Traverse City Attractions: As is made clear by the amount of national attention Traverse City has recieved in the recent past (Most beautiful vacation spot, best foodie city, etc…) there is something special about this town. We think that part of that allure is the fact that TC offers something for everyone to love. With that in mind, we've put together a list of ten activites to do in Traverse City that include gourmet food, movies, art, the outdoors, and adventure. This weekend find something everyone will enjoy, especialy Dad. We've got some extra-special ideas for Father's Day in Northern Michigan 2012! So grab a fork, or get outside, and find your own way to love Traverse City.

 Spend the day at the Grand Traverse Commons

Once the grounds of Traverse City's State Hospitals, then left ignored and unused, the Village at the Grand Traverse Commons is now one of the most vital and happening places in Traverse City. Revitalized by the urban renewal project, the Village at the Grand Traverse Commons is full of gourmet eateries, shops, and salons.

However, it has also retained the naturally lush grounds and forest area. The Commons are surrounded by 480 acres of preserved parkland, which is filled with marked trails that range in difficulty. Take a friend of either human or canine persuasion and head up into the woods. We'd advise packing a camera in your knapsack, to snap some of the most impressive views of the Grand Traverse Bay around.

After you descend from your climb, reward yourself! Head over to the Underground Cheesecake Company for one of their signature desserts- frozen cheesecake. Dipped in chocolate and stuck on a stick, frozen cheesecake is a summer time treat all grown up. Rest at one of the Company's outdoor tables, or take yours to-go and wander over to Higher Grounds Trading Company coffee bar, for a cup of free-trade, home-roasted, delicious pick-me-up.

See a Movie at the State Theater before a game of volleyball at West End Beach !

When the sun is hot and the pavement seems to steam beneath your feet, slipping into a cool, dark movie theater is one of the most refreshing feelings in the world. This Wednesday, get a group of friends together and escape to Traverse City's restored State Theater for the Twenty-Five Cent Matinee. This past Wednesday, June 13, 2012, the film de jour was "Since You Went Away"- the 1944 story of a family (including a grown-up Shirley Temple!) coping with the realities of WWII. And because tickets are only 25 cents, you can treat friends and family by buying everyone's ticket and still having enough left over for popcorn!

After seeing a movie, get outside and move around at Traverse City's West End Beach volleyball nets. Located across from the Traverse City Visitor's Center on Grandview Parkway, the nets are a popular local hang out. Slather on some sunscreen and bring a volleyball to the totally free space, and watch both the boats in the harbor and the foot traffic along the TART trail. Should the sunshine and exercise prove to be a little too much heat, it's a short run and jump into the bay!

Visit Traverse City's Secret Garden and grab some food at Soul Hole

When someone truly loves their job, it is obvious in the attention to detail and the time they devote to the craft. Visiting the gardens of Sunnybank, a restored Victorian home on Traverse City's Sixth Street across from the Grand Traverse Heritage Center, it is clear that Dee Blair is devoted to her "work"- managing the most extensive and exquisite gardens in Northern Michigan. Fifteen years ago Blair opened the garden to the public due to the number of people who were peeking their faces over the wrought iron gates to see inside.  This week, take a stroll through the garden's "rooms," each appointed with gorgeous plants and flowers, sculptures and art. Admission is free, just look for the "Garden Open" sign.

After you've taken a tour of the Sunnybank gardens, walk up Sixth Street and turn right on to Union…or are you turning in to the French Quarter? Have lunch at the tiny but amazing Soul Hole, which is serving up "eclectic southern cuisine and down home contemporary cooking." If you're skeptical about finding authentic Southern food this far Up North, don't be– patrons are crowing the praises of their catfish tacos, chicken and waffles, sweet tea, and beignets.

Call 231.929.7238 or visit

The 23rd Annual Parade of Homes

June 16-24, 2012

For the 23rd year in a row the Home Builders Association of Grand Traverse Area welcomes the Northern Michigan community into some of area's most beautiful homes. The week long tour includes 15 new homes, and tickets are $12 at the event venues, or available in advance for  $10 at various Northern Michigan establishments.

TBA Credit Union  Branches Oleson’s Food Stores
Floor Covering Brokers  
Pure Water Works
Twin Bay Glass
TC Convention & Visitors Bureau
Traverse Area Association of Realtors
McCardel Culligan
Van Drie Home Furnishings
Benzie County Visitors Center
Elk Rapids Chamber of Commerce HBAGTA office, located at 3040 Sunset Lane in Traverse City

HBAGTA is a professional trade association representing Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties. Over the years, they have donated over $260,000 to local non profit organization- funds raised primarily through the Parade of Homes .

To purchase ticket vouchers online, and for more information about the Parade of Homes or HBAGTA, visit

TC Scoops Festival, F&M Park, June 16, 2012, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

Doing good never tasted so sweet! Take the family to the TC Scoop Festival at F&M Park, a benefit for Big Brothers/Big Sisters featuring ice cream and food from Moomers, Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Maui Wow Coffee and Smoothies, Jimmy Johns, and House of Dogs. The event kicks off with a fly-over by the U.S. Coast Guard, and make sure you stick around to see the hundred pound smoothie.

Tickets can be purchased at the event, $20 for a family of 5 and $5 per adult. Kids under 8 receive free admission! Visit for more information

Take a Hot Air Balloon Tour of the Grand Traverse Bay

See the Grand Traverse Bay Area from a whole new angle. Rent a 7-story tall, multi-colored hot air balloon from Grand Traverse Balloon for an hour tour of the Traverse City skies. An FAA certified pilot will take you and your family through the Grand Traverse Area, before landing to enjoy the traditional post-voyage champagne celebration. Along with a helmet, long pants and closed toed shoes, we recommend that you bring a long a camera to capture a view that you won't find anywhere else.

For more information, call 231.947.7433 or visit thier website!

Father's Day Activities

Still need some ideas for this weekend's itinerary? Check out our list of ten Northern Michigan activities you and your Dad will love, ranging from the relaxing to the exhilarating. Read the article here!

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