Who says the fun stops when the snow flies? Although Traverse City used to be laid-back in February, that’s not the case anymore. Outdoor recreation and games, beer, wine, chocolate, great cuisine, music, comedy, quirky happenings--you’ll find a celebration or some type of cool event taking place all month long. Book a package and check out the area’s flurries of fun.
Many February events involve one winter recreation of some kind, since Traverse City is famed for its miles of ski and snowshoe trails. On February 1, for instance, cross country skiers gather in nearby Mancelona for the White Pine Stampede, a 50-kilometer race to the hills of Shanty Creek Resorts. On the very same day, snowshoers will race through the vineyards of Brengman Brothers’ Crain Hill Winery for the Runaway Hen Snowshoe Scamper, a 2K or 5K run/walk through the scenic rolling hills followed by wine and hot beverages.
On February 2, there’s outdoor fun of a more laid-back kind, when the Women’s Winter Tour--a celebration of “wine, women and chocolate” – invites women of all ages to ski or snowshoe along the Leelanau Trail. The event is known for its culinary fare, which includes local foods, wine and chocolate along the way.
The following weekend belongs to craft beer and wine lovers (and lovers of all persuasions). The festivities kick-off on February 8, with the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival, an outdoor celebration with craft brews, live entertainment and local grub, all in the comfort of heated tents. On February 8-9, the wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula hold their annual Taste the Passion weekend with special pours, food pairings and tasty chocolate treats.
February 8-9 is also the weekend for Traverse City’s best-known winter event, the North American Vasa Festival of Races. Now in its 38th year, these popular races attract hundreds of ski racers from around the U.S. and Canada. Even casual weekend skiers can enjoy themselves, since there are races and events for skiers of all shapes, ages and skill levels.
Don’t think winter is particularly funny? You obviously haven’t been to the Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival, held February 13-16. Talented comedians take the stage in theatres and performance venues around downtown, while the streets outside fill up with winter themed events--including a winter Ferris wheel.
Just minutes away, in the picturesque village of Suttons Bay, local folks celebrate winter with the quirky YetiFest on February 15, which consists of a day of fun wintery events. While the Old Mission Peninsula and its local wineries celebrate the varietal that made them famous with Romancing the Riesling, where participating wineries showcase their Rieslings--perfectly paired with a food offering.
February 23 begins the most delicious week of winter, Traverse City Restaurant Week, when the community’s finest restaurants offer specially-prepared three-course meals for just $25 per person.
Want another reason to spend time in Traverse City this February? Check out the Traverse City Escape package, which combines special rates at over 19 participating hotels and resorts with a wide range of discounts on winter recreation, shopping, dining and entertainment.