As Austin and I wrap up our quick weekend trip to Traverse City, Michigan, also known as the “Cherry Capital of the World,” I can’t help but reflect on the great memories we made in such a short period of time! It was so nice to escape the big city and enjoy some quiet downtime together. While there, I definitely learned that doing nothing is most certainly doing something, just for yourself. In Northern Michigan, relaxing and slowing down with a good book or among friends is a way of life, not just a self-care trend.
Something else to know about Traverse City, it’s increasingly proud of itself and the fact that it’s a part of Pure Michigan. Everyone walks around with Michigan shirts, hats, you name it. And I LOVE that about the city! As someone who moved around all over most of my life, I admire people that call one state their true home and love it with their whole heart. I’m getting that way with Illinois, but you know what I mean 🙂 Keep reading below for my thoughts on where to eat, what to do and where to shop should you ever venture to Traverse City, Michigan! And believe me, I do recommend going.
WHERE TO EAT
Peace, Love and Little Donuts // Austin and I both LOVE donuts an unhealthy amount, so this was a must on our lists! They have such unique and classic flavors from Raspberry Lemonade to Boston Cream. The few things that stood out? They were so incredibly friendly (a typical trait in Traverse City we’d come to find) and the cake of the donuts themselves was GOOD.
The Little Fleet // We didn’t actually ended up dining here, but we checked it out and I wished we had stay for a drink or bite! It’s basically just a round-up of various foot trucks with different specialities like tacos, smoothies, BBQ, etc. It’s a fun way to eat as opposed to a normal restaurant. When we go back, we’ll definitely stop by!
Blue Tractor // As the BBQ lovers we are, this was our first stop when we got into town. It’s a cozy little spot with pulled pork, mac and cheese and more. The BBQ itself was great, melt in your mouth meat, but I’d skip the mac and cheese. It was okay, but certainly not anything to write home about.
WHAT TO DO
Bonobo Winery // I can’t say enough good things about this winery. We did a few other winery tours during our visit, but this one stood out the most. From the friendly staff to the gorgeous grounds and even more delicious wine, everything was memorable. I especially loved their 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and I’m dying to get my hands on a bottle! Guess we’ll have to go back!
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore // Even if you don’t consider yourself a nature lover, if you’re in the area, I would urge you to check out the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We did a quick, and relatively easy, mile and a half hike where we got a stunning view of the water and trees. Then, we did the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive for some additional overlooks, but the hike was my favorite.
Traverse City Whiskey Co. // Let me just say, Austin is much more a whiskey lover than I. This past week, I learned I can enjoy it in a cocktail (see, a Cherry Sour made with these lovely cocktail cherries), but Austin enjoys it on the rocks. Nonetheless, we stopped by to get some of those to bring home, as well as some Cherry Whiskey that I plan to use tonight to make a Cherry Sour at home!
WHERE TO SHOP
Suhm-Thing // This store was right up my alley! I’d describe it similar to Paper Source with all sorts of kitschy items, cards, and souvenirs. To be honest though, all of Front Street in Downtown Traverse City has some great shopping, including boutiques. All I got was a $15 sweatshirt as a memory, but I certainly wanted to leave with more!
Gallagher’s Farm Market and Bakery // Whether you’re stopping by during cherry season or the fall, Gallagher’s is a lovely stop out in the country. They have fresh fruit, pumpkins during fall and donuts and other baked pastries. We ended up leaving with some Cherry Pepper Jelly that I plan to use in one of my favorite recipes, Chocolate Covered Cherries and two donuts. Yum!
Cherry Republic // Give me ALL the free samples, please! Cherry Republic was recommend to us by a few friends and followers, so we had to visit. All I got was another jar of Cherry Pepper Jelly (I couldn’t help myself), but we did enjoy the samples of cherry sour candies, jams and more. Even if you only go for those, you should stop by!
There are a few other things I wanted to do while there, but we simply didn’t have time, so I figured I’d list them out below in case you are in town or have the desire to ever plan a trip!
Have you ever been to city? If so, what are you favorite spots and things to do? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear all about it. Hope you all have a great rest of your week!