2014 04/11

Fall in love with Traverse City all over again!

Born and raised in Northern Michigan, it always does my  heart good when I get the chance to return north for a visit. There is just something about Northern Michigan. Highways are replaced with long, twisting roads through the countryside and the chain restaurants and stores are grossly outnumbered by unique, personally owned businesses and restaurants. All with a story. A history.

So, imagine my delight when I was invited last month to spend a weekend in Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula, visiting and learning about some of these amazing places!

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If you ever find yourself in the Traverse City area, here are some places you do not want to miss!

A place to rest your head…

Our fabulous host for the weekend was the lovely Cambria Suites. Let me just say that if you ever find yourself needing a place to rest your head, the Cambria Suites in Traverse City is the place to do it!

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Staff that are always going out of their way to make you feel welcomed. Beautiful rooms with a bed that you’ll never want to leave. And the food…wait, let me pause right here and say that hotels should take note of this. The food at the Cambria Suites was crazy good! Not your typical hotel restaurant menu. Nope! The chef and general manager of Reflect Bistro in the Cambria Suites, Scott Neumann, has created an amazing menu. I could feast on those lettuce wraps for days!!!

Espresso Bay Coffee…

If you finally do decide to leave the hotel {no judging if you don’t}, your first stop should be the Espresso Bay Coffee house downtown.

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The only coffee house to roast their beans right downtown, this quaint little coffee shop has some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. Owned and operated by Dan Guy {fellow Hope College alum}, Espresso Bay Coffee house is always looking for ways to make your coffee drinking experience the best. Not only do they roast their own beans on-sight, but they also do things like the pour-over method {which is how you should be drinking coffee} and they make their Pumpkin Pie Lattes with real pumpkin puree! So. Good.

Not a coffee drinker {shame on you}, then enjoy their made-in-house Italian Gelato made by none other than Dan’s mom!

Bower’s Harbor Vineyards…

If you make a trip to the Traverse City area and you do not take in a vineyard visit, then we need to re-evaluate your sanity! Even if you are not a wine drinker, the pure beauty of these vineyards is reason enough to stop. And Bower’s Harbor Vineyards is one of the best.

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Nestled on Old Mission Peninsula, the views at the vineyard are amazing! And the wines are pretty awesome, too!

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Stop in for some wine tasting to discover your new favorite. Tour the vineyards. Go back for more wine tasting. Take your wine out to the outdoor fire pit to take in the views. It’s all amazing!

And, if you are looking for some Winter fun, check out their Dog Sledding in the Vines! Doesn’t that look amazing!!!

Boathouse Restaurant…

I’m sure all that drinking…I mean touring has made you hungry! Super! Just down the road from Bower’s Harbor is a lovely little restaurant with, again, amazing views and equally amazing food! The Boathouse Restaurant is that perfect quaint restaurant where you know you’ll find food you’ll love. Not only does the Boathouse Restaurant procure as much as possible of their food from local farmers and fishermen, but many of the restaurant’s fruits, vegetables and herbs come right from the owners’ 10 acre farm! True farm to table!!

History abounds…

Not only is Traverse City and the Old Mission Peninsula growing and thriving today, but it is an area deeply rooted in some amazing history. This is evident in the historical Dougherty House.

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The first established home in the Northern Lower Peninsula, a team of devoted local historians are making it their mission to restore this beautiful home and share its rich history. Built in 1842 by missionary Peter Dougherty, it is amazing to me that this house has stood the test of time, development, and new ownership and is almost identical to its original construction. Definitely worth a stop on your trip!

Jolly Pumpkin Distillery and Brewery…

Time for an afternoon pick-me-up? Great! The Jolly Pumpkin Distillery and Brewery is just the place!

If you’re tired of me telling you how beautiful the setting is at all of these places, too bad! Because this one’s a stunner, too :) Of course their home-brewed brews and spirits are also great! Add in the fun atmosphere and you’ll be happy you stopped!

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Boone’s Prime Time Pub…

Before you head back to the Cambria Suites for that good night’s rest that you are longing for, it’s time to fill your belly once again. This time we’re taking a quick jaunt over to the lovely Sutton’s Bay. Old stomping grounds from my cheerleading competition days {Go Hurons!}, Suttons Bay is one of those beautiful little towns right on Grand Traverse Bay. And Boone’s Prime Time is a fun little pub located right downtown. Super fun atmosphere. Super yummy food. Super good drinks!

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Okay, okay, okay! Now you can head back to your room at the Cambria Suites. You deserve it. But get a good rest because tomorrow we’re going to do it all over again!!!

Seriously though, if you’re ever looking for a great weekend getaway, Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula cannot be beat. Beautiful all year long, you will not be disappointed. And the people will welcome you in just like you’re family. Because that’s what we do in Northern Michigan!

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Want to see more photos from my amazing weekend with #TravelTC? Check out my Instagram feed!

Thanks to MI Love & JustShortofCrazy for inviting me on this trip and to the Cambria Suites, The Cheese Lady, The Omelette Shop, Espresso Bay Coffee, Bower’s Harbor Vineyards, Boathouse Restaurant, Dougherty House, Jolly Pumpkin, and Boone’s Prime Time for your amazing hospitality! 

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