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Day Trip in Grand Traverse County

Home, sweet home! Grand Traverse County is the seat of our beloved Traverse City, as well as numerous recreational and cultural opportunities. Start planning your trip with these top spots!

How to Get There

There are so many gems throughout the county, including Traverse City proper, Old Mission Peninsula, Acme, Williamsburg, Kingsley, and more. Main thoroughfares include US-31 and M-37.

What to Do

  • Mmm, breakfast time! Start the day at one of the two yummy breakfast spots at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons: S2S Sugar 2 Salt or Red Spire Brunch House.
  • You’re in one of the most unique historic sites in the country, so let’s explore! Hike the trails behind the Commons—look for the Hippie Tree!—or wander through the Mercato shops to find the perfect souvenir. Better yet, take one of their amazing tours to get the scoop on the former asylum.​


  • Hop in the car, because we’re heading out on Old Mission peninsula. Stop for lunch and a beer at Jolly Pumpkin or get sandwiches to go at Bad Dog Deli.
  • Mission Point Lighthouse is located at the end of the peninsula, where it once guided sailors home. Check out the beautiful wooded trails with picturesque views, walk along the Grand Traverse Bay shoreline, or climb to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee.
  • No trip out on Old Mission would be complete without a visit to one of the wineries. Find your new favorite bottle with red, white, sparkling, and even cider to choose from!
  • Time to wind down with a stroll along Front Street in Downtown Traverse City. You’ll find independent bookstores, trendy boutiques, and the classic M-22 store, along with dozens of others. Pop in for a happy hour beverage along the way—7 Monks has a great selection of local beer and Grand Traverse Distillery has a satellite tasting room.
  • How do you choose where to eat dinner downtown? From Vietnamese at The Good Bowl to Italian cuisine at Sorellina to upscale pub food at Rare Bird Brewery, the world is your oyster. See all your options here.
  • The sunset beckons as the day comes to a close. Clinch Park and West End Beach offer serene views of the sun sinking into the bay just a block from downtown.

Bonus Ideas

The Boardman River runs through Traverse City and is a top spot for fly fishing, so be sure to bring your tackle box. Golfers shouldn’t miss playing a round or two at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, home to three championship courses, including Jack Nicklaus’s The Bear. And if you’re seeking more time in the great outdoors, get to know the non-motorized TART trail system, which takes you all over town—and beyond—by foot or bike.  

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