Traverse City: Not What I Expected

College senior Ashley Prescott gets her first real taste of shopping “Traverse City-style”– and decides she may have been missing something all these years.

Photo Credit - Traverse City CVBI’ll be honest. When I was younger, I thought Traverse City was the kind of place where old people go to gamble, play golf, and retire; or maybe where families could go for a week or two in the summer in order to unwind from their busy schedules. I never saw it as a place for somebody like me.

But after just one visit, I’ve fallen in love — and I’ve only just gotten here. I’ve already learned to call Traverse City “TC,” just like the locals do!

My first day in Traverse City began on Front Street, in the city’s downtown district, full of shops whose merchandise overflows onto the sidewalk, and restaurants that tempt you with mouth-watering smells as you walk past. I walked up from the beach nearby and meandered through streets that cascaded with blooming trees, admiring the downtown architecture. (These buildings are beautiful, yet with a friendly feeling that makes the city feel cozy.)
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Eclectic Explorations

Claudia Capos, a contributing writer for Michigan Travel Ideas, takes a visit to Ann Arbor, home to the bustling University of Michigan campus. Upscale shops, old-fashioned bookstores, restaurants, brewpubs and galleries make this college town a must-visit for everyone.

Photo credit: Johnny Quirin

Nickels Arcade

My self-guided tour begins in the heart of the State Street district, linking downtown with the University of Michigan campus. I pass half a dozen coffee and ice cream shops on my way to Nickels Arcade, which offers high-end shopping amid the surrounding college paraphernalia. The two-story, block-long corridor, fashioned after Paris’ elegant glass-roofed shopping arcades, houses boutiques. One of my faves, the Caravan Shop specializes in imported gifts, including Russian matryoshka dolls and German nutcrackers.

Six blocks west (on William or Liberty streets), visitors explore the Main Street shopping district, with not only three brewpubs but also at least four bookstores, galleries and gift shops.

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Traverse City Inspirations

Traverse City and the region along the wide blue waters of Grand Traverse Bay seem to inspire more than their share of everything—art, flavor, reflective moments and thrills of discovery. Editor Barbara Morrow writes about some of her finds in Traverse City, as part of a girls-only getaway for the 2011 issue of Michigan Travel Ideas.


Photo Credit - MTI


The bubble-gum pink sheath squeals “special,” even surrounded by dozens of other dresses, bags, scarves, and other irresistible accessories in Posh, one of the specialty shops and galleries along Traverse City’s Front Street. Joan and I spot it at the same time. It’s perfect! Not for us, of course, but for her college-age daughter. Even better, it’s $24.

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