Traverse City vacation rentals
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Your guide to Traverse City
Traverse City has emerged as one of the most charming getaways along the Lake Michigan shore, beloved for its natural setting, its historic small-town architecture, and its vibrant music and art scene. Whether you’re exploring by bike or car, you'll want to devote a day to the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes, and spend several more visiting wineries and small coastal towns such as Williamsburg, Glen Arbor, and Suttons Bay. A finger of land extends from Traverse City into Lake Michigan, splitting Grand Traverse Bay in two, and you can drive its length to the lighthouse at the end. This corner of northern Michigan is known for its cherry orchards, and summer offers a profusion of fresh fruit and pies. There’s even a cherry festival in July.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Traverse City?
The lower peninsula of Michigan has four distinct seasons. Both spring (April-May) and fall (October-November) are gorgeous times to stay in one of the city’s vacation rentals, with cool temperatures and plenty of color, whether spring wildflowers or autumn leaves. Summer begins properly in June, which boasts some of the best weather of the year. Peak heat and peak humidity arrive together in July and August, with many days in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit. While sunny days are frequent in summer, so are rains, so bring rain jackets along with your shorts and sunblock, and keep bug spray around for the evening mosquito onslaught. Winters this far north get cold — really cold — and plenty of snow comes off the lake. Pack plenty of layers and sturdy outerwear.
What are the top things to do in Traverse City?
Sleeping Bear Dunes
Stretching along 64 miles of Lake Michigan coast, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a national treasure. During the warm months, you can relax on the sandy beaches and canoe in the rivers. The 22-mile paved Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is the easiest to navigate by foot, bike, and wheelchair; other trails for hikers climb up the bluffs or plunge into the forests.
Village at Grand Traverse Commons
Not far outside downtown Traverse City is a complex of striking Victorian brick buildings and wooded parklands. This former psychiatric hospital, which opened in 1885 and closed a century later, fell into disrepair until a massive redevelopment project brought it back to life. Now it is home to condos, offices, and boutiques. You can take a historic tour of the unrestored buildings and tunnels, or stick to the restaurants, bars, and a warren of artisan shops.
Interlochen Center for the Arts
Most years, Interlochen, located 15 miles south of Traverse City, hosts hundreds of concerts, theater performances, and other events. Many are free and outdoors, and their frequency crescendos in summer, when the center’s youth camps draw students from all over the world.