Traverse City, MI – one of best beach towns

More accolades for the area we’re visiting in northern Michigan. In June, named Traverse City one of the best beach towns. Does “up north” usually get this good press or am I just noticing it because we’re going there or is there a move afoot to help Michigan’s battered economy through increased tourism? Or all of the above?

8. Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City’s tawny beaches and towering dunes merit the moniker Malibu of Michigan. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features wilderness islands, trails through diverse ecosystems, and preserved historic farmsteads. This part of Michigan has a deep history and South Manitou Island, reachable by ferry, recreates pioneer days from old schoolhouse to 1871 lighthouse while area museums celebrate everything from steam railroads to Scandinavian heritage. Traverse City’s Victorian downtown boasts hundreds of galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Foodies should pick up a Tasty Traverse guide if they want to chat with brewers and bakers, fromageres and fishermen. There are also those great American summer activities like mini-golf, bumper boats, go karts, and video arcades. Early July brings the famous National Cherry Festival with arts-and-crafts fairs, air shows, and cherries baked, pressed, and jammed in every way possible.

The picturesque Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas north of town proved surprisingly conducive to grape-growing, notable for Rieslings, Pinot Noirs, and ice wines (try Chateau Grand Traverse).

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