Traverse City has long been treasured for its unique mixture of relaxation, adventure and natural splendor. But the wonder doesn’t end when the temperature falls--it just gets better. When winter snows begin to drift across this glacier-carved landscape, the entire region becomes a sparkling white playground for skiers, snowmobilers and snowshoe hikers.
In fact, Budget Travel named Traverse City one of the “11 Coolest Winter Places in America” for the region’s ice wine production. Livability.com included the city on its list of “America’s 10 Hottest Cold Cities,”–adding that “Traverse City has all of the ingredients for a great winter vacation--a quaint downtown with beautiful views of Lake Michigan, microbreweries, restaurants, shops, performance venues and lots of snow.”
Long known as the cherry capital of America, Traverse City is now producing some of the country’s finest wines. Most of the region’s 40 wineries--located on the scenic Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas -- are open for tastings and tours all through winter. The beer is pretty awesome too and is noted by the Travel Channel as one of the “Top 7 Beer Destinations “in North America.
Traverse City has acquired a reputation as one of America’s up and coming “foodie” towns and has been named by Bon Appetit magazine among its list of top five in the nation. From appetizers to dessert, local restaurateurs are on a mission to showcase the best ingredients from nearby farms, forests, waters and orchards.
Shoppers love the city’s pedestrian-friendly downtown, with its many fascinating boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and galleries. You’ll also enjoy the city’s castle-like buildings of the Grand Traverse Commons, a former mental asylum transformed into a bustling community of shops, restaurants, boutiques and salons, offer some shopping and dining adventures of their own.
With over 4,000 guest rooms, the Traverse City area has a style of lodging suited to every taste and every pocketbook. And when that sun goes down, there’s still plenty to do. Nightlife in Traverse City can be an evening of cool jazz in a downtown restaurant, some stand-up comedy at the restored City Opera House or some gaming fun in one of the local casinos.
In winter, it’s not hard to find adventure in Traverse City. There are cherry pies still warm from the oven, sweetly fragrant Old Mission ice wine, rich dark ales, snug comforters, blazing fireplaces and a sky filled with bright Traverse City stars.