I'm going to be in Traverse City for a week this summer. I love being outdoors, and will never turn down good food. What are the best things to do, see, and eat in this city?
Spending a week around Traverse City is a great idea! You will have no problem keeping yourself busy if you enjoy the outdoors. Having your own car will definitely be helpful, so for the sake of this answer I will assume you will have one.
The kind of outdoor activities that are right for you will come down to your budget and your interests. In the city itself I'm sure that you will stroll Front Street Mortgage as it is the center of activity in the town. Other sites include Old Mission Lighthouse and Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College.
For hiking consider Traverse Area Recreation Trail or Sleeping Bear Dunes. Visiting the dunes is a must anyways. You can climb the giant sand dunes or select from a dozen different hiking trails. Stop by the Sleeping Bear Dunes Park Headquarters for more information on the trails.
For more adrenaline pumping activities consider parasailing or taking a hot air balloon ride. There are many other options like water skiing, wake boarding, horseback riding, canoeing or kayaking, paragliding, and fishing charters. Spending time on a water trampoline is also some super ridiculous fun.
After all of that activity you will probably be hungry and thirsty- let's talk about thirst first. These are recommendations if you are 21+:
Right Brain Brewery: They have mead and good food too!
Grand Traverse Distillery: The best thing about this place is that you can buy a mini barrel of their whiskey to take home and age for as long as you like. Their showroom is open every day and tours are Thursday to Saturday.
Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery: This is one of the most popular boutique vineyards in the region.
And some non-alcoholic options:
Light of Day Organics: This is a great place to sample local teas and herbal teas.
And then food:
Om cafe is truly one of the most progressive restaurants in town with an excellent vegetarian and vegan menu.
Evergreen Market is a good market to stock up on food stuffs made in Michigan, with lots of cherry products of course. Stop here before hiking to get some trail snacks.
Harvest is one of the most popular dining options in town, and for a reason. The food is fresh and full of flavor. Their pulled pork tacos are famous in the region.
Grand Traverse Pie Co. People swear this is the best pie ever. They have a nice cafe menu too.
Well I hope that is helpful for you!
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In addition to the excellent info provided by Crystal, one addition is the whole Peninsula not just the Old Mission Lighthouse. Perhaps even taking a hire bike along the trails which are part of the Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART)...
Be sure to pick up American Spoon preserves from their shop in E Front St and right opposite is a wonderful cinema State Theatre, which if the weather goes odd - you can catch up on a movie in this regional treasure.
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