Blog Article

Visitor’s Guide to Traverse City

Welcome to Traverse City! Traverse City offers the best of both worlds in a beautiful and relaxing region, from shopping, dining, and culture to sandy beaches and more. While in town, visit our West Shore Bank branch at 400 E. Eighth Street, nestled in the NOBO district and just a short walking distance from downtown. Whether you are in town for leisure or business, stop by to talk to one of our friendly, local bankers. No matter how short or long your visit, you can find plenty of things to do in our Visitor’s Guide to Traverse City.

Top Attractions 

Check out these timeless and popular landmarks.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes is a national lakeshore on Michigan’s northwest coast, about a 40 minute drive from Traverse City. This popular attraction is known for its massive sand dunes, which visitors enjoy climbing. You can enjoy scenic views at the top or continue hiking all the way over the dune to Lake Michigan on the other side.

Within Sleeping Bear Dunes, there’s also a 7.4 mile scenic drive with beautiful overlooks, picnic areas, and hiking trails. And, while you’re in the area, check out the cute town of Glen Arbor with its shops and places to eat.

Traverse City State Park

Located just two miles from downtown Traverse City, this park sits on Grand Traverse Bay and offers accommodations for camping as well as a day-use area with a playground and beach access. This is a great place to spend the day relaxing on the beautiful beach or to visit for one or more nights.

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

This mixed-use residential, commercial, and recreational space is a redevelopment project on the grounds of the former Traverse City State Hospital. You can take a tour to learn about the history of the place and there are a variety of shopping, dining, and other amenities options to discover. Visitors can also rent accommodations and stay at The Village.

Leelanau State Park

Drive north from Traverse City on scenic M-22 to reach Leelanau State Park at the tip of the peninsula. Tour the historic Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, play on the playground, or explore the park’s trail system. Camping is also available. 

Leland’s Historic Fishtown

Situated on the Leland River in Leland, Fishtown consists of historic shanties, smokehouses, and docks. It’s still a working waterfront and commercial fishing operation, but there are also shops and eateries within the historic buildings. Fishing, boating, and kayaking are also available. 

Outdoor Activities

With its gorgeous waterfront, peaceful woods, and abundant wildlife, Traverse City is a good place to get outside.

Cherry Picking

Traverse City is considered the Cherry Capital of the World, with many farms and cherry orchards in Leelanau County. Discover local farms where you can pick your own cherries

Water Sports

Located on Grand Traverse Bay, with many other bodies of water in the area, Traverse City is a prime location for water sports such as kayaking, jet skiing, paddleboarding, and more. You can bring your own watercraft or rent one for the day.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Traverse City is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors on foot or on two wheels. Discover multi-use trails in Grand Traverse as well as bike trails and bike rental opportunities

Culinary Experiences

Enjoy fresh drinking and dining experiences.

Traverse Wine Coast

The Traverse Wine Coast consists of two peninsulas north of Traverse City, Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula. This wine-producing region is a popular destination for its high-quality wines, including cool-climate varietals fed by Lake Michigan. Discover local wineries on the Traverse Wine Coast.

Local Breweries

In addition to wineries, Traverse City is also known for its craft brewing scene. Discover local microbreweries, brewpubs, and taprooms.

Must-Visit Restaurants

Foodies will enjoy the vibrant dining scene in Traverse City. From fresh seafood to local and seasonal ingredients, there’s something for every palate here, including gluten free and vegetarian or vegan diners. Check out the Traverse City Restaurant Guide to find your next great meal.

Family-Friendly Activities

The Traverse City area offers endless family fun, whether you’re here for the day, a week, or all summer long.

Great Lakes Children’s Museum

Great for a rainy day or anytime you need to keep kids occupied. This children’s museum in Traverse City has a water table, lighthouse exhibit, cargo ship, art room, and more.

Clinch Park

Enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer in downtown Traverse City. Clinch Park has a sandy beach with shallow water for younger kids to splash in safely, a designated swimming area with lifeguards, a marina for visitors who want to take their boat out for the day, access to Traverse City’s multi-use trail system, playground and picnic areas, and more.

Cherry Republic

Visit the flagship store in Traverse City to shop for cherry products, consume cherry-infused foods and beverages, sample cherry wines, and more.

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Park

Fun for the whole family with a pirate-themed mini golf course, go-cart track, bumper boats, and game room.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Enjoy seasonal fun and special events all year round!

National Cherry Festival

If you’re in the area for Cherry Festival week, check out the live music, family fun, and more. And of course, feast on the world’s best sweet cherries!

Traverse City Restaurant Week

Get out during the winter to enjoy discounted meals at Traverse City’s best dining establishments.

Fall Color Tours

Leelanau County is a great place to enjoy fall foliage, along with everything else the region has to offer. Stop at a winery while you’re out leaf peeping or just soak in the beauty of autumn in Traverse City. Get ideas for creating your own fall color tour here.

About West Shore Bank

Since 1898, West Shore Bank has been committed to providing exceptional banking services to individuals, families, and businesses along the lakeshore. Learn more about our community partnerships in Traverse City and surrounding towns.


Excerpt for Visitor’s Guide to Traverse City

Welcome to Traverse City on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay “up north” in Michigan. From shopping, dining, and culture, to sandy beaches and more, we offer the best of both worlds in a beautiful and relaxing region to visit.