Lake Michigan

In all my years of vacationing, I have never quite run into a town like Traverse City. This city is located in the northwest of the lower peninsula. This gem of a city  is the hub of a unique cultural center that spans an entire county. It has a multitude of breweries and is the cherry capital of the state. Fans of wine and delicious cherry snacks need to come here for that reason alone.

Traversing Traverse City

The summer is a beautiful time to visit Traverse City, located on the sprawling Lake Michigan. The beaches in and around this town are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The main beach has a comfortable and well-maintained swimming area that is clearly marked off for safe swimming. During the Fourth of July, I went with my friends and family to see an incredible fireworks display.

Even better, this beach is within easy walking distance of a harbor, a cute and historic theater, and a bustling downtown area. I parked my sailboat at this harbor and went out on the lake almost every single day. The waves were often quite big, but never too large to handle. The view of Grand Traverse Bay is extremely beautiful.

During my stay, I rented a room at Cambria Hotel and Suites. For just $120 a day, I had access to a downtown area that includes multiple fine dining establishments, a theater, and two book stores. While I was visiting, the movie festival was in full swing and I actually got to meet documentarian Michael Moore! Afterwards, we stopped off at Mama Lus, a fine taco restaurant that had the best corn on the cob I’ve ever eaten.

After eating, I shopped at the sprawling and inexpensive Horizon bookstore. The staff was friendly and impressive! Then, we walked a few blocks to The Coin Slot, an arcade which offers day passes as cheap as $10 per day!

All in all, I highly recommend Traverse City for those who want a unique vacation destination. It is a mere five or six hour drive from Chicago and has its own airport not far from the downtown area.