Traverse City: Detroit Moms’ Favorite Michigan Vacation Spots

Traverse City will always hold a special place in my heart, especially when it comes to my marriage. It’s where newly dating us traveled for a bar crawl, where we got engaged, where we brought our oldest on a family vacation and where we know we can head to just get away. Only a few hours from Metro Detroit, Traverse City is the perfect spot for a getaway with your special someone. The food, fun, and culture could take days to cover but I am more than happy to provide you a weekend itinerary.


Pointes North | 2211 N US 31 N, Traverse City, 231-938-9191
Ten minutes outside of town, this unpretentious hotel sits on 300′ of private beach and offers a cozy bed at a good price point. 

Throughout the years we have stayed at a few rentals downtown. They usually provide an easygoing atmosphere and binder full of local recommendations.  

Tamarack Lodge | 2035 N US 31 N, Traverse City, 877-938-9744
Luxury accommodations and panoramic bay views make this location the perfect setting for a romantic weekend away.


Brady’s Bar | 401 S Union St, Traverse City, 231-946-8153
THE MOST IMPORTANT STOP OF ANY TRAVERSE WEEKEND! If you like hot wings, I will tell you that the best ones don’t come from Buffalo. They come from Brady’s. A dimly lit haunt for locals serving up cold beer and great bar food.

Apache Trout | 13671 S W Bay Shore Dr, Traverse City, 231-947-7079
Seated on the bay and serving up fresh local seafood, juicy steaks, and desserts, this is a great place to dress up a bit and split some Key Lime Pie for dessert. The Shrimp and Lobster Bisque is the best. 


Michigan has a great wine scene and many of the popular wineries are located near Traverse City. The sandy soil, damp lake air and climate allow for quality grape growth resulting in tasty bottles. I recommend spending a day on each peninsula, leisurely sipping, snacking, and shopping your way through some Mitten offerings.

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail  
The Old Mission Peninsula is home to 10 wineries within about five miles of each other. Drive out to the Old Mission Lighthouse for a photo op and then snake your way back through classics like the stunning Chateau Chantal or enjoy the more modern vibe at 2 Lads.

Leelanau Peninsula Wineries  
This one is all about that M-22 drive and scenery! Stop off for a dune climb or hit one of the 20+ wineries along the way for sips and shopping. My favorite find on the Leelanau isn’t a winery at all; it’s Tandem Ciders, a funky little spot with artisanal ciders and pickled eggs. 


In addition to juicy grapes, this region serves up some serious hops. If you aren’t into wine and would rather dive into a perfectly bitter IPA or a deep stout, you still belong in Traverse City!

Kayak Brewery Tours  
If you like kayaks and craft beer, you’re in for a treat. These guided tours take you from brewery to brewery by way of the Boardman River.   

Right Brain Brewery | 225 E Sixteenth St, Traverse City, 231-944-1239
Right Brain is my shining star. It deserves it’s own mention because the tasty beers can get so crazy. Thai Peanut? Pig parts? Asparagus? Right Brain has it all. Also, the flights are huge and the waffle sandwiches are perfection. Don’t skip it. 


  • The Sleeping Bear Dunes are located about 25 miles west of Traverse City along the shores of Lake Michigan. Travel miles of trails, or challenge yourself to the Dune Climb, an imposing wall of sand that will have your heart pumping.
  • Nearby Glen Arbor is home to beautiful views of Glen Lake and tasty burgers at Art’s Tavern.
  • Try your hand at the Turtle Creek Casino which offers an expansive floor and table games 24/7.

Where is your family’s favorite vacation spot in Michigan? Check out some of our team’s favorites in our summer-long series!

Pentwater | Petoskey | Houghton/Hancock | Grand Haven | Mackinaw City | Mackinac Island


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