Why Traverse City is the best city in Michigan

Riley Coesens, Editor in Chief

Most famously known for its annual “Cherry Festival” in July, Traverse City boasts an array of activities to please tourists year-round. Located with dozens of beaches on the shorelines of Lake Michigan, this city caters to both winter and summer enthusiasts. In downtown Traverse City, hundreds of local shops and chains meet the needs of “foodie” tourists while appealing to a diverse population of adventure-seekers. Opportunities for fun and relaxation prevail in everyday life in this city, making it the best place in the State of Michigan anyone to enjoy. 

Most tourists go to Traverse City during the summer months for the Cherry Festival and the beaches. At “Cherry Fest,” people move from booth to booth to try seasonal treats and purchase cherry-themed goodies. Customized t-shirts and sweatshirts are commonly bought items, as well as cherry or Michigan-themed gift shop trinkets. The “open space” at the event showcases dozens of traditional carnival attractions and greasy snacks (e.g elephant ears, Gibby’s fries, cotton candy, etc.). Every year, there are multiple concerts and live music events throughout the week across from the open space–ferris wheel riders can often hear and the see performances! The boat launch docks on the bay are open for people to view the water, take pictures, and watch fireworks on the fourth of July, and the residential streets leading to the festival’s core are lined with unique arts and crafts made by local and international creators. Finally, the “grand finale” of the event is a series of races that participants may sign up for. This summer, the following are included in the Meijer Festival of Races: the Priority Health 5k, 10k, McKinley Challenge 15k, and the Chateau Grand Half Marathon.

The next attraction for many visitors to this exquisite city are the beaches. During warmer months, thousands of tourists flock to West Bay’s sparkling shorelines to experience what summer is truly about: spending time with family and friends in the sun, eating good food, and relaxing. Temperatures range from the mid-60’s to mid-90’s, and the crisp, refreshing freshwater in Traverse City is unlike anywhere else. Other smaller cities surrounding both West and East Bay may offer similar beach experiences, including finding treasured petoskey stones, but few can match the other benefits of staying in a place with so much variety. Several dozen hotels line the bay, as well as both chain and local cuisine, let people find exactly what they desire. 

Winter is also an inviting time for tourists to Traverse City–that cannot be said for very many places! The city receives an average of 118 inches of snow annually; skiers and snowboards are attracted to nearby slopes and children often enjoy sledding and ice skating around the many lakes. Snowmobiliers move through secluded wooded terrain and cottage-owners sit by log fires with mugs of hot chocolate, taking in the serenity that defines “up north.”

Front Street also tempts many to visit Traverse City. Packed with tiny coffee shops on the Boardman River, cozy bookstores, clothing boutiques, and family-owned restaurants, this multi-block attraction caters to all. Town favorites that entice many tourists include Grand Traverse Pie Company, Kilwins, and Sleder’s, each providing different flavors for interested foodies. 

Traverse City has something to offer for everyone. Hundreds of options closer to city life, as well as further in nature, are available for tourists to explore and make them want to come again.