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25 Ways to Enjoy Yourself in Traverse City in the Summer

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
  1. Bike or hike the 25 miles of the Tart and Leelanau Trails.
    The 10-mile Traverse Area Recreational Trail and the 15-mile Leelanau Trail take hikers and cyclists all the way from Acme to Suttons Bay, passing through a varied landscape of beaches, forests, wetlands and city neighborhoods.
  2. Discover 25 spring wildflowers.
    The woods around Traverse City are full of spring flowers: giant white trilliums, tiny pink spring beauties, yellow trout lilies and dainty blue forget-me-nots. Explore the richness of our spring forests!
  3. Taste 25 different kinds of pie.
    The Grand Traverse Pie Company actually makes 27 varieties of fruit pie – including six kinds of cherry pie. And that’s not counting the seven kinds of cream pie and all the other cookies, scones and other goodies they have on sale every day.
  4. Take two 25-year steps into the past.
    That will put you in 1958, the perfect year to enjoy two of our most nostalgic attractions. Stop in at Don’s Drive-In, an old-fashioned 1950s-style burger joint on Traverse City’s East Bay waterfront that’s a favorite with summer visitors. Then take in a double feature at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In, where nothing has changed since 1953 except the movies.
  5. Spit a cherry pit 25 feet.
    It shouldn’t be too hard – after all, the world’s record for spitting these slippery little critters is 100 feet and 4 inches. It’s a summertime ritual in Traverse City – but the folks at Cherry Republic make it easy by selling packets of ready-to-spit chocolate-covered cherry pits!
  6. Stop in for some baseball with the Traverse City Beach Bums.
    Join Traverse City’s own baseball team for an evening of great Frontier League ball.
  7. Sample 25 award-winning wines.
    The Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas boast 29 wineries where some of the world’s freshest and cleanest-tasting wines are being made. Two of our wineries also operate off-site tasting rooms — just for your convenience!
  8. Celebrate 125 years of history at Sleder’s Family Tavern.
    Built by Bohemian sawmill workers in 1882, Sleder’s is one of Michigan’s oldest taverns, and a great place to enjoy good fun and good food in an authentic pioneer atmosphere. (Make sure to kiss the moose!)
  9. Take a 25 mile-drive to the 45th Parallel.
    The quaint Old Mission Lighthouse stands in a lovely park at the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula — smack on the 45th Parallel, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. It’s a fast 20-mile drive up M-37, but why not take the longer, prettier trip along the water’s edge?
  10. Skip 25 stones at Bryant Park Beach.
    Or West End, Clinch Park, Haserot, Empire Good Harbor, Otter Creek or any of the dozens of beaches in the Traverse City area. It’s surprisingly addictive, and when you’re done you can take a stroll, catch a few rays and enjoy the beauty of an early summer’s day.
  11. Try 25 varieties of cherry jam.
    Or cherry jelly, preserves, salsa, mustard, barbecue sauce, wine, soda… well, you get the idea. This is the Cherry Capital of the World, and you can find hundreds of cherry products in our stores, restaurants and farm markets. Cherry sausage, anyone?
  12. Play 25 holes of golf.
    OK, that would be dumb. Start with the usual 18, and then look around for more. Here on “Michigan’s Golf Coast” we’ve got 19 world-class courses to choose from, so you won’t run out of opportunities.
  13. Make 25 new friends aboard the tall ship Manitou.
    Ahoy, maties! Twice a day, this lovely two-masted schooner sets sail across Grand Traverse Bay, giving passengers a pirate’s eye view of Traverse City. (No pillaging allowed.) It’s a great way to experience the romance of sailing ships.
  14. Take 25 minutes to reach the top of the Dune Climb.
    It can be done faster, but why risk a heart attack? This massive wall of sand near Glen Arbor is part of the magnificent Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and climbing it is harder than you might think – but the view from the top is worth it!
  15. Catch a 25-inch salmon in Grand Traverse Bay.
    They’re out there. So are perch, lake trout and whitefish, and our inland lakes are full of great walleye and pan fish action. Meanwhile streams like the Boardman, the Cedar, and the Jordan provide great fly-fishing action for brown and brook trout. This is America’s top all-around fishing capital!
  16. Listen to Beethoven’s Sonata No. 25 at Interlochen.
    Or, for that matter, Chopin’s Etude in A Minor Op. 25 or the Mozart 25th Symphony. All while relaxing in the open air at the renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts, where hundreds of talented young musicians gather to practice and perform each summer.
  17. Play the 25-cent slots at Turtle Creek or Leelanau Sands.
    Between them, Traverse City’s two tribal casinos have thousands of hungry slot machines in every denomination – not to mention blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and other table games. Try your luck!
  18. Spend 25 minutes having your feet massaged.
    The Elements Spa at Traverse City’s Great Wolf Lodge and Spa Grand Traverse at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa have dozens of different spa treatments, massages and soaks. One of the most popular is a 25-minute Foot Relief Massage: a “cooling tea tree spritz, followed by warm towels and a peppermint foot massage.” What better way to end a day of shopping, beachcombing or golf?
  19. Visit 25 art galleries, studios and boutiques.
    Exhausting, but not impossible – Traverse City was named one of America’s Top Art Towns, and the evidence is all around you. Whether your interest is watercolors, jewelry, weaving, ceramics or sculpture, there’s plenty of art to suit every taste. But pace yourself – you don’t have to see it all in one day!
  20. Try 25 different appetizers.
    But bring a decent-sized group or a mutant-sized appetite! This time of year, it’s possible to eat your way through some of the best food in Traverse City in small doses, by munching on tasty little culinary treasures like Vietnamese Beef Noodles or Bouillabaisse Steamed Mussels as you migrate from one wonderful restaurant to the next.
  21. Tell your horse “giddy up” 25 times. (At least.)
    The horses at Ranch Rudolf are gentle critters — perfect for a leisurely ride through the woods and glades of the beautiful Boardman Valley, especially when you’ve got kids along. But sometimes you want them to move along a bit more briskly…
  22. Try on 25 different hats in downtown Traverse City.
    All right, maybe you’re not a hat person. But our picturesque and pedestrian-friendly downtown has more than 150 clothing stores, gift shops, cafes and restaurants. So maybe you want to try on 25 pairs of shoes? We have very patient salespeople…
  23. Identify 25 rare trees at the Grand Traverse Commons.
    Over a century ago, the superintendent of the Northern Michigan Asylum gathered rare trees from all over the world and planted them on the hospital grounds. Today this is the site of a groundbreaking retail/residential development, but the trees are still there – and boy, have they gotten big!
  24. Taste 25 flavors of beer in Bellaire.
    Short’s Brewery, in the picturesque village of Bellaire, makes dozens of specialty beers and ales, flavored with everything from chocolate to orange peel. They’ll set up a special small-glass tasting so you can try several without falling off your chair. Just make sure you bring that designated driver with you!
  25. Find 25 things to do at the Open Space.
    This one’s up to you – but you’ll find lots of ideas if you just look around. Here on Traverse City’s “front porch” you’ll see folks flying kites, tossing Frisbees, walking dogs, pushing strollers, watching the sailboats on West Bay, feeding the swans, playing a little football or just gazing affectionately into each other’s eyes.