These are my 5 favourite cherry experiences in Michigan.
Local food is a specialty at the Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery, as is creative micro-brews, but I loved the tangy sweet dried cherry salsa on their pulled pork nachos. And I know my nachos! They were a great appetizer to share with friends before diving into our main courses (pizza for Ryan, white fish with Brussel sprouts and Israeli couscous for me.)
There's a great selection of fudge and candy shops in Traverse City but few can claim the longevity of Doug Murdick's Fudge, which has been in business for 49 years. They have the usual assortment of flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, and maple, but the real treats here are the black cherry and chocolate cherry fudge. The price is the same whether you ask for a quarter, half, or full pound, making it affordable to buy a small quantity and easy to mix and match.
Cherry Stop or Cherry Republic? Choosing a favourite cherry shop is a controversial topic in Traverse City! I wasn't in town long enough to form a strong loyalty, but I can report that both stores offer every possible cherry based product imaginable. Cherry chocolates, coffees, teas, baking mixes, granolas, jams, jellies, hot sauces, salsas, mustards, candles, and potpourri are just a few of the endless products for sale. I stuck with the most pack-able and affordable of them all and picked up a bag of dried Montgomery cherries. Delicious!
Cherries are more than just a sweet treat in Traverse City - they're at the core of the community's history. While many cherry orchards have ceased production in favor of more profitable ventures like wine making, there's no denying that cherries dominated Traverse City's early agricultural industry. A visit to the History Center is a must-do on any trip to Traverse City. While small, the museum's displays are diverse and comprehensive and do a great job of covering the history of cherry production in the region. Please remember to give a donation to support this free attraction.
A trip to the spa is always a special travel treat, but in Traverse City it's an even more memorable occasion when local, cherry infused products are used. During my visit, I sampled two of their signature cherry treatments. The cherry honey glow combines a cherry sugar scrub body treatment, a relaxing Vichy shower, and a cherry based lotion. It was incredibly tranquil and soothing, especially lying underneath the warm, rainfall style showers. The same cherry scrub is also used in the cherry infused pedicure, which includes a paraffin treatment. By the time I left the spa, my skin was silky smooth and I felt so pampered - but I was also re-energized. I had a great time chatting with the staff (who filled me in on some local ghost stories) and I also filled up on herbal tea and mouthwatering homemade granola bites with dried cherries. It was the perfect ending to a long travel day and I was left recharged with a second wind!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Would you ever take a trip based on a theme?
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My visit was sponsored by the Traverse City Tourism Board. This did not affect my review and opinions remain my own.