Author: Mike Norton

A former newspaper writer, Mike Norton was the media relations manager at Traverse City Tourism. He loves to walk, bicycle and kayak in the three seasons when our water is usually in liquid form. For the rest of the year he prefers snowshoeing and skinny-skiing. 

 

Explore must-see, must-do activities throughout the page content below or explore other things to do in Traverse City: 

Vacations should be relaxing. Exploration should be a delight. And there is nothing that kills the joy of discovery or the bliss of goofing off quite as thoroughly as trying to cram too many experiences and too many sights into your precious vacation time.

(All photos courtesy of Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station. No claims are made for their accuracy.)

The volunteers at the Traverse City Visitor Center can almost always come up with advice for baffled tourists who need directions. However, one question consistently leaves them speechless.

It’s the one about whale-watching tours.

Climbing Hills to Enjoy the Fall Color

Monday, August 29, 2016 10:00 AM by Mike Norton

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the fall color from below – looking up from the seat of your bike or your car as you pass a blazing hillside of red, gold and orange maples. Hard-core foliage fans, however, won’t be content until they’ve climbed the summits of a few hills to enjoy the autumn display from above.

The Best Places (and the Best Ways) to Enjoy Fall Color

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 12:00 PM by Mike Norton

It’s important to know where you should go to see the best display of fall color. After all, a true foliage connoisseur knows that it’s not just about finding a bunch of trees in full flame. It’s a matter of finding that perfect spot with just the right balance of tone and hue, with a proper framing and at least one interesting feature—a barn, perhaps, or a body of water—to add a little artistic flair to the scene.

4 Fabulous Fall Hiking Trails

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 3:00 AM by Mike Norton

There are advantages to taking a color tour by car. You can cover a lot of ground -- and you don’t have to worry that windy, cold or rainy weather will ruin your experience. (Although sometimes I think a little rain can actually make the colors look brighter.) But the best way to experience the full sensory overload of autumn -- the sound and smell of those new-fallen leaves, the feel of the breeze -- is to get out and spend some time hiking or cycling one of our many trails. 

Birding in Northern Michigan

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:00 AM by Mike Norton

I heard my first loon last night. Far out on the harbor, that strange wild, half-crazy laugh came out of the evening mist.  Back from the warm places where they spend their winters, back to join us in the uncertain Northern springtime. I love those big birds.

Dynamic Variation: