Planning to travel to Traverse City, Michigan? You're in for a cherry good time! These are Traverse City's best experiences and attractions (all delicious and delightful!)
Just how crazy are the residents of Traverse City when it comes to cherries? A good benchmark is the legendary National Cherry Festival of Traverse City, Michigan, takes place every July. With more than 150 events happening in this charming small city - many with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan - it's a fun, family friendly, and delicious occasion. But cherry lovers who can't make a visit in July will still find plenty of sweet treats year round in Traverse City. We sure did! And we found that the Traverse City hotels and restaurants are just as enamored with cherries as we are.
Here are 5 of our favourite cherry experiences.
The Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery.
Local food is a specialty at the Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery, as is creative micro-brews, and 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 Brussels sprouts and Israeli couscous for me.)
Cherry based ingredients admittedly play a small role on their menu so the truly cherry obsessed might be a bit disappointed but we really enjoyed it. The food was delicious (and Ryan loved the beer), the setting is beautiful, and it has a really fun energy.
It's our personal pick for the best restaurant in Traverse City - but we really did love all our food experiences throughout the city. And the Traverse City food trucks are great!
2.) Doug Murdick's Fudge.
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 50 plus 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 point 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.
3.) The Cherry-Themed Shops.
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!
If you're hanging around, debating which stop to visit or what treats to buy, you should stick around and check out Traverse City's State Theatre - it was voted the best movie theater in the United States!
4.) The History Center.
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.
5.) The Spa at the Grand Traverse Resort.
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. As part of our stay at the Grand Traverse Resort, 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.
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Would you ever take a trip based on a theme?
If you enjoyed this article, you'll also like:
The Greatest Theatre in the World's in Traverse City
Golfing At The Bear in Traverse City
Hotel Review: The Grand Traverse Resort
Falling In Love With Traverse City's Food Trucks
Our visit was sponsored by the Traverse City Tourism Board. This did not affect my review and opinions remain my own.
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