Half the fun of traveling is being able to interact with the people who live, work and play in the place you're visiting.
There's no better way to find locals at their most relaxed than to seek out the places where they like to eat. Traditional Traverse City restaurants come in all styles and price ranges—but they're all popular with the people who call Traverse City home!
Whether you prefer elegant dining at a waterfront restaurant, grabbing sandwiches for a picnic at Lake Michigan, or a taco from a food truck, Traverse City's eclectic restaurants are the backbone to any trip itinerary.
All year round, you'll find that menus are focused on what's fresh out of the water and the land. To eat in Traverse City is to experience the history, agriculture and people who care for the resources, and the quirky creativity that brings it to your table.
The same can be said about Traverse City libations!
The uniquely fresh and aromatic wines grown throughout the Traverse Wine Coast have won the loyalty of delighted customers and the respect of wine critics. Thanks to the region's unique combination of climate, topography and soils—its terroir, as the French say—is producing wines that taste, well, like Traverse City. There are about 40 different tasting rooms and wineries to experience in the region.
Can beer also taste like its geographic location? You bet! The region's orchards and vineyards have been joined by acres of hopyards. Grown on enormous trellis systems, hops provide one of the key flavorings in beers. Brewers in the area also like to experiment with a local fruits, vegetables and herbs. Cherry pie in a beer? Yes, please!
Of course, "terroir" is not limited to beer and wine. The distilled spirits produced by Traverse City vintners and microdistillers also carry distinctive flavors—from fruit brandies produced by local wineries to small-batch vodkas and whiskeys made from the area's growing number of distilleries.
Where will you venture to first?
Be sure to check out the Leland Wine and Food Festival on June 8, Suds & Sun on June 15, Up North Pride Week from June 17 – 23, and all the flavor and fun offered at the National Cherry Festival, from June 29 – July 6!
Photo and content courtesy of Traverse City Tourism.