Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer in Northern Michigan. Imagine mornings sipping coffee with the sunrise. Afternoons spent soaking up the sun on sandy shores, boating on turquoise waters and hiking through beautiful forests. Evenings filled with delicious seasonal dishes and a local glass of wine. Imagine blissful relaxation on a Traverse City Memorial Day vacation.

To take the stress out of planning your trip, here is a mix of activities to satisfy the whole family.


Sip in the view.

Perched at 1,100 feet, Rove Estate has the highest elevation of any vineyard in Leelanau County offering stunning views of Sugar Loaf Resort and far west, toward Empire. Stop by Traverse City’s newest winery, and check out the view from that porch!


Try a new trail.

Does your family love to hike? The new guidebook “The Trails of M-22” features 40 beautiful trails that are accessible from Northern Michigan’s beloved highway M-22. Spend a day exploring new terrain.

Not so avid about the outdoors? Stroll along the TART Trail past the Grand Traverse Bay and make your way to downtown Traverse City for a day of shopping and local delicacies.

Traverse City beaches

Take a beach day. 

Traverse City beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. From secluded and small to expansive and sunshiney, there’s a beach for every lifestyle. For families with young children, pack a picnic for Bryant Park. For competitive beach volleyball, head to West End. Here’s your complete guide to Traverse City beaches.

Mama Lu's

Satisfy your taco cravings.

With a fresh Mexican menu focusing on tacos, Mama Lu’s recently opened their restaurant doors in Traverse City. See inside this intimate 40-seat, modern day taco shop serving 5-star tacos for only $3 to $4 each.


Kayak the bay.

Paddling the shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay is a summer classic. If you’re up for something new, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. These outfitters will set you up: Sunset Water Sports, The River Traverse City, Paddle TC and TC Watersports.

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We all moo for ice cream!

Take a trip to the countryside for some of the best ice cream in Northern Michigan. With over 160 different flavors, you’ll find something you love at Moomers. Be sure to say hi to the cows who make it all possible!

Grand Traverse Commons

Explore the Commons.

You could spend an entire day exploring this thriving community with a bakery, astoundingly delicious cuisine, coffee shops, a wine bar and shops galore. Plus there’s a new family-friendly space for munchkins and adults. Here’s a look inside ELF.

More Traverse City Memorial Day Vacation Ideas

Photo(s) by Anjanette Merriweather