This post is sponsored by Traverse City Tourism but all opinions are our own.
Michigan, you’re a real treat. 🍂 We’ve had the opportunity to spend a few weekends in Traverse City, Michigan and we highly recommend you visit this charming town in the late spring, summer, or fall! Traverse City is about 6 hours from Chicago, located in the northwest edge of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This is a perfect trip for foodies and wine-lovers who also love to be outdoors!
Our goal was to relax and unwind while enjoying nature, amazing food, and incredible drinks. Read on for our recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and drink, and what to do in the Traverse City, Michigan area!
Where to stay in Traverse City, Michigan
Crystal Mountain Resort has such a unique and fun history! It all started when a geography teacher challenged his students to “find the best place in Benzie County to start a ski area.” They determined the Buck Hills Range by Crystal Mountain was the spot. Buck Hills Ski Area opened in 1956 and has continued to grow and improve since. Owned by local families for almost 60 years, this year-round resort is gorgeous and features fine dining, an award-winning spa, a coffee and wine bar, 58 downhill trails, 25km of cross-country skiing, and two championship 18-hole golf courses. They have a variety of lodging including a spacious townhome at the top of the mountain, a cottage tucked away in the peaceful woods, or a cozy hotel room at the heart of Cyrystal Mountain.
This was the perfect place for a weekend of nature and relaxation together. Our suite at the Inn at the Mountain was lovely and had these giant windows that led out to a private terrace. It’s also a short drive to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Take me back to breakfast in bed, gorgeous water views, and the impeccable dinner we had at the Delamar in Traverse City. We’d been extra busy but our stay at Delamar Traverse City allowed us to relax and reconnect in a beautiful waterfront setting. We booked their Fall Getaway package which includes;
- ✨two nights deluxe stay
- ✨sparkling wine, truffles & flowers (upon arrival)
- ✨breakfast in bed one morning (w/ mimosas or bloody marys)
- ✨$100 toward dinner at Artisan Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern
We can whole heartedly recommend staying here for your fall getaway to Traverse City. It’s a full-service upscale resort, yet it feels cozy. Their outdoor patio/bar area comes to life at night with live music and bocce. And you can’t beat watching the sunset followed by a dip in one of their pools or hot tubs.
Things to do in the Traverse City, Michigan Area
- Visit Point Betsie Lighthouse – This lighthouse has been operating continuously since 1858 and it is beautiful! We thoroughly enjoyed walking around the beach and lighthouse! As of this writing, they are closed for daily operations for the 2022 season. They reopen on May 14, 2023.
- Explore Michigan Legacy Art Park – The Michigan Legacy Art Park is an outdoor sculpture trail and I was definitely in my happy place here! It was amazing to hike through this 30-acre wooded park surrounded by fall foliage, 50+ sculptures, and art & poetry stones.
- Ride Bikes along Boardman Loop Trail
- Shopping at Warehouse MRKT – This boutique mall located in downtown Traverse City has some super cute places to drink, snack, and shop. We loved Relish and Hexenbelle.
- Crystal Mountain Spa – this huge, award-winning oasis offers luxurious skin care, massages, body work, and nail services.
Where to eat and drink in the Traverse City area
- Bella’s Cafe – Grab a coffee on your way to Point Betsie Lighthouse. I had the best caramel macchiato and avocado, cheddar & bagel.
- Hexenbelle – This magical coffee shop located in the Warehouse MRKT serves enchanting drinks like The Hallowed Fruit (Espresso, Michigan Apple Cider syrup, Cinnamon, Ginger, Brown Sugar Simple, Oat Milk) and Damascus Gate (Rose, Black Cardamom, Clove, Saffron, Espresso.)
- Stormcloud Brewing Co. – Stop by this brewery for flights and lunch. They have the coziest downtown pub. We enjoyed tasting their beer. Order the Port City Smokehouse Whitefish Spread! It’s SO good.
- Iron Fish Distillery – Ever visit a place that just gives you good vibes from the moment you walk in the door? Iron Fish is dedicated to returning spirit to its origin and it shows in everything they do – from their fermenting, distilling, & barrel aging. It all happens on-site and they are proud to do so sustainably. If you’re in the area and you love spirits, we highly recommend checking them out. The people who work there are passionate about Iron Fish and love what they do. That good energy spills over into their food, spirits and craft cocktails. ✨
- Thistle Pub & Brew – The Thistle is a fine dining restaurant at the Crystal Mountain resort with a laid back, come as you are, atmosphere. They’re open for lunch and dinner.
- The Filling Station Microbrewery – a great place to grab pizza and a beer!
- Artisan Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern – The Delamar’s fine dining experience at Artisan was phenomenal. With magnificent views of Lake Michgan, their New American cusine has an emphasis on farm-fresh fare from local and regional farms.
We hope to get back to Traverse City, Michigan soon as its one of our favorite getaways!
Jacquie & Ryan