Traverse City: The Cherry Capitol

Traverse City is a small, coastal town in the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, located on the coasts of both West and East Grand Traverse Bay. A two-and-a-half hour drive north from Grand Rapids, and a two hour drive south from the Mackinaw Bridge, Traverse City is far enough away from other populated areas to be relaxing, yet close enough to be a reasonable location for vacation and tourism, two of the area’s specialties. Traverse City is also known for its cherry production and is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States. The city is often referred to as the “Cherry Capitol,” and is home to the annual week-long National Cherry Festival, which coincides with the Fourth of July and attracts approximately 500,000 visitors annually. Traverse City is home of the Traverse City Film Festival which is held every late July through early August, attracting notable guests such as comedian Doug Benson and director Larry Charles, as well as notable Michiganians Michael Moore and Jeff Daniels. Traverse City also has a large Coast Guard presence and earned recognition in 2010 as the 10th “Coast Guard City” in the United States, joining fellow Michigan city, Grand Haven. The city is also home to Moomers Ice Cream, which was voted “America’s Best Scoop” in 2008 by ABC’s Good Morning America. Traverse City is also near the world-renown Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which was voted “The Most Beautiful Place in America” in 2011 by ABC’s Good Morning America.

A beautiful city with lots to do, Traverse City is an excellent place to visit for lovers of food, wine, and nature. One can visit during the National Cherry Festival if looking for excitement, or one can visit during quieter periods for a relaxing change of pace. Summer is the main tourist season, but the other seasons can be equally as enjoyable. Visit in spring to see the cherry blossoms bloom, or visit in autumn to see the vibrant colors of the changing leaves. Even winter can be enjoyable, especially if one enjoys snowy landscapes and winter sports. So please, come to Traverse City, the experience will be unforgettable!