Michigan is a state with many beautiful regions, yet the striking beauty of Traverse City had me especially captivated.
The area is reminiscent of the rich, lush beauty of northern Ontario’s forests and lakes. I was completely taken aback by the stunning landscapes. Traverse City is also a friendly community with a focus on nature and the best of modern amenities – I was delighted to have the best of both worlds. The city’s walkable historic downtown district is filled with more than 100 unique boutiques to enjoy, as well as restaurants, pubs and art galleries.
Traverse City’s Wineries
Traverse City is filled with surprises. First, I had no idea that there was such a thriving wine region in Michigan, but more specifically, I was not aware that Traverse City was such an accomplished wine-producing area. The city has more than 40 wineries that produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and more. It seemed to me that the simple pleasures of life are all found in the region: beautiful food, great wine, sweeping views and the company of friendly people.
Exceptional Local Wines in Traverse City, Michigan
Chateau Chantal – A Family Tradition of Wine Making
I experienced a fabulous wine tour at Chateau Chantal, which has a tasting room with gorgeous views of Grand Traverse Bay that I found to be super relaxing. It is a family-owned-and-operated winery, and you can really feel the loving care that goes into their products. Schedule a special tour of the winery to see the whole ritual of making wine, right down to the bottling and corking process. I was overjoyed to have a private tour with their kindly and most knowledgeable master wine maker. We enjoyed tastings directly from the barrels in the wine cellar – an epic experience.
Winery in Traverse City, Michigan
Outdoor Recreation and Beach Fun
With its ideal location on the shores of Lake Michigan, Traverse City is also a beach town – summer really is embodied here, with sunbathing, ice cream and a beach vibe everywhere. You can also have a fun day biking at the beach or playing in the water on a variety of watercraft: kayaks, canoes or a ride in a water tube. It was super convenient to rent a bike as well. There are excellent trails for hiking, cycling and skating, in addition to paved and off-road biking trails for a more athletic ride along Grand Traverse Bay.
Traverse City on the shores of Lake Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
The views of Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are breathtaking. I stood high atop the 130-metre mammoth dunes for incredible views of beaches stretched out below. The hike up is fantastic and certainly gets your adrenaline pumping. With the lake stretching out before you, this is a fantastic place to experience nature and a perfect opportunity for photographers to capture incredible vistas.
Although a day trip is a fun idea, I highly recommend staying in Traverse City for at least a few days. There are so many cute waterfront properties, hotels and inns. It’s too lovely not to spend time exploring the area, and a little R&R is absolutely a must. Kick back and enjoy a fun adventure in Michigan’s True North.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan