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Home » Fairs and Festivals, Family Beaches, Kid Friendly Parks, Low Cost Kid Friendly Activities, Michigan, Road Trips, Summer, Travel News, Traverse City

Traverse City Michigan Named one of Summer’s Top 10 Trips by Nat Geo

Submitted by on Tuesday, June 26, 20126 Comments

 Traverse city beach

PHOTO: A secluded beach near Pyramid Point at the Sleeping Bear Dunes, just west of Traverse City.

National Geographic picks Traverse City as one of Top 10 Summer Trips for 2012
What does little Traverse City have in common with Barcelona, Scotland’s Argyll region, and Bolivia’s Isla del Sol? It was named to National Geographic’s list of the Top 10 Summer Trips for 2012.

“The region’s 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline basically trace the upper left edge of Michigan’s ‘mitten,’ “reads the article on National Geographic’s website.  “Add another 149 inland lakes that are 10 acres or larger and you get a rambling Cape Cod-on-freshwater summer playground: quaint port villages, sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, rolling orchards, family-friendly festivals (including the National Cherry Festival, July 7-14), and summer-only Traverse City Beach Bums pro baseball games (team members bunk with local families).

Traverse City’s TART Trails part of New US Bicycle Route 35
Two major Traverse City recreational trails, the 10.5-mile crosstown TART Trail and the 15.5-mile Leelanau Trail from Traverse City to Suttons Bay, are included in the nation’s newest cycling road,U.S. Bicycle Route 35. USBR 35 extends for 501 miles along a network of state highways, roads, and regional trails from the Indiana border to Sault Ste. Marie, passing dozens of lakefront towns, sandy beaches, and historic destinations.

History Center Introduces Bus Tours
The Traverse City History Center has inaugurated what they’re calling a Magical History Tour– a 90 minute bus tour that showcases such key places as Front Street, Sixth Street, Old Town, the city waterfront and the Grand Traverse Commons. The tours will be held on Mondays (when tickets are only $10) and Wednesday through Saturdays. Aside from those discount Mondays, tickets are $14.95 for adults and $10.95 for students and seniors.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is renovating 238 rooms in its six-story section, with new carpeting, bedding, furniture, 37-inch flat screen TVs, new phones/iPod docking stations as well updates to the heating/air conditioning controls and the addition of a sprinkler system. The resort has invested heavily in infrastructure and technology since 2011, including repaving of its main parking lot, major roofing, new fiber optic lines and a new power cable.  Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Director of Tennis, Christopher “Mick” Michalowski has been certified by the United States Tennis Association’s Tennis High Performance Coaching Program and is recognized by the USTA and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) as a Specialist in Competitive Player Development.

Elmbrook Golf Course has launched its own golf school, the Elmbrook Golf Academy. Area PGA Professionals Brian Davis and Tom Van Pelt will offer instruction programs for adults and juniors, beginners and advanced.

Blue Lakes Charters & Tours has acquired Great Northwest Tour and Travel, a transportation and tour company based in Traverse City.

Jul 4-29 — Horse Shows by the Bay
Thousands of the nation’s best horses and riders competing in the International Olympic disciplines of show jumping and dressage. Feature events are scheduled on the weekends and include the exciting Gran Prix plus exhibitions, family activities and charity fundraisers.

Jul 5-8 — Cedar Polka Fest
This Polish-American Leelanau Peninsula community kicks up its heels at a four-day party with hearty food, drink and continuous polka music and dancing.  Call for admission prices for adults.  Ages 12 and under are free when accompanied by parent.

Jul 7-14 — National Cherry Festival
Traverse City celebrates its role as America’s Cherry Capital with an eight-day party featuring over 150 family activities: air shows, fireworks, parades (including the nation’s largest all-children parade) games, races, midway rides, demonstrations, nightly outdoor concerts and lots of chances to taste delicious cherry products.

Jul 14 — Leland Artists’ Market
The 16th annual art fair will include 100 art booths featuring fine art paintings,photography, pottery, tiles, hand-blown glass, jewelry, woodcarving, basketry, fiber, folk art, sculpture, and quality artisan wares. http://www.oldartbuilding.com

Jul 20-Aug 10 — Friday Night Live
Held each Friday from July 20th through Aug 10 from 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., downtown’s popular community block party features a full slate of music, entertainment, food, demonstrations and family activities along the 100 and 200 blocks of East Front Street.

Jul 27-29 — Cherry Bomb Lacrosse Tournament
This tournament brings together the best lacrosse teams from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and Canada for what promises to be one of the top competitive events in the Midwest. Free of charge.

Jul 31-Aug 5 — Traverse City Film Festival
An outstanding selection of independent, foreign, and documentary films, as well as premieres, parties, panel discussions and lectures about the world of film. Most events are held near downtown. Free family movies are shown each night at an outdoor screen on the shore of West Grand Traverse Bay.

Aug 3 — Paella in the Park
An evening festival celebration with wine, food and live music that pairs the seven Old Mission Peninsula wineries with seven regional chefs who prepare 36″ pans of Spanish paellas over an open fire on-site.

Aug 4 — Classic Boats on the Boardwalk
A judged show along the Boardman River boardwalk, featuring 50 boats, circa 1900 through current wooden classics, including high-powered mahogany runabouts, hydroplanes, outboards, vintage engines, powered launches, wooden canoes, and rowboats. Admission is free.

Aug 4-5 — Suttons Bay Community Art Festival
One of the most competitive art shows in Michigan, this festival at Suttons Bay’s Marina Park features some of the area’s best artists and crafters as well as artisans from other parts of the country.

Aug 10-12 — Cherry Roubaix Cycling Race
Traverse City hosts the Michigan State Road Race Championship and delivers three days of activities and events on scenic Old Mission peninsula, Leelanau County and downtown Traverse City. http://www.cherry-roubaix.com

Aug 16-19 — 43rd Annual Buckley Old Engine Show
This event has over 700 antique gas and steam tractors, cars and trucks — and a working 1923 steam locomotive that runs around a mile of track. http://www.buckleyoldengineshow.org

Aug 18 — Rubber Ducky Festival
The Village of Bellaire’s “12 Days of Summer” observance culminates with a parade, a foot race, an arts & crafts show on the Courthouse Lawn, and the  Rubber Ducky Race in which 2,000 Rubber Ducks are dumped into the Intermediate River. http://www.bellairechamber.org

Aug 18 — TC Waterman Challenge & Expo
The Midwest’s largest Stand Up Paddle Board challenge & Expo event, staged on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. Events include a 3.5 mile recreational challenge course, 10-mile down-winder distance race,  Open Age-Group Events, free kid’s races, demonstrations and beginner clinics, live music, and an awards luau banquet. http://www.tcwaterman.com

Aug 18 — Downtown Art Fair
Fine art will fill the streets on this weekend in Downtown Traverse City.  This annual juried art fair features over 90 Midwest and National artists.  Open to the public free of charge. http://www.downtowntc.com

Aug 18-19 — Peshawbestown Traditional Pow Wow
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians holds its annual Pow Wow featuring native singers, dancers and artisans.http://www.gtbindians.org/departments/eyaawing.html

Aug 19 — 4th Annual Traverse City Triathlon
A swim in the calm waters of Bowers Harbor, followed by a cycling course that winds along orchards and vineyards, on the Old Mission Peninsula and finally a run along Neahtawanta Road Sprint and Olympic distances are both included. http://www.enduranceevolution.com

Aug 24–25– Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival
Great craft beers from around the Midwest, focusing especially on Michigan brews, and a lineup of acclaimed musical guests headed by country great Dierks Bentley. http://www.porterhouseproductions.com

Sep 14 — Downtown Art Walk
Downtown Traverse City invites you to enjoy art, wine, food and music during this walking tour where you can experience sculpture, paintings, glass and watercolor.  Prize Drawings at participating stores. http://www.downtowntc.com

Sep 15-19 — NHL Prospect Tournament
The Detroit Red Wings, and seven other NHL hockey clubs(Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues) conduct this annual tournament in Traverse City’s Centre ICE arena. http://www.centreice.org/ProspectTournament.htm

Sep 22-27 — Red Wings Training Camp
Every autumn for a few days, Traverse City becomes “Hockeytown North” when the Detroit Red Wings bring their fall training camp to Centre ICE Arena. Hundreds of fans come to watch and meet team members in what may be the sport’s most “up close and personal” series of events.

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