We went up to Traverse City to see some leaves and drink some beer! Make sure you check out leaf projection maps before going up north. It’s hard to catch them at their peak! I think planning a spontaneous trip is the easiest way to see some color. We did not do that, but did get to see a little bit of yellow and orange.
DAY 1: OLD MISSION PENINSULA
Before heading up to Old Mission, we stopped at Brewery Terra Firma. We’re trying to go to all Michigan breweries (if it kills us!) and like to cross off as many as we can while we’re in different cities. We then went over to Hickory Hills and did a trail to some awesome views.
If you’re going to Old Mission Peninsula, I recommend driving all the way to the tip and back. Jump out for all of the photo opportunities! There are tons of wineries and breweries along the way. A lot of people rent buses and go on tours here. It was a little bit rainy so we did the drive and had dinner at the Peninsula Grill. Then got some drinks at Rare Bird Brewery.
DAY 2: SLEEPING BEAR DUNES, GLEN ARBOR + LELAND
Since our first day was rainy, we packed a ton into our second (sunny) day.
Sleeping Bear Dunes: We went to the infamous National Lakeshore for some views and photo opportunities. You can walk a quick path to the a pretty overlook of Lake Michigan and the dunes. It’s about a 40 minute drive from downtown Traverse City.
Glen Arbor: Our favorite city – where we got married! It’s super small, cute and walkable. We did all the typical stops: Cherry Republic, Art’s Tavern and all the cute shops in between. We got married at the Glen Arbor Town Hall in 2016!
Leland: A fish town that’s about a 20 minute drive from Glen Arbor. See an old town with shanties, a bridge overlook and lots of water views. You can charter boats out of here if you want! Be sure to try a sandwich at the famous cheese shop.
Grand Traverse Lighthouse: This pretty lighthouse is right on the water and has a small beach.
Mitten Brewing Company + Hop Lot: Two more brewery stops! Hop Lot is one of our all time favorites! Try their pumpkin beer if you’re there in the fall. They have a ton of outdoor seating with fire pits and more.
Haunted Traverse Ghost Tour: This was super fun! We toured the haunted Grand Traverse Commons area and woods. You learn about each location and why it’s haunted. And get to use a bunch of ghost hunting equipment!
DAY 3: FAIRY TRAIL + DOWNTOWN BREWERY TOUR
We started the morning at The Village of Grand Traverse Commons. We wanted to see it in the daylight! There are tons of shops and restaurants. We got coffee at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop.
Then we went over to the Fairy Trail behind Historic Barns Park in the Grand Traverse Commons. You can walk this trail and see little fairy houses and doors! We went deeper into the trail to see some leaf views.
Okay now to the beer. Here’s the route we took. We usually stop in each place for a flight glass and maybe a snack:
-Monkey Fist/Middle Coast
After that long day, we got some snacks from the Oryana Community Co-op that was right across from our airbnb. It was so cute and had a lot of vegan/vegetarian options.
We love TC during all four seasons!
Check out a Girls Summer Itinerary here.