Traverse City Getaway
It's almost Memorial Day, which means summer is around the corner here in the Mitten. While we have plenty of Detroit-area things to do coming soon, I had the opportunity to venture up to Traverse City this past weekend! I wanted to share some ideas of where to eat, drink, stay and play in this charming northern-Michigan hotspot. Whether you're planning a romantic anniversary getaway or a fun girls weekend - check out my recommendations below !
What's TC without some awesome food recos? Sure, the first thing you think of is all of the delicious wine, but before drinking, grab some grub at one of these joints:
- Peace Love & Little Donuts - The photos speak for themselves, but be sure to catch this little gem on your way into town. A half dozen of their psychadelic (specialty) donuts will run you about $8, but it's totally worth it for the photos alone - do it for the 'gram am I right?!
- American Spoon - This one is a can't miss! This charming artisanal fruit preserve, condiment and specialty food shop is the perfect souvenir to bring friends back home. Andrew and I fell in love with their mustard seed spread (below), so naturally I had to snag a fresh jar while in TC!
- Robby's Taqueria TC Mexicana - Conveniently located right across from our resort, this off-the-beaten path Mexican joint was a crowd-pleaser! Affordable flavored margaritas hit the spot, and their queso dip was to-die for. Bonus: we got to enjoy this place on Cinco de Mayo! The staff is super friendly, so make sure to check it out if you're in the mood for some tacos.
- The Little Fleet - This food truck stop was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Although it was too busy on Saturday when we stopped by to grab some food, the sheer range of food options (BBQ to sushi, Mexican to vegan) is sure to be a hit for all. The picnic tables and communal seating make it fun to meet new friends and it's dog-friendly which is a huge plus.
- West End Tavern TC - An All-American restaurant settled on the lakefront marina is a guaranteed good time this summer. The food is great, but the view is even better! If you're looking for some patio eatin' - this is your restaurant. It's the perfect place to grab a burger before heading out to all the Old Mission wineries!
Now onto the good stuff! Here's some winery and brewery recommendations that are sure to wet your whistle:
- Chateau Chantal Winery & Inn - This place is about as picturesque as it gets! Their large outdoor patio offers sweeping views of the vineyards below as you sip your flight of wines. We opted for a tasting of 3 wines of our choice, and I loved a sweet, sparkling wine so much I brought home a bottle for a whopping $12. Tip: save your tasting glass/receipt for $3 off your purchase!
- Bonobo Winery - Another great option on Old Mission Peninsula! The views are just as majestic as Chateau Chantal, and their glass-enclosed patio allows for uninterrupted sight lines of their seemingly endless vineyards. I had a glass of their rose here, and it was pretty great!
- L. Mawby - While we didn't get a chance to stop here this trip, this winery is your one-stop-shop for all things bubbly! If you're anything like me, put this on your list for next time and enjoy some fizzy wine treats!
- Rare Bird Brewpub - This is Michigan craft beer at it's finest. With an extensive food menu, you'll be able to stay and sample all of your favorite beers! There are tons of Rare Bird brews on tap along with some familiar names - Shorts, Bell's and Founders. Whether you like IPAs, sours, ales or stouts - you can keep your options open or try something new!
- 7 Monks Taproom - More than just a cool name, this is another great brewery with an excellent accompanying menu. I mean c'mon - they have monk 'n' cheese! The long corridor of seating amongst the taps is industrial and super fun, and you'll find all you want and more on tap, including wine!
When you've had your fill of eating and drinking, Traverse still provides all kinds of things to do for those of all ages and interests:
- Bring Your Dog - TC is extremely pet-friendly, so bring your four-legged friend along with you! There are water bowls and treat jars outside each boutique so your doggo can stay full and hydrated, and my friend even shared that the Travelodge allows dogs for only $10 additional each night. You'll see people walking their dogs all over and even biking with them! I even met this adorable cream doxie (below) - I think Sadie might need a friend!
- Take Photos - You'll see a small collage of some shots I captured while in TC. There are so many picturesque locales that you'll want to pose in front of all of them! Head to the downtown strip for a strip that is filled with boutiques. Make sure to pose on all of the patios of the wineries, and if you love the 90's (and Dawson's Creek) as much as me, head to the marina docks for some fun, nautical shots.
- Shop Downtown - If you're in need of some home decor or a cute new summer sundress, head to Front Street for all your boutique needs! I've snagged a few jewelry pieces, home knick-knacks and even a jacket in my few trips up to TC. If nothing else, enjoy the stroll along Front Street and grab an ice cream at Kilwin's or Moomer's!
- The Village at Grand Traverse Commons - I've visited this locale both of the times I've been to Traverse. The sprawling historic buildings used to be the Traverse City State Hospital, and after going dormant for years, parts of it were refurbished into shops, restaurants and living spaces. Check out the fun jewelry boutique, The Silver Fox and grab dinner at the renowned Trattoria Stella. Also, if you have time, be sure to tour the grounds and learn about the unique and spooky history of this development's past.
In need of beautiful accommodations? Look no further than the Bayshore Resort*! This is where we stayed for two nights, and the staff, room and continental breakfast were all top notch! We had beachfront-facing rooms that offered sweeping views of the fishermen and marina. And while the water was still freezing, it was nice to walk along the surf on our final morning in town. Take advantage of their indoor pool when the lake is too chilly, and skip expensive brunch locales and opt for their extensive continental breakfast complete with waffles and mini omelettes. The rooms are clean, and nicely sized with tons of bathroom counter space (especially if you're traveling with your girlfriends!) for all of your toiletries. Be sure to check this place out when you need up-north accommodations!
*Please note this post is sponsored by Bayshore Resort. All opinions mentioned above are 100% honest and candid. Special thanks to the resort for accommodations for two evenings.