The Beauty of Michigan, Traverse City & Northern Michigan

As the publisher of All Things Cruise, I love to write about interesting places to visit. I happen to live in Michigan, which is truly a special place, where we’re surrounded by water and beauty.

When I think of the many places I love in my home state of Michigan, one that immediately comes to mind is Traverse City.  Quite simply, it is one of the most scenic places in Michigan (or anywhere in the world) with breathtaking views not to be found anywhere else.

(Watch your inbox, because Traverse City will be sending you a special offer very soon!)

Let’s start with some of these scenic locales that always keep my family going back to this part of the world.

1. Iconic Sleeping Bear Dunes features seemingly vertical sand dunes that offer majestic views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. Be sure to take the Dune Climb at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – my family and I like to bring a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of climbing the dunes. You’ll certainly get your exercise!  Or, hikers can also partake in a diverse selection of trails located within the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and the Leelanau Conservancy.

Great Lakes Cruise Lines are visiting this scenic and magical area. Last year there were 30 voyages through the Great Lakes carrying 6,000 passengers, and that is expected to double in 2019.

The Great Lakes Cruising Coalition was recently formed to promote the destination, and is in talks with eight significant cruise lines about introducing ships onto the Great Lakes

2. Vineyards for Aficionados

The wine-curious and the wine aficionados alike will find themselves at home at Michigan wineries and vineyards.

You will be sure to find that perfect wine with more than 125 wineries in the state to choose from.

With four certified American Viticulture Areas across the state, Michigan’s unique glacial soils impart unique boutiques and finishes to please even the most discriminating palate. Oenophiles to budding enthusiasts are sure to discover a red or white varietal that will become their new favorite. Whether on a romantic getaway or celebrating with friends, a wine weekend offers a lifetime of memories along with the award-winning wine.

There is no better way to explore Michigan, and Michigan’s wineries than with an unhurried afternoon sampling award-winning wines along on of the state’s many wine trails. Or plan a whole weekend to savor the subtleties of the flavors, and of the beautiful and bustling settings and communities to be discovered along the way. Are you ready to let your palate be your guide in Pure Michigan?

3. Autumn Bike Rides

Another option for both viewing and exercise is a bike ride along the paths of the Old Mission Peninsula. I recommend you take this excursion during autumn, when the turning of the leaves further add to the beautiful sites you’ll see during your sightseeing.  Aside from biking, I enjoy taking my grandchildren for apple picking or visiting the countless quaint little stores that remind me of bygone days when I was shopping for 10-cent items as a little girl.

4. Cider & doughnuts. Interestingly, the apple cider is frequently offered in the many wineries along the Traverse Wine Coast.  The scenic view alone is worth the visit, with the vineyards of the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas perched on hillsides with panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay.  The wines offered from these vineyards have acquired an international reputation, and what fun it is to “winery hop” amongst the many wineries to see both the contrasts in the hillsides and retail winery operations, and to partake of wine samples from the various distilleries.

5. Beer Week in Traverse City is held from November 8-15. My husband participates in the 5K Great Beer Run held during the same week.  Once he’s finished, we usually head over to the Flapjack & Flannel Festival for pancakes and the purchase of clothing items crafted for the upcoming winter weather.

As you’ve already surmised, autumn in Traverse City is a very special experience, for which there is something for everyone.  It is not to be missed, and I cannot imagine a fall season without my family and I heading north for a week or more.  You will surely find it magical as well – see you on the Dunes, or enjoying cider & doughnuts!

– Heidi



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