepared for a 45 minute hike across protected dunes; well worth it when you reach Lake Michigan and can take a dip in the water!
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Sleeping Bear Dunes
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The Sleeping Bear Dunes are a National Park and rightfully so. The park features a dune climb that everyone can enjoy, as well as the option to hike all the way to Lake Michigan (if you're brave enough). To do the hike, be prepared for a 45 minute hike across protected dunes; well worth it when you reach Lake Michigan and can take a dip in the water!
This is where your hosts used to go when we wanted to visit Lake Michigan... It features a small lake, sand dunes, and all the beachfront you can handle! It's truly a gem and something everyone should experience when they come to Northern Michigan for a beach day.
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North Bar Lake
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This is where your hosts used to go when we wanted to visit Lake Michigan... It features a small lake, sand dunes, and all the beachfront you can handle! It's truly a gem and something everyone should experience when they come to Northern Michigan for a beach day.
Essentials
This is the closest grocery store to the cabin and it's a straight drive down M 72 so it's really easy to find. A little on the small side, you should be able to find most things here but it might be a little pricier than a larger food market.
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Tom's Food Market
13940 S W Bay Shore Dr
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This is the closest grocery store to the cabin and it's a straight drive down M 72 so it's really easy to find. A little on the small side, you should be able to find most things here but it might be a little pricier than a larger food market.
This is the closest large grocery store to the cabin and will have almost anything you need for cooking, snacking, etc.
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Meijer
3955 U.S. 31
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This is the closest large grocery store to the cabin and will have almost anything you need for cooking, snacking, etc.
This is the closest thing Traverse City can offer to a Whole Foods. They are a little pricier than the other grocery options but will have more niche products and trendy boutique brands.
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Lucky's Market
3587 Marketplace Cir
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This is the closest thing Traverse City can offer to a Whole Foods. They are a little pricier than the other grocery options but will have more niche products and trendy boutique brands.
It's the closest grocery to the Cabin, prices aren't too bad, and it's directly across from the Long Lake Public Beach.
Long Lake Grocery
9374 N Long Lake Rd
It's the closest grocery to the Cabin, prices aren't too bad, and it's directly across from the Long Lake Public Beach.
Shopping
If you're looking for bulk, you can find large quantities here are Sam's Club, so long as you're a member...
Sam's Club
2401 US 31 S
If you're looking for bulk, you can find large quantities here are Sam's Club, so long as you're a member...
Entertainment & Activities
In the summer: A huge disc golf course operated by the City of Traverse City. In the winter: a low budget but quality ski hill owned and operated by the City (your host learned to ski here and came just about every day in the winter).
Hickory Hills Disc Golf
2000 Randolph St
In the summer: A huge disc golf course operated by the City of Traverse City. In the winter: a low budget but quality ski hill owned and operated by the City (your host learned to ski here and came just about every day in the winter).