We think Traverse City is a pretty great place. Turns out, USA Today agrees. Many local businesses and attractions have been featured on their “10 Best” polls, so we collected 10 of the winners to highlight.

1. Best Ice Cream Parlor: Moomers Homemade Ice Cream

Oh yes, we’re #1! Moomers, a haven of sugary goodness, is one of our favorite places to visit during the summer months. (And we love eating the ice cream all year round!) All visitors must try their award-winning Cherries Moobilee—then explore dozens of other flavors.

2. Best Wine Country Hotel: The Inn at Black Star Farms

We're #1 again! Black Star Farms combines a winery, a stunning inn, and all kinds of amazing experiences from private tours to wine dinners to hiking and biking trails just out the back door. The inn sure deserves this win...we'd book it in a heartbeat!

A cherry tree at King Orchards

3. Best Specialty Food Festival: National Cherry Festival

We’ll accept the bronze medal, thank you very much! (With a cherry on top!) The National Cherry Festival has it all—concerts by the bay, cherry pit spitting contests, a family-friendly midway, and an amazing parade. We can’t wait for 2021!

4. Best Brewpub: Jolly Pumpkin

Cheers to #4! Take a drive out Old Mission Peninsula to find this laidback pub tucked in a historic building. From craft beer to delicious food, a visit to Jolly Pumpkin never disappoints.

5. Best Small Town Food Scene: Traverse City

Yum, yum, yum. We’ve taken this award home several times over the years thanks to the amazing restaurants in town. Downtown TC is a foodie hot spot, with choices like Vietnamese, French, and Italian at your fingertips…plus cool food trucks and plenty of outdoor dining to explore.

6. Best Places in July: Traverse City

We actually think we should be in first place for this award, because what’s better than summertime in TC? The summer sun shines for 15+ hours, the bays offer a refreshing reprieve, and cherries—and other fresh delights—are in season. We wouldn’t spend July anywhere else.

7. Best Beer Bar: 7 Monks Taproom

Bottoms up! Found in downtown TC, 7 Monks Taproom combines comfort with class in its cozy digs on Union Street. Choose from over 50 beers—plus ciders, wines, and cocktails—alongside yummy, upscale pub fare.


8. Best Craft Whiskey Distillery: Traverse City Whiskey Co.

Coming in at #8 is the hottest whiskey joint in town. TC Whiskey (as we locals call it), is hand-crafted right here in northern Michigan...which you'll see in some of their cherry-inspired products. Pro tip: whatever your drink may be, also get the cocktail cherries. Trust us.

9. Best Small Town Cultural Scene: Traverse City

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. The State Theatre. The City Opera House. The Dennos Museum. These gems and so many more make TC a cultural hot spot. Get to know our arts and entertainment options here.

10. Best Wine Region: Leelanau Peninsula

There’s nothing like the wine trail on Leelanau Peninsula. Where else can you find gorgeous lake views, award-winning wines, and the charming small towns that make up this little slice of paradise? 

And special bonus #11: Best Michigan Attraction: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

No visit to northern Michigan is complete without a stop at the stunning Sleeping Bear Dunes. Whether you’re biking the Heritage Trail, summiting the Dune Climb, or wandering a trail to the shores of Lake Michigan, you’ll find yourself in a pretty great place.