Traverse City MI Area Guide


Traverse City, Michigan is the county seat of Grand Traverse County. It is the largest city in the 21-county Northern Michigan region, encompassing 8.09 square miles. As of 2000, the city’s population was approximately 14,000. Despite Traverse City’s modest population, the city and particularly the downtown area functions as the major commercial nexus for a seven-county area totaling over 2,700 square miles. Along with Alpena, Traverse City is one of Northern Lower Michigan’s two anchor cities.

Traverse City is the “Cherry Capital of the World,” holding an annual week-long Cherry Festival every July. Besides cherries, the Traverse City countryside also produces grapes, making wine production one of the city’s key industries. Here you’ll also find beautiful freshwater beaches, a mild summer climate, upscale golf resorts, vineyards, prodigious snowfall, and nearby ski resorts.


Traverse City History

Traverse City is named after the Grand Traverse Bay. The bay received its name from 18th century French voyagers who made the long crossing across the mouth of the bay.

In 1847, Captain Boardman of Illinois purchased the land at the mouth of the Boardman River at the head of the west arm of the bay. He then built a dwelling and a sawmill near the mouth of the river. Boardman later sold the mill to Hannah, Lay & Co, and the increased investment in the mill attracted many additional settlers to the new community.

As of 1853, the only post office in the Grand Traverse Bay region was located at Old Mission, which was then known as Grand Traverse. In 1852 when Mr. Lay was in Washington, D.C., he succeeded in getting another post office authorized in his newer settlement. The “Grand” was dropped in the name to limit confusion between the new office and the one at Old Mission. Thus, the post office’s name became “Traverse City” and the village soon adopted the name as well.

Traverse City Parks and Recreation

The City of Traverse City Parks and Recreation Department has a large range of duties, facilities and programs for its community members and guests. The division prides itself in providing an attractive community with fun things to do and pleasant places for people to spend their leisure time

Hickory Meadows
Hickory Meadows is located on the west side on Traverse City. The property features several miles of trails and a groomed ski trail.

Traverse City State Park
Traverse City State Park is a 47 acre urban park that features a quarter mile of beautiful beach on the East Art of the Grand Traverse Bay.

Wuerfel Park – The Traverse City Beach Bums
The Traverse City Beach Bums are a minor league baseball team. They are the city’s first professional baseball team since 1914. Wuerful Park features a bowled stadium with over 3,500 seats, 48 private tables, a five level party deck, and extensive lawn seating.

For more information on Traverse City parks visit the official website by clicking here


Traverse City Events

Traverse City is the place to be if you’re looking for a great time! Come have fun with your family and friends at the Annual Suds and Snow event or National Cherry Festival. Don’t miss the opportunity to create memories of a lifetime at Traverse City’s spectacular events!

3rd Annual Suds and Snow
The Annual Suds and Snow event takes place at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. Here, beer tasting and snowshoeing go hand in hand. Along with samples of a wide variety of Michigan breweries, the event will feature winter volleyball, food and music.

73rd National Trout Festival
The National Trout Festival offers fun for everyone! The festival features fishing contests, special breakfasts, a family entertainment tent, queen coronation, a children’s fishing contest, parades, special dinners, a craft show, flea market and fireworks.

National Cherry Festival
The National Cherry Festival celebrates the heritage of America’s Cherry Capital every year during the first week of July. The eight-day festival features air shows, fireworks, parades, games, races, midway rides, demonstrations, nightly outdoor concerts and plenty of chances to taste delectable cherry products!

Traverse City Film Festival
The Traverse City Film Festival was founded in 2005 and features an outstanding selection of independent, foreign, and documentary films. There are also premieres, parties, panel discussions, and lectures about the world of film.

For more information on events in Traverse City visit their events calendar by clicking here


Traverse City Attractions

A visit to Traverse City wouldn’t be complete without a stop by one of these great attractions! The Dennos Museum Center and Grand Traverse Commons are perfect outings for everyone in the family.

Dennos Museum Center
The Dennos Museum Center is located on the Northwestern Michigan College campus. The Dennos Museum Center features both the visual and performing arts. The museum features a permanent display of sculpture, prints, and drawings by the Inuit artists of the Canadian arctic. The Milliken Auditorium showcases the performing arts, including theater, dance and music.

Grand Traverse Commons
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons features a unique collection of historic buildings on beautiful wooded grounds. The renovation of these buildings into an exciting and fun area to explore is the country’s largest historic preservation and adaptive reuse development.

For more information on Traverse City visit the official website by clicking here

For the Traverse Convention & Visitors Bureau website click here

For the Downtown Traverse City website click here

For the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce website click here

Nancy Albrecht
Nancy Albrecht
521 Randolph Street Traverse City MI 49684