Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend 2012: Ten Things You Have To Do!

Traverse City Memorial Day 2012: Looking  for something to do in Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend? Check out this list of some of our favorite Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend activities!

Run or Watch the Bayshore Marathon

Whether you are a runner or just providing moral support, the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City is a great way to get Memorial Day Weekend in Traverse City off to a running start. This year is the Bayshore's 30th anniversary, and thousands of runners from all over the country will be pouring in to Traverse City to take part in the full marathon, half marathon and 10K. Started by the Traverse City Track Club, all of the Bayshore courses go up the beautiful Old Mission Peninsula, ending at Traverse City Central High School. Check out the web site to register for the 10K race (the rest of the races are full), cheer on a friend along the course, or simply go enjoy the contagiously celebratory atmosphere at the finish line.

Shop Local at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market

Experience local during your Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend 2012! Located next to Traverse City's Boardman River, the Sara Hardy Farmer's Market offers the best in local produce, hand-crafted baked goods, jams and other delicious wares. The Saturday market is open from 7:30 a.m. until Noon, giving you the perfect opportunity to grab a warm croissant and some fresh fruit for breakfast as you stroll through vendor's stalls. Children and adults will love participating in the local tradition of feeding the Boardman ducks!

Visit the Village at Grand Traverse Commons

A historical and lovely place to spend your Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend! There are many different activities to partake in on these historical grounds. Looking for something active to do? Strap on your hiking boots or grab your dog and head out to one of the many trails that surround the buildings. There are several different trail options (we recommend the Meadow Loop for something a bit more hilly.) To see all of your options, print off a trail map.

After you explore the outdoors, stop in the Mercato for lunch at the quirky Mana and grab a delicious sandwich (our favorite combination is the tuna sandwich that has gouda on it accompanied with an ice cold Wild Bill's Root Beer!) After lunch peruse the Mercato for a variety of interesting stores. Check out Boutique à la Vie for unique women's clothing, grab some gelato at Sweet Asylum and make sure to check out Gallery Fifty (have someone talk to you about the Fordite). If you are feeling some wine, sample some at Tastes of Black Star Farms. Looking for a caffeine hit? Higher Grounds Trading Company always has interesting and delicious coffee combinations. (Remember to bring your own container if you want to take it to go!) Looking for some dessert action? Grab a brownie to go from Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery (so filling and delicious) or stop in at the Underground Cheesecake Company! If you are still around for dinner make sure to check out Trattoria Stella for some delicious fresh and local cuisine.  

For a list of stores and the history of the commons visit:

Go for a Memorial Day Weekend Bike Ride in Traverse City

See Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend from bicycle! Rent bikes for the entire family at McLain's Cycle and Fitness on Eighth Street. In addition to providing you with a local map, McLain's is located right on the TART trail, a paved path for the use of non-motorized recreation. The trail is over 20 miles and extends from one end of the Grand Traverse area to the other! We'd recommend taking the trail through Traverse City along the bay shore towards Suttons Bay to take in some amazing views.

Have a Traverse City Memorial Day Picnic!

Celebrate your Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend 2012 and summer's approach by dining al fresco at one of the picnic tables placed along Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City Memorial Day weekend, or at Hannah Park on Sixth Street, near the banks of the Boardman River. To keep things simple, pick up some delicious sandwiches at Folgarelli's Italian Market (the Godfather is the most popular!) or go to Oryana Co-Op's Lake Street Kitchen, which features healthy organic cuisine for dine-in or to go!

Take a Guided Fishing Tour

Traverse City's source for all things fish-related, The Northern Angler Premier Fly Fishing Store, offers guided fishing tours. Over your Memorial Day Weekend in Traverse City, go on a half-day Carp flats fishing trip, spend an evening hatch fishing, or opt for the all day fly fishing tour which concludes with an included amazing dinner whether you catch fish or not!

Play in Traverse City's Open Space during Memorial Day Weekend!

A large park space right on Traverse City's West Bay offers the opportunity for all kinds of outdoor fun over your Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend! Take a blanket to lay in the grass and cloud watch, participate in a pick up game of volleyball, fly a kite or walk out to the edge of the marina- all while enjoying breathtaking views of Grand Traverse Bay.

The Open Space is directly across from the Traverse City Visitors Center, off of Grandview Parkway!

Dine Riverside at Fire Fly

Linger at one of Fire Fly's outdoor tables in Traverse City over Memorial Day Weekend to watch the sun set on the Boardman River while you enjoy creative small plates, sushi and entrees. Our Fire Fly favorites are the sweet potato fries served with a garlic aioli, the Florida and spicy tuna rolls, the avocado salad, and their housemade burgers. Most importantly, no Fire Fly dining experience is complete without the decadent chocolate fondue!

Take a Traverse City Memorial Day Drive Up Old Mission Peninsula

In the later afternoon pile everyone into the car for a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend in Traverse City drive up beautiful Old Mission. The views will not disappoint on either side of the car; take in the magnificent Grand Traverse Bay on one side and the gorgeous homes on the other. End your drive at Mission Table restaurant or Jolly Pumpkin with a fresh and local dinner. Make sure to ask about Genevive, the resident ghost, and check out upstairs of the restaurant.

See a Movie at the State Theatre

Re-opened in November 2007, the historic State Theatre combines the very best of old and new! Operated by the Traverse City Film Festival (the brainchild of movie giant Michael Moore) the theater retains classic touches like the 1950s screen made modern with state of the art sound and technology systems. An integral part of the Traverse City community, the State offers specials like the 25-cent seniors and kid's matinees and screenings of Michigan college sports. Enjoy the movies in a whole new way at this re-imagined theater during your Traverse City Memorial Day Weekend!

For more Northern Michigan Memorial Day ideas, check out!

Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    I find it very disheartening and unpatriotic that NOWHERE on your list do you include HONOR OUR MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY FOR THEIR SERVICE–the whole point of this holiday weekend. Either living living or dead, they deserve our respect. It’s amazing to me how so many of our holidays, especially those in which we “get an extra day off”, become more about what “fun” we can have than actually honoring the holiday for which it was intended. May I suggest you post the days/times of all the area Memorial Day services and encourage people to take time out of their “fun” weekend to treat the holiday the way it should be treated?

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I have been looking for Memorial Day service times and thought for sure it would be on this list. Memorial Day is NOT National BBQ day. Disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    What do you expect from a city that relocated its veteran’s park because they wanted to turn the prime real estate it sat on into a doggy park. Oh, I forgot, they said it was so that veterans can have a quiet place to reflect. BS.