Traverse City sits on the Grand Traverse Bay about 3½ hours north of Lansing and is a huge tourist destination in the summer. We stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel just outside of downtown, right on East Traverse Bay. The hotel was reasonably priced and had fantastic suites. Our suite had two king-sized beds, a queen-size pull out sofa and a large roll away bed - perfect for six girls.
On Friday evening we had dinner at Fire Fly, a chic restaurant downtown with a wide array of menu options include small plates and sushi. Our group included a Gluten allergy and a vegetarian, and Traverse City had plenty of culinary options for us. Fire Fly was a huge hit that culminated in chocolate fondue. We headed back after dinner to relax on the beach at the hotel (bachelorette parties in your 30s are much tamer than ones 10 years ago.)
|Sunset over the bay -taken from the beach outside our hotel|
Saturday morning I headed out early for a short run. I ran the Bayshore Half Marathon in Traverse City five years ago, but I am not otherwise familiar with the area for running. Our hotel was located on US 31, a busy road leading in the city. Unfortunately this did not bode well for running. There weren't a lot of sidewalks, and I found myself running through hotel parking lots. After a particularly annoying ankle twist stepping down off a curb, I cut my run short and headed back. (As a side note I hear there are lovely places to run in Traverse - they just weren't adjacent to our hotel.)
Breakfast on Saturday morning was at Greenhouse Cafe on Front Street. Front Street is Traverse City's main downtown drag where many restaurants and shops are located. It's an absolutely impeccable downtown with dozens of bars and eateries and a number of local shops. We built up a good base at Greenhouse Cafe (the eggs benedict was excellent) to prepare for our wine tour later in the day. We strolled around downtown a bit after breakfast. I love that Traverse City is so dog friendly - many of the downtown storefronts have water bowls outside for thirsty pups. I think Murphy and Izzy would approve.
|Dog bowls outside a book store on Front Street|
Later that morning we were picked up at the hotel by Traverse City Tours for a winery tour on Old Mission Peninsula. This particular peninsula has seven wineries, and we were able to tour six of them. I cannot rave enough about Traverse City Tours. While booking (via e-mail) they were efficient and very easy to work with. Our driver, Ellie, was absolutely lovely. We really enjoyed spending the day with her. One of my favorite things was her taking photos of us at each winery that were later e-mailed to me. They were so fantastic - I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wine tour in Traverse City.
|Our group outside Black Star Farms winery (taken by Ellie at Traverse City Tours)|
|Posing with my BFF Brix at Bowers Harbor|
|The incredible view from Chateau Chantal|
|Cucumbers in cocktails = delicious|
I got home on Sunday and took a two hour nap to recover from the trip. It was a wonderful weekend celebrating friendship in a vibrant city. Traverse City is really one of Northern Michigan's most celebrated cities for a reason. I'm thinking the next trip should include a wine tour of the area's Leelanau Peninsula, but I don't think my wine rack will be empty any time soon.
|My treasures from Traverse City|