From local, festive Northern Michigan events to our favorite Traverse City shopping spots, here is everything you need to take on the holidays this winter in Northern Michigan. Check out our Traverse City restaurant recommendations, holiday tips and ultimate gift guide to get into the Up North holiday spirit!

Traverse City Holiday Guide

Grand Traverse Bay winks in the background as shoppers admire the Christmas tree on Front Street, browse boutiques in the trendy Warehouse District and delight in the magic of a fresh snow at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

Shop Local in Traverse City

Front Street’s shops and restaurants are all fabulously festive. A few of the many must-visits are West Bay Handmade for curated gifts from local makers, Orvis Streamside for the finest fly-fishing gear and Toy Harbor for fun children’s presents. Visit the gift section below to see our featured Traverse City gifts and shops for 2021.

Drone looking at christmas tree over Traverse City during winter

Photo by Dave Weidner

Make Merry Cocktails!

Holiday gatherings call for craft cocktails. But if you’re not a master mixologist, Traverse City Whiskey Co. makes it easy with their Cocktail Crate mixers. Just add your favorite bourbon or rye for a classic old-fashioned, ginger mule or whiskey sour.

Santa’s Secret Favorite Products

The food lovers in your life will heartily thank you for a jar of organic preserves, gourmet mustards or a hot sauce gift set from Food for Thought. Each of their products is made in small batches of 240 jars or less, and you can taste the difference.

Visit Grand Traverse Commons, a Traverse City Winter Wonderland

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons looks like a snow globe. Hike or cross-country ski the 140-acre Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area; its unpaved trails wander through wooded hills with several panoramic vistas. Then warm up and finish your holiday shopping inside the Mercato.

Drone over Traverse City in the Commons during winter

Photo by Dave Weidner

Drone over Traverse City in the Commons during winter

Photo by Dave Weidner

Local Traverse City Holiday Events

Visit, MyNorth Tickets, and for Santa sightings, tree lightings and more. Find everything you need for a Traverse City outing on our Traverse City town page.

The Ultimate 2021 Traverse City Gift Guide

This year’s gift guide features items from West Bay Handmade, Traverse City Whiskey Co., Silver Spruce Brewing and Becky Thatcher Designs. These local, Traverse City businesses feature a range of goods, perfect for family and friends.

Searching for more local gifts? View our additional Northern Michigan holiday and gift guides: links coming soon!

West Bay Handmade in Traverse City

Photo by Dave Weidner

West Bay Handmade is located at 326 E. Front St. in Traverse City and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. They are a well-curated, artisan boutique featuring more than 100 products from local makers and artists. Stop by in-person to view their entire selection.

From left to right, here are the featured products at West Bay Handmade for 2021: 

  • Soy Candle by Ambush Candle Co. | Up North 7 oz. candle $24
  • Wrapping Paper & Wrapping Paper Ribbon by Kristen Mackenzie Design | Set of 3 wrapping paper sheets $12, Ribbon $11.
  • Pottery Mug by Ignite Creative Studio | $36
Traverse City Whiskey Co.

Photo by Dave Weidner

Traverse City Whiskey Co. is located at 201 E. 14th St. in Traverse City and is open Monday to Thursday noon to 9 p.m. Friday to Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. They serve up a variety of whiskey products, infused cherries and store gear.

Here are the TC Whiskey Co. products featured for our 2021 gift guide:

  • American Cherry Edition Whiskey, $31.99
  • XXX Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $33.99
  • Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries, $16
Silver Spruce Brewing in Traverse City

Photo by Dave Weidner

Silver Spruce Brewing Company is located at 439 E. Eighth St. in Traverse City and is open Monday to Thursday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday to Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. They’re affectionately known as Traverse City’s newest brewery and produce a wide range of beers and logo clothing.

Here are the Silver Spruce featured gifts for 2021:

  • Crowler of Craft Beer, $7 for a single, $25 for 4
  • Hat Silver Spruce Brewing Logo Hat, $25
  • Shirt Silver Spruce Brewing Logo Tee, $23
Becky Thatcher Design in Traverse City

Photo by Dave Weidner

Becky Thatcher Designs is located at 234 E. Front St. in Traverse City, 301 S. Main St. in Leland and 5795 S. Lake St. in Glen Arbor and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more than three decades Becky Thatcher has been designing exquisite, fine handmade jewelry featuring local and global stones inspired by nature.

Here are the unique and beautiful fine jewelry items featured in our 2021 gift guide:

  • Earrings | 10.78 total ct. wt. oval emeralds, set in 22ky gold hammered bezels, $43,000
  • Accent Wires on Earrings | 18ky gold sassafras interchangeable wires, $875
  • Ring | 18ky gold split twig ring with a 7.70ct cushion cut rhodolite garnet, $2,975
  • Cuff | Fine silver cuff bracelet, embossed with 18ky gold oak leaf with a 17.77ct oval tanzanite cabochon, set in a 22ky gold bezel, $6,775

Give the Gift of Traverse Magazine this Year!

Searching for the gift that keeps on giving? Send an annual, 12-month gift subscription of Traverse Magazine to someone you love for under $25. If you order before November 30 you can receive the January issue. Orders placed after this date will come with a complimentary postcard announcing your gift! And new for 2022? This gift subscription to Traverse includes the coveted MyNorth Weddings, a $6.95 value.  

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner