Well-designed golf courses, scenic drives, culture, fine dining, winery tours, brew pubs, shopping and so much more–discover why a Traverse City golf getaway is so much more than a game on the green. It’s a paradox—Traverse City is a great place to play golf, because there’s so much more to do than just play golf.
Massive dunes and moraines left behind some 8,000 years ago by retreating glaciers give the Traverse City area a distinctive landscape of long hills, narrow valleys and iridescent lakes. That breathtaking natural setting has attracted some of the nation’s most talented architects, who’ve put the finishing touches on it with some groundbreaking designs.
Traverse City’s golf courses include two Arnold Palmer designs (Manitou Passage and The Legend), Jack Nicklaus’s groundbreaking layout at The Bear, the Jerry Matthews designs at Antrim Dells and A-Ga-Ming, Tom Weiskopf’s award-winning course at Cedar River and Gary Player’s challenging The Wolverine. There are other gems among these hills, too – from Hawk's Eye, and Lochenheath to The Leelanau Club, Elmbrook and The Crown.
But the world is full of well-designed golf courses these days. A truly world-class golf destination needs to offer something more. It has to be a real place with its own story, its own flavor, its own soul. And for all but the most obsessive golfer, it has to offer something special once you leave the course. And that’s what sets Traverse City apart.
Situated on beautiful Grand Traverse Bay in Michigan’s wine country, Traverse City is the center of an outdoor paradise that has long been treasured for its serenity, its beauty, and its unique mixture of relaxation, adventure and natural splendor.
Over the years, Traverse City has gradually transformed itself from a rustic “Up North” resort to a charmingly sophisticated small city, without losing any of the natural beauty and small-town atmosphere that make it so much fun to visit. Its vineyards are producing some of the best wines in the country and it’s attracting new admirers because of its new status as one of America’s up-and-coming “foodie” towns. Bon Appetit magazine listed it among the top five in the nation.
Shoppers love the city’s tree-shaded and pedestrian-friendly downtown, where a decade of thoughtful restoration and renovation has yielded beautiful results: scores of fascinating boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and galleries, and lots of places to sit and relax. (Meanwhile, the Grand Traverse Commons, a former mental asylum, offers some shopping and dining adventures of its own.)
There’s a wide variety in the lodging choices open to golfers, too. You can stay in a full-service resort right at the edge of the fairway, of course. But you might prefer to stake out a spot on the beach at one of the town’s many waterfront inns, find a quiet hideaway in a hilltop vineyard chateau or rent a secluded cabin in the woods.
When the 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 cutting-edge rock in a Union Street bistro, or some gaming fun in a local casino.