Trying to catch 'em all in Traverse City? Luckily for you, downtown is rife with PokéStops and wild Pokémon, and the environmental diversity of the area helps to find tons of different kinds. Here's some tips for chasing 'em down and maybe finding some cool new spots along the way. 

Hit up Front Street -- a lot of the stores downtown are Pokémon Go-friendly. Especially Espresso Bay, a PokéStop that offers Pokémon-themed drinks, and ACE Hardware, which offers popcorn, water and air conditioning to busy Pokémon Go-ers. A lot of the stores are PokéStops as well, and seem quite used to people wandering inside and catching all the Pokémon in their stores. Don't forget to be respectful, though -- if you spend hours searching a restaurant for a Mewtwo, maybe you could sit down and have some lunch, too!

But don’t just search downtown. All the PokéStops are tempting (and usually lured), but you probably won’t get very rare Pokémon if you only wander down Front Street. Just like in the real game, water-type Pokémon usually hang out in the water, and grass-type Pokémon usually hide in the grass. Try heading for the Bay or one of the state parks or beaches to find something else other than Rattatas and Pidgeys.


Ride the bus. Many serious Pokémon Go-ers have found that public transportation is the key to picking up a ton of Pokémon. Buses move pretty slowly (though once you find a Pokémon, distance isn’t too much of a concern anymore) and travel all around Traverse City. However, a huge downside of catching ‘em all on the bus is missing out on a chance to explore and rediscover all the cool stuff Traverse City has to offer – and there’s a lot of cool stuff!

Join the Traverse City Pokémon Go Facebook page. It’s made specifically for “those that live in Traverse City and surrounding areas to talk about, meetup, and play Pokémon Go,” and hosts events and contests for serious players in the area. Hey, why not?

BONUS: One of their members created an awesome PokéStop route for maximum Pokémon efficiency -- 7,500 XP per hour! 

Find a gym. There's plenty in the area; one is even on the edge of Clinch Park Marina, so you can battle your Pokémon with a beautiful backdrop. There’s also one at a mural near Parking Lot Z, which is off of Hall Street. Others reside at the Traverse City Fire Department, the Ladies Library Building, the Central United Methodist Church, and the History Center of Traverse City. Just be sure to be respectful to the establishment and to the non-Pokémon Go-ers when you show up to battle!

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Check your server. Niantic, Pokémon Go's creator, didn’t seem to anticipate every single human being walking around and playing Pokémon, and their servers reflect that – you can expect some crashes or slower speeds around peak times. Luckily there’s a website where you can check the servers to make sure yours is online before you spend an hour staring at that dreaded "experiencing issues" screen.

Don’t give up on tracking! If you haven’t noticed, a glitch in the server seems to be causing all of the Pokémon nearby to have three feet under their icon (which indicates their distance away from you) no matter how far away they are, making it far more difficult to track them. This is apparently due to an overload of users and a subsequent decrease in the precision of the app’s GPS location abilities. But don’t worry! This is a glitch that will hopefully be fixed soon, and in the meantime, it gives you even more of a chance to wander around and discover new things!

And, most importantly, watch out for your surroundings and stay safe. Venonat in the middle of the road? Maybe pass on that one. And once again, don't forget to be respectful of whatever area you're in -- for example, even though there's a gym at the Central United Methodist Church, you should probably try defeating a different gym on Sundays. Good luck!