No Traverse City trip is complete without at least one day spent shopping our quaint boutiques, specialty shops, art galleries and antique shops. Downtown Traverse City is a destination unto itself, with its charming tree-lined streets, historic buildings and sidewalk cafes. Have lunch – or an afternoon cocktail – al fresco as you enjoy the summer breeze off nearby West Grand Traverse Bay. Pick up an “Up North” souvenir or some homemade fudge (an area specialty) to bring home to your favorite sweet tooth or to treat yourself. You’ll find dozens of one-of-a-kind shops ranging from independent book stores to clothing boutiques, sports apparel stores and toy shops.
The first Friday in August is the much anticipated Downtown Street Sale – an annual favorite of visitors and locals, alike. And each Friday evening in August Front Street becomes a giant block party with “Friday Night Live”, featuring street vendors, food, live music, face painting, street performers, and even rides on a historic fire engine.
Take a 5-minute drive to the Village at Grand Traverse Commons to soak up some local history while you investigate more boutiques, art galleries, wineries and restaurants. Allow enough time for a leisurely walk through the Common’s spectacular grounds and cool off with a gelato under a shady canopy of century-old trees.
Elegant shopping – and a whole lot of candy – can be found in the Tower Gallery of Shopsat the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, where you can find locally-made gifts, logo wear, toys and clothing for children and adults, in addition to Dylan’s Candy Bar, the wildly popular candy emporium.
Want to make a day of it? Head to one of the quaint towns within half an hour's drive to experience the relaxing feel of small-town shopping in the port towns of Leelanau or Antrim counties. Tooling along spectacular stretches of Grand Traverse Bay, you’ll realize the drive is half the fun! Before hitting the road, you might want stop at a local specialty food shop like Mary’s Kitchen Port or Folgarelli’s for gourmet-to-go sandwiches, bottles of soda pop and Michigan-made potato chips for an impromptu picnic along the way!
Farm markets are another not-to-be-missed stop during your visit to Traverse City. Enjoy seasonal produce as well as cheeses, preserves, flowers and handmade treasures. A perfect way to spend a warm summer day!