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Traverse City, Michigan City Trip - Great Lakes, Cedar and Warehouse District

Chateau Grand Traverse
Chateau Grand Traverse


TRAVERSE CITY DAY 2: Manitou, Mackinaw Brewing Co., Old Town Playhouse, Village at Grand Traverse Commons

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After all that activity, how about being a passenger? A light breakfast and good coffee at Aroma's near the west bay, then a short drive north up M-22 to the Tall Ship Manitou, which sails around the bay through early October and features daytrips three times a day, themed trips such as astronomy, music, chocolate and storytelling, wine tastings and fall foliage. Excursions run two hours to three days. The two-masted, 114-foot Manitou is a replica of an 1800s coasting cargo schooner and one of the Great Lakes' largest sailing ships.

A reception at a local gallery

A reception at a local gallery

Another option is a day with Ann Dougherty's Learn Great Foods. You'll need a car and advance booking to join up at the Sweeter Song CSA organic farm in Cedar (about 14 miles from downtown) on one of her agritourism tours of local farms, buffalo ranches, or maybe spend the day with a chocolatier — with tastings, of course. Meals are often prepared and cooked together as part of the learning experience, all with locally grown edibles. If museums are of interest, check out the Music House Museum in Acme, near the resort, where you can take in the sounds of rare instruments like the Belgian dance organ, nickelodeons, music boxes, pipe organs and the Wurlitzer Theater Organ, many dating back to 1870, are on display, along with a scale-model cityscape of old Traverse City.

Grand Traverse Commons

Grand Traverse Commons

For fabulous ribs, fish and craft beer, the shiplike Mackinaw Brewing Co. will float your boat. How 'bout a haircut with that microbrew? You can get buzzed while a barber cuts your fuzz at Right Brain Brewery in the emerging Warehouse District, and take in some of the city's hippest outsider art at the InsideOut Gallery next door. If you like the stage, check out the popular Old Town Playhouse, whose 2013-14 season kicks off in September and includes Les Miserables, The Sound of Music and It's A Wonderful Life.

Or maybe you want something completely cool and different: That would be the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, an 1800s former sanitarium that now houses the ultra-hip brick-walled, subterranean Trattoria Stella, a venue for fine Italian and live soft jazz; the fine-art emporium Gallery Fifty, which hosts monthly night-time openings for local artists; wine shops and tasting rooms, boutiques and gift shops, some with evening hours, plus a growing number of surrounding businesses that include artisans, breadmakers and wineries.

Continue to Day 3

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* Images courtesy of the The Traverse City Visitors Bureau

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(Updated: 08/08/13 CT)

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