Summer’s endless days are made for making memories. Ride bikes along miles of breathtaking trails or play a round of championship golf. In the summertime, opportunities for outdoor recreation here are at their peak. Whether you're a hiker or a cyclist, a paddler or an angler -- whether your idea of a good time is playing a round of golf or walking for miles down a beach -- there's always something to do here.
For information on places to stay, take a look at these lodging options.
Traverse City's surrounding areas offer a myriad of exciting ecotourism activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. The region's stunning natural beauty, with its lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and rolling hills, provides a perfect backdrop for sustainable tourism. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on scenic hiking and biking trails, immersing themselves in the region's diverse ecosystems and encountering fascinating wildlife along the way. Additionally, kayaking and canoeing adventures await on the peaceful and picturesque rivers and inland lakes, providing an up-close and personal experience with the region's aquatic ecosystems. Visitors can also engage in responsible fishing, bird-watching, and wildlife spotting, contributing to the conservation efforts in the area.
In summer, when many of America’s golf destinations are blazing with heat, the golf courses around Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Benzie counties are cool and comfortable throughout the day. And strange as it may sound, summer days are actually longer here than they are in the South: Traverse City is situated on the western edge of the eastern time zone, so far north that the light of a midsummer day can last until nearly 10 p.m.
Northern Michigan beaches – they’ve got the sand and beauty without the salt. Not to mention that every view looking out over the bay is picturesque on sunny and cloudy days alike. Stroll the shoreline, or run as fast as you can into the water, either way you will be rewarded by our fresh coast.
Traverse City is surrounded by scenic routes to quaint villages, port towns, lighthouses and beaches. Pack some snacks and take your time on a driving tour. Follow the coast along M-22 or M-37 to see the Leelanau or Old Mission Peninsulas -- both ending at a scenic lighthouse. Find additional outdoor recreation opportunities in Benzie county where there are endless miles of trails and lakeshore to explore.
Traverse City’s tree-shaded, pedestrian-friendly downtown is really a destination in itself, designed on an intimate scale with over 150 fascinating boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and galleries, and lots of places to sit and relax. Hunt for souvenirs in the many one-of-a-kind shops, browse the bookstores and art studios, or just enjoy an hour or two of people-watching.
Enjoy the sweet sounds of music that range from country, to jazz, to contemporary, to classical at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Concert Series. These concerts are a much-anticipated northern Michigan tradition, that have brought top-tier performers to Interlochen’s wooded campus since 1964. Events are hosted at the Kresge Auditorium, a 4,000-seat outdoor venue on the shores of scenic Green Lake.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore really does live up to its reputation. Towering sand dunes overlook a breathtaking expanse of water and islands, offering countless opportunities to be awestruck. Miles of beaches and hills on the west coast of the Leelanau Peninsula -- ready and waiting to be explored, and enjoyed.