Traverse City Journals

A "JEWEL" in the Midwest

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A travel journal to Traverse City by Houdini2

Traverse City Beaches Photo, Traverse City, Michigan More Photos
Quote: If you have never heard of or have never been to Traverse City, then by all means get out your map, do some research, and make your plans! It's a jewel of a place to vacation.

A "JEWEL" in the Midwest

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Overview

TC Home of the National Cherry Festival Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
Traverse City from the perspective of a local and a timeshare owner. Traverse City (TC) is one of the best places to go on vacation for those who like a combination of outdoor activities (e.g. beaches, boating, snowmobiling, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, skiing, golf, tennis); great dining (i.e. all tastes and budgets); shopping (e.g. malls, outlet malls, local retailers, tourist shops, antiques, consignment); the arts (e.g. symphony, theater, museums, Interlochen Arts Academy); great accommodations (e.g. timeshares, hotels, motels, resorts, bed-n-breakfast); and much more (e.g. great vineyards, para-gliding, para-sailing, a zoo, a marina, parks)...Read More

Don's Drive -In

Restaurant | "Don's Drive-In"

Quote:
Don’s Drive-In is a local place that’s been around for years. It has a classic 50’s look and feel. From the décor of the place, the furnishings, the menu, the songs on the jukebox, to the wait staff’s uniforms and "attitude," this could be Al’s from Happy Days. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Fonz or Ritchie Cunningham would walk out from the backroom at anytime. If you want a great big greasy (in a good way) burger, a carload of fries (a 57 Chevy, I think), and one of the best malts or shakes around, then this is the place for you. Its just across the street from East Grand Traverse Bay, so sitting on the picnic tables outside can provide good views on a summer night. They offe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 26, 2003

Don's Drive -In
2030 N Us Highway 31 S
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
(231) 938-1860

Grand Traverse Dinner Train

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Restaurant

Grand Traverse Dinner Train Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
The Grand Traverse Dinner Train is a great and unique dining experience, one that you will want to take advantage of. I’d suggest it be a romantic night for you as a couple; leave the kids to fend for themselves for a few hours and enjoy some time together or with another couple. As you travel the 60 miles of rails through the Boardman Valley and Pere Marquette State Forest, you will be treated to an elegant 5-course, gourmet meal including appetizer, soup, salad, main entrée, and desert. Meals come with complimentary coffee, hot tea, or water. All other soft drinks or bar service can be obtained for an extra charge. The dinner tours take approximately three hours, so be sure to plan ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 26, 2003

Grand Traverse Dinner Train
642 Railroad pl
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
(231) 933-3768

Gordie Howe's Tavern & Eatery

Restaurant | "Gordie Howe's Tavern & Eatery"

Quote:
Just mentioning the name Gordie Howe--well, that is enough for any hockey fan to know what this place is about. The most famous Detroit Red Wing and Hall of Famer is the focal point of this establishment. If you like good food in an environment filled with hockey memorabilia, especially from the Red Wings, then I'd urge you to stop by. The atmosphere is light and fun, most of the time. However, if you get carried away while in the "Arena," a place where you can try your luck at some exciting games, you may find yourself in the "Penalty Box." Hopefully your infraction will involve only a 2:00 minor offense and penalty. Some parents, however, have been known to...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 28, 2003

Gordie Howe's Tavern & Eatery
851 S. Garfield Avenue
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
(231) 929-4693

Traverse City Beaches

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Attraction | "Area Beaches"

Traverse City Beaches Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
For those of you who are timeshare owners and trade into the Pinestead Reef Resort, well you will be on what I think is the best section of beach in Traverse City (TC). The Pinestead owns about 700’ of clean, sandy beach in which to relax on one of their loungers, build sand castles, swim, play beach volleyball, walk, jog, beach your watercraft… For owners and guests of the Pinestead, to supplement your beach experience, they have a manicured grassy area with umbrella tables to sit and enjoy the views and a large deck with gas grills and umbrella tables to enjoy a lakeside barbeque. There a number of great public beaches to enjoy on East or West Grand Traverse Bay. On ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 26, 2003

Traverse City Beaches
Along East and West Grand Traverse Bays
Traverse City, Michigan

Mountain Biking

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Attraction | "Mountain Biking in the Traverse City area"

Mountain Biking Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
Mountain Biking – For the mountain biking enthusiast, there are a number of options. You can begin by riding on the paved TART Trail, which runs about 12 miles from the west-side of TC past both arms of Grand Traverse Bay to Acme. There are several sections which provide inspiring views of the bays. The paved TART Trail is also a great place to in-line skate, walk, run… The VASA Pathway is a “two-track” trail (groomed for cross country skate skiing in winter) that meanders through the Pere Marquette State Forest. There are 3, 5, 11, and 25km marked loops, plenty of hills, and some sand. Its wide enough to ride two abreast for a ride-n-chat, or you can put y...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 26, 2003

Mountain Biking
VASA Pathway, Vasa Singletrack & TART
Traverse City, Michigan

Elmbrook Golf Course

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Attraction | "Golfing in the TC Area"

Elmbrook Golf Course Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
Golfing in the Traverse City (TC) area provides you with many, many courses to sharpen your handicap. For the golfing enthusiast, TC is a golfing paradise--and if you truly love the sport, then you ought to consider spending a lot of time in TC during the summer months. You could play golf every day for a month and never play the same course twice. The immediate TC area boasts some 25 courses for your playing enjoyment (or frustration). And within reasonable driving distance of TC, there are more. The courses range from exclusive private clubs to very affordable public courses and everything in between. Depending on the ratings of the courses, your handicap, and your budget, you will be ab...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 26, 2003

Elmbrook Golf Course
1750 Townline Road
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
(231) 946-9180

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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Attraction

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBD), makes for a great day trip from Traverse City. Just 45 minutes from TC, SBD is something you will want to be sure to build into your vacation plans. You can enjoy the park at a number of diffrent levels. To begin your visit, I'd suggest two things: 1.) Before you arrive, check out their website by clicking here Sleeping Bear Dunes. 2.) As you approach the Park, stop at the Visitor's Center on M-72 just outside of Empire, MI. Both of these can provide you with valuable information to make the most of your visit. By car, I'd suggest the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and Overlook. Pl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 3, 2003

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
9922 Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49630
(231) 326-5134

Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

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Attraction

Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
Not many expect to find "wine country" in northern Michigan, but you will be pleasantly surprised at the size and quality of the wine industry in the Traverse City / Leelanau County areas. Attached you will find pics of the Leelanau Wine Trail Map. The map reveals that most of the wineries are in relatively close proximity to one another, thus making it easier for you to find that special wine that you've been looking for.To help you with your search, click on this link to their website Leelanau Peninsual Wine Trail. My personal favorite is one of the newer wineries in the area, Black Star Farms. Not only do they produce some of th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2003

Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail
Throughout Leelanau County
Traverse City, Michigan

Music House Museum

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Attraction

Music House Museum Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
The Music House Museum (MHM) is a worthwhile stop. It will only take you about 1-1/2 hours to tour the museum and see all that it has to offer. So, when you have a few extra hours, perhaps on those rare days when the sun isn't shining :-), check out MHM.The MHM is a performing museum of beautifully restored rare antique musical instruments in authentic turn-of-the-century settings. The MHM will give you the history of sound production through radio and phonographic galleries. You will even be able to sip a soda while listening to the tunes of the Nickelodians at the Hurry Back Saloon. The MHM is open every day May 1 through October 31 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Mon - Sat) and 1...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 1, 2003

Music House Museum
7377 Us Highway 31 N
Traverse City, Michigan 49690
(231) 938-9300

Dennos Museum Center Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
The Dennos Museum Center is located on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. The museum is named for Michael and Barbara Dennos. The 40,000 square foot museum is a center for the visual and performing arts, which features three changing exhibition galleries, a sculpture court, a "hands on" Discovery Gallery, and a gallery of Inuit art, the museum’s major permanent collection. The Museum also boasts the 367 seat Milliken Auditorium, a 32 seat video theater, a community room, and Museum store. A variety of concerts and theatrical performances are held in the auditorium, so you will want to find out if any are planned while you are in Traverse City (TC). Mo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 26, 2003

Dennos Museum Center
1701 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
(231) 995-1055

Clinch Park Zoo

Attraction

Clinch Park Zoo Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
Clinch Park Zoo, operated by the City of Traverse City and the Grand Traverse Zoological Society, invite you to explore their zoo. It is located on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay and adjacent to the Traverse City Marina and Clinch Park Beach. The 3.5 acre zoo exhibits the wildlife of northern Michigan. The zoo is of a smaller scale than many, so it is suited best for children in junior high or lower grades. The very affordable admission of only $3 for adults, $1.50 for children ages 5 - 12, and children under five years free, makes for a great way to spend an hour or two. The zoo is easily accessed by an underground walkway from historic downtown Traverse City and publ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 27, 2003

Clinch Park Zoo
Grandview Parkway Near The Marina
Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Old Town Playhouse

Attraction

Quote:
Old Town Playhouse (OTP) is a great place to get away from the world for awhile and be entertained by a the thespians of Traverse City (TC). The OTP is set in an older part of TC, just blocks off of manin street. The building is the old First Christian Church, rennovated in 1972 to meet the expanding theatrical need in the community. The plays, though done with mostly local talent and local volunteers, are always very well done. If you enjoy live theater, then by all means, call the box office to order your tickets today! Catching a play at OTP makes for a great date! Here are some excerpts from their website: Old Town Playhouse is home to the Traverse City Civic Players, whic...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2003

Old Town Playhouse
148 East Eighth Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
(231) 947-2210

National Cherry Festival

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Attraction

National Cherry Festival Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
The National Cherry Festival (NCF) is always held early in July, around Independence Day, July 4. It is a BIG deal and draws more than 500,000 people over its approximate 8-day duration. The NCF hosts more than 150 events, 85% of them being free. USA Today rated NCF one of its Top Ten Events in 1997, 1998, and 1999. Some of the people, events, and shows that have been or are a regular part of the NCF are: former presidents, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, stealth fighter jet, former astronauts, Tribute 64, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, television celebrities, Budweiser Clydesdales, pro athletes, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck . . . ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 28, 2003

National Cherry Festival

Traverse City, Michigan

Ranch Rudolph

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Story/Tip

Canoeing the Boardman River Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
As the saying goes… There’s MORE to do at Ranch Rudolph (RR). RR is a 195 acre four season resort just minutes away from downtown Traverse City (TC). It is nestled in the pristine Pere Marquette State Forest and on the beautiful Boardman River. RR offers a wide ranch of day activities such as: Rump Boating (i.e. floating the river on a tube), Canoeing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Fishing, Archery… To experience the beauty of the forest and the river, I’d suggest the canoeing and if it’s a very warm day, tubing is fun. Canoeing offers 4 mile (1.5 hour) or 9 mile (3.5 hour) trips, with a cost of $17 or $26, respectively. Tubing rates are $7 fo...Read More
Downtown Traverse City Photo, Traverse City, Michigan
Quote:
Shopping in the Traverse City (TC) area provides a multitude of options. Within the TC area you will find: Grand Traverse Mall, Horizon Outlet Center, Cherryland Center, Grand Traverse Crossing, Historic Downtown District, and many local shops. Since everyone has their own taste when it comes to shopping, and because I tend to be "shopping challenged," I will let your mouse do the "walking" for you by providing the following links. Malls and Mainline Retailers: Grand Traverse Mall. Horizon Outlet Center. ...Read More