When Ed O’Keefe looked out over Grand Traverse Bay in 1974 from a high ridge on the Old Mission Peninsula, he saw what no one had seen there before: the perfect terrain for growing Riesling grapes. Thus began the great “Riesling boom” that sparked Traverse City’s phenomenal wine industry. O’Keefe’s Chateau Grand Traverse still dominates that ridge above the bay, and is still devoted largely to Riesling, the grape that started it all.
With summer just around the corner and the arrival of warmer temperatures we are excited about a lot of the activities here in the Traverse City region. Some of our favorites include visiting great wineries, eating delicious meals and spending as many days as possible on the beach.
Straight from a local’s noggin, these nuggets of knowledge might help you curate a new experience the next time you’re in Traverse City. First timer? In that case, be sure to hit up Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Cherry Republic and downtown Front Street. But if you’re here for round two, three or 12 (!!), read on, you serial traveler, you!
One of the perils of being a “foodie town” is that the restaurant scene can sometimes change quite often. Even in a small resort community like Traverse City, it can seem like there’s a new eatery opening (or sometimes, closing) every week. It’s exciting, but also unsettling – especially for returning vacationers who want to know what happened to last year’s favorite bistro.
Spring in northern Michigan may be slow to arrive this year, but that doesn't stop us from thinking about the colorful times ahead of us at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The first signs of the season appear at the park when the snow melts and the dominant colors fall into an earthy palette. Think beige, taupe, brown and steely blue. The landscape itself hasn’t yet awoken, but Lake Michigan’s views sparkle regardless.
Who’s ready for sun and excitement? We sure are, but if you’re not then you may want to stay home because the National Cherry Festival is almost back! With it comes the annual cacophony of parades, rides, picnics, concerts, and some weird type of fruit that everyone seems to be going on about.