Experience the full range of fun and relaxation that a vacation has to offer, minus the added stress of long-distance travel. The Traverse City area is teeming with events and activities this fall season, and planning your own staycation is a wonderful way to enjoy the bounties of Northern Michigan without needing to buy plane tickets or step foot in the airport. There’s no need to wander far from home when you live near Traverse City: it’s exactly where we should be.
If you want your staycation to feel more like a getaway, start by booking a night or two at one of the many lodging properties around the region with a local hotel package or deal. Lake ‘N Pines Lodge provides a variety of different packages year-round, Crystal Mountain is offering a golf and accommodations package through the end of October, and many other properties offer year-round Stay & Save specials. Also, for those who choose to stay longer than just the weekend in our charming town, there are many opportunities for you to get work done remotely. There is an abundance of coffee shops with Wifi, comfortable working areas, and delicious joe, like Brew, Mundos, and Aroma’s Coffee and Tea. Two coworking locations with office amenities in Traverse City include 20Fathoms and Common Place, at which you can purchase a day pass. In addition, there is our public library near Boardman Lake, the Traverse Area District Library.
PLAN YOUR STAYCATION ITINERARY
Traverse City’s unique location near the 45th parallel paired with proximity to Lake Michigan creates a microclimate that makes for prime wine country, unbeknownst to many. There are over forty wineries in the area and two different wine trails that stretch along both the Leelanau Peninsula and the Old Mission Peninsula. Planning a wine tour or even visiting a select few vineyards is a must during your getaway. Nothing says “unwind” more than enjoying a glass of your favorite red or white with a view of the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan and local flora.
SLEEPING BEAR DUNES
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was once voted GMA’s ‘Most Beautiful Place in America’ and is Michigan’s crown jewel in terms of natural beauty. When you live in the most beautiful place in the country, there truly is no better place to vacation than home. There are multiple ways to experience the beauty of the sandy dunes, Caribbean-blue waters, and forested islands. Try out the Dune Climb if you want to break a sweat while also taking in the views of Sleeping Bear. Want to get your steps in without working too hard on your staycation? Go on a hike at the Empire Bluff trail or the Pyramid Point trail. For a winding, scenic drive through the National Lakeshore with different lookout points and a sunset view that will take your breath away, head over to the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.
DINE IN DOWNTOWN TRAVERSE CITY
Every year, Traverse City grows more and more into a foodie town, and for good reason. The area has always been famous for its bounty of cherries, and the same soil that produces the fruit that garnered the title, “Cherry Capital of the World”, yields the produce used as ingredients to create the meals in local restaurants. Downtown Traverse City is packed with restaurants boasting delectable menus that use local produce, so make sure to treat your palette to dinner during your getaway.
THE VILLAGE AT GRAND TRAVERSE COMMONS
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is another one of Traverse City’s gems. The Village is the result of the renovation of the historic Traverse City State Hospital into an economic and residential center. If you’re interested in the history of the property, take a guided walking tour through the grounds. Thirsty after your tour? You have the option of coffee, beer, or wine, thanks to the brewery, winery, and two coffeehouses. There is an array of eateries in the Village and as well as an eclectic indoor shopping center called the Mercato. Not to mention, the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area offers 140 acres of unpaved parkland and hiking trails for all to explore. There are also various events year-round, so check the calendar and see if you can make it out to one!
The Dennos Museum Center is the perfect indoor activity to balance out the “outdoorsiness” of your staycation thus far. It is a cultural facility that offers exhibitions and programs in the visual arts, sciences and performing arts. The Dennos Museum Center houses a permanent Inuit art collection as well as featuring rotating exhibits by talented artists.
This winter, the snow-covered slopes are calling, and the only choice is to answer. Whether you ski, snowboard, or are just learning how to carve down the hill, Crystal Mountain has elevation for everyone. With nearly sixty runs, seven chairlifts, and two “magic carpet” surface lifts, you’ll be shredding the slopes all day long. Check out the Crystal Mountain website for a daily Snow Report to see the base depth, snowfall amount, and the number of trails and lifts open. Northern Michigan winters are underrated, and snow sports are one of the premier ways to get outside and enjoy the winter months.
Remember, Traverse City is exactly where we should be. Treat yourself to a staycation this season to respect, connect with, and celebrate the area we lovingly call home, and invite your neighbor to do the same!