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Fall and shopping go together in Traverse City like cozy sweaters and crisp autumn days. Girlfriends’ getaways are especially popular this time of year as ladies round up their friends and head north to get a jump on their holiday shopping (and perhaps do a bit of wine tasting along the way).

Downtown Traverse City’s tree-lined streets and ivy-covered buildings paint the town in crimson and gold, while cozy restaurants and coffee shops welcome weary shoppers with bowls of steaming homemade soups and frothy mugs of cappuccino. Hit the clothing boutiques, two independent book shops and dozens of specialty shops, including a toy store with hard-to-find “real” toys that will become family treasures.

Fall is also the time to take advantage of end-of-the-summer sales. They start in August with Downtown Traverse City’s annual – and much anticipated – Street Sale the first Friday of August.

A 5-minute drive away is the historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons where you’ll discover more specialty shops, art galleries, an urban winery, and a tantalizing selection of restaurants – from a brick-oven bakery to an unforgettable take-out spot to fine dining establishments that will please even the most sophisticated palette.