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Traverse City Fun: One Very Biased Woman’s Perspective

Yup, clearly I am biased & attempting to lure you to my home town for a fun filled time. I love Traverse City, it is a great place to work & play. Below are some of my favorite places, and if some of them happen to be Alfie clients…well, go read the title of the document again. Come often, bring the family & enjoy! Better yet, move your business here, these peeps will want to talk to you: http://www.tcchamber.org
Cheers! Bonnie Alfonso

Couple of places to stay in TC

The historic Park Place Hotel, great view from the top of the park, walkable to all kinds of fun.

Not quite walkable, but close to downtown Cambria Suites. Alex, the owner, was just named Hotelier of the Year. Great guy. http://www.cambriasuites.com/hotel-traverse_city-michigan-MI325

On West Bay:

On East Bay:

The two hotels above are near this fun water/adventure park


Of course, the kids would love the Great Wolf Lodge


Good sites to visit for ideas of what to do:

List of some events for each weekend:

No visit to Northern Michigan is complete without a trek up the Sleeping Bear Dunes! Voted the most beautiful place in the US by Good Morning America audience. http://www.visittraversecity.com/sleeping-bear-dunes--29/


A few kid friendly ideas here:

At Clinch Park downtown you can rent Kayaks, bikes and canoes at The River. http://therivertraversecity.com


Hungry? Here are the best options in no particular order:

Amical (next door to the State Theater) Always excellent food and service.
http://www.amical.com My personal favorite is the chili crusted thai salmon.

Red Ginger
One of my personal favorites, on the other side of the State Theater. Asian fusion. Good sushi.
A little spendy, but worth it. Cool atmosphere. Great happy hour, Matt makes the best martini, Gina is my favorite server and the calamari is amazing. http://eatatginger.com


Great place to go share some apps and cocktails. 310 Cass Street right on the river. http://www.tcfirefly.com

A bit more casual is Poppycocks, great desserts, unique menu, good vegetarian options.


The Cook’s House
Prepare for a delicious experience. But you gotta prepare, reservations recommended. Mario Bitali, the "Iron Chef" thinks it's the best! Mario's a local and eats there often.

Pearl's New Orlean's Kitchen

Located to the north in Elk Rapids. This is one of my favorites. The Big Easy is the best Bloody Mary you can find outside of Bonnie's house. Excellent Sunday brunch as well. http://www.magnumhospitality.com/pearls.asp


Also in Elk Rapids be sure to visit Siren Hall. Great cool atmosphere, if you love scallops, order ‘em here. http://www.sirenhall.com


On the east side of TC is the Red Mesa Grill http://www.magnumhospitality.com/redmesa.asp
Great margaritas. 300 or so brands of tequila. More Central American flavors. Dee-lish.

Apache Trout Grill.

This is the place to be for happy hour by the bay.
The only Tikki bar you will find on west bay, good food and service. Lots of locals hang out here. http://www.apachetroutgrill.com


A little farther up the road is Harbor 22, overlooking the Harbor West Yacht Club.

Trattoria Stella

There is a restaurant in the lower level of the former state mental institution in Traverse City that is not to be missed. Trattoria Stella publishes a new menu every day based upon the freshest ingredients available. The atmosphere is completely unique. A bit spendy, but worth it. Best wine list in town. At least stop by for a glass Great gallery of shops too.

Out on the beautiful Old Mission Peninsula are some great options as well, I highly recommend

The Boathouse

Ask for Doug, tell him you are friends of Bonnie's and they will take really, really good care of you. http://boathouseonwestbay.com


If you head out here you can also stop at many great wineries. Highly recommend Bowers Harbor Vineyards. http://bowersharbor.com Ask for Spencer, Linda or Kristy...tell them we sent you. Say "hi" to Brix.


And, if you have been to Traverse City and never Smooched the Moose, you must stop by Sleder’s for a beer or lunch:http://www.sleders.com Rumor is this is Michigan’s oldest pub.


Just want a giant, juice-running-down-your- forearms-burger? Bubba’s for you! http://www.tcbubbas.com Yeah, they have tasty salads too.


Voted the best ice cream EVER by Good Morning America. Moomer’s is worth the wait and the calories. http://moomers.com


Traverse City is a very spirited community, here’s the low down on The Bar Scene:

Right Brain Brewery

Great Funky Time in Traverse City's New SoFo District (actually, it's an up & coming area on 16th Street with a bunch of old cool beat up buildings, but marketing is everything). Russell whips up some incredible mircobrews. My favorite is Will Power, because, well, I could always use a little more. http://www.rightbrainbrewery.com

7 Monks Taproom

Want to try some unique brews from around the world? Head down Union Street to 7 Monks. http://www.7monkstap.com Great variety, fun atmosphere. Locals love it.

You want a beer and your friends want some great coffee and a snack? Here’s a great compromise! Brew http://brewtc.com On front street, near the historic City Opera House.

Rare Bird Brewery

Rare Bird Brewpub is located at 229 Lake Avenue in downtown Traverse City in a beautifully restored, 1931 red brick building. They brew their own beers and also offer a wide range of beers & beverages from other great breweries, wineries & distilleries from Michigan and around the world.



Live music? Union Street Station is your best bet. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Union-Street-Station/115637368458081


For local flair there's Bootlegger’s and Dillinger’s right next door, affectionately called the double wide. Earns its name after midnight.A block and a half to the east you will find the U& I Lounge. If you want to meet a native of TC this is where you will find them in a "casual" mood.


Late night munchies? House of Doggs is a must! http://www.houseofdoggs.com



We have just about the best Downtown District in the entire State. Bring your visa and check this out: http://www.downtowntc.com

Need great comfy shoes? Head to Golden’s Shoes http://www.goldenshoestc.com
A couple of doors down, Plamondon Shoes.

Are you foodie? Then head over to Fustini’s Oil & Vinegar. Great recipe ideas and unique flavors. http://www.fustinis.com

Traverse City has the perfect growing climate for the beloved cherry. The most delicious & versatile fruit on the planet! Around here, it has its own Republic. Cherry Republic. Boomchunka! www.cherryrepublic.com

Clothing? You must go to What to Wear! on front street, great unique items, good bargain room in back.

And no trip to Northern Michigan is complete without a shirt or hat from M22. Groovy gear & a great drive too. http://www.m22online.com

And for a quick lunch, tasty quiche for breakfast or yummy pie get a slice of Traverse City at Grand Traverse Pie Co. http://gtpie.com

And of course a breakfast tradition: The Omelette Shoppe on Cass or across from the Civic Center. http://www.omeletteshoppe.com After breakfast at the Civic Center location stop in & say “Hi” to Julie at Benjamin Twiggs. She’ll load you up with great Cherry Products & tasty recipes too!
And for pampering or a spa treat head to Impres Salon: http://impressalon.com

Want a great cup of coffee and a tasty treat? Morsels on front is perfect. http://www.morselsbakery.com

My favorite authentic diner for a giant, cheap, delicious breakfast: Round’s 1033 E 8th St.



We have a slew of world class wineries: Pick a Peninsula and make a day of it! I grew up on Old Mission Peninsula so I am a little biased…OK, I’m a lot biased. Love Bower’s Harbor Vineyards Pinot Grigio!

Since you are going to drive M22 with your cool gear you better stop by L. Mawby. Larry is a great guy that makes a pretty amazing sparkling wine. I mean who doesn’t like Fizz, Us, Sex….oh yeah, you gotta get some. http://www.lmawby.com


Events & Festivals: We’ve got ‘em all!

National Cherry Festival in July http://visit.cherryfestival.org week long fun filled party
Traverse City Film Festival http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org Michael Moore’s contribution to TC
Horse Shows by the Bay http://www.horseshowsbythebay.com/about-us.php Awesome!
Traverse City Comedy Festival http://www.comedyfesttc.org another Michael Moore contribution
National Writer’s Series http://nationalwritersseries.org Great creative talent, catch one if you can
Other Cool Venues to check out:
Historic City Opera House http://www.cityoperahouse.org always great shows here.
Don't forget to check out the fabulous State Theater. Re-opened & featuring great films all the time. Usually there is a Saturday morning .25 cent kids movie http://statetheatretc.org

And of course, the world renown Interlochen Arts Academy http://www.interlochen.org

Our great community college, Northwestern Michigan College has a cool museum and innovative programs: http://www.dennosmuseum.org

Miscellaneous Vices & such…

Smokes: http://www.nolanstobacco.com Cigar lounge and everything.

Spirits: http://www.thebeveragecompany.com http://www.grandtraversedistillery.com

Fitness: http://yenyogafitness.com/classes.html

Bike Rental to work off all the great food: http://mclaincycle.com

Need more ideas? Seriously?!? OK, fine…find me here: www.GoAlfie.com and we will discuss. Bonnie@GoAlfie.com Thanks for visiting!