Postcard-perfect Traverse City attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year for its annual National Cherry Festival, but those in the know also rock up to the northern Michigan burg for its grapes – well, more specifically for the boozy by-product, found bottled all along the Traverse Wine Coast. This bayside town also has ample activities for outdoorsy folks, too – including scaling a dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Here’s where to stay in Traverse City, Michigan – bookable on Culture Trip.
On the eastern shores of Grand Traverse Bay, Pinestead Reef Resort offers guests 46 bayview suites and a stretch beach twice the length of a football field. The two and three-bedroom units feel 80s nostalgic – with more than a sprinkle of leatherette, funky upholstering and plastic-esque furniture. But that’s not to say it’s completely stuck in the past – you’ll also get a flat-screen TV with cable, HBO and a DVD player. You won’t want to spend your holiday in front of a screen anyway – the indoor heated pool is waiting for you.
Water, water, everywhere: let the little ones splish, splash and slide the day away at Great Wolf Lodge’s indoor water park. Standard, themed and premium suites offer stays tailored to your family’s needs – and on-site dining options cater to even the fussiest little madam or mister. In the winter months, Great Wolf Lodge hosts Snowland – where kids can meet Santa, have fun with arts and crafts, start a family dance party to holiday tunes and even do yoga to a wintry tale.
Simple and chic, Cambria Hotel Traverse City is smack-dab between the east and west arms of Grand Traverse Bay and right off Front Street. Unwind in your roomy suite and spa-inspired bathroom – before taking the free shuttle downtown to eat out in one of the area’s many cozy restaurants. We suggest chef favorite the Cooks’ House, which has been open for more than a decade – or the newly opened and well-reviewed Palestinian-inspired bakery and coffee shop, Hexenbelle.
Set away from the action of the city, the rustic charm of Innisfaire Bed and Breakfast calls to travelers who like to live on the quieter side of life. Originally built in the 1940s by Traverse City writer and historian Larry Wakefield, the current bungalow-lodge is still surrounded by the spirea, forsythia, violets, fruit trees, flowering bulbs and ivy planted by Wakefield and his wife. Soak in the sunrise from the waterfront deck – or take a kayak or canoe onto the water.
Located inland less than 10 minutes from the west bay is a Breath of Heaven Bed and Breakfast. Like the name suggests, stays here are full of fresh air, pastoral sights and sounds – and oh-so-heavenly views. The cozy vibes of this 4,200sqft-plus (sqm) custom log home were set in 2014 by owners Scott and Laurie Vaughn – who opened their B&B so they could share their love for the area with visitors.
Although it shares a name with a show known for beachside hotties and their ocean-going heroics, you won’t find a trace of drama at this relaxation station. In fact, the only thing this resort has in common with “Baywatch” is living life in slow motion. There’s no communal hot tub or pool and no rowdy bar because guests here come for rest and rejuvenation – whether in a calming cottage-style room or along the 260ft (m) stretch of private beach.
At Delamar Traverse City, clean lines accentuate the views from each guestroom and suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Grand Traverse Bay. Take a stroll on the waterfront right outside your door, or charter a boat on the bay, then enjoy the farm-fresh fare at on-site Artisan Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern – which has fine dining in the main dining room or the relaxed tavern. On warm nights, an alfresco meal on the outdoor patio is a must.