About the Traverse City Area

  • Interlochen is a scenic 45-minute drive from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (voted "Most Beautiful Place in America" by Good Morning America.)

  • Situated on the southern shore of West Grand Traverse Bay, downtown Traverse City offers shopping, dining, historic neighborhoods, parks, and theatres. (photo: Flickr:marada)

  • During the Traverse City Film Festival (late July - early August), thousands of people flock to the Open Space to watch free movies projected on a 65-foot screen.

  • The Grand Traverse Commons, formerly the Northern Michigan Asylum, is one of the largest historic preservation and adaptive reuse developments in the country. 

  • Popularly known as the cherry capital of the world, the Grand Traverse region is also becoming a major destination for wine connoisseurs. Dozens of wineries and vineyards dot the rolling hills of Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas. (photo: Flickr:lola_audu)

  • Traverse City's historic and recently renovated State Theatre was named one of the "ten greatest places to see a movie in splendor" by USA Today.

  • Our area has no shortage of great places to eat and drink. You'll find excellent restaurants, craft breweries galore, and a burgeoning farm-to-table movement.

Interlochen Center for the Arts is located in northwestern lower Michigan, also known as the Grand Traverse region. We are 15 miles from Traverse City, a small town of 15,000. The region is home to 150,000 and hosts over half a million visitors annually. You'll find many things to do in the Traverse City area, including pristine beaches, hiking, festivals, an amazing culinary scene, shopping, and of course, arts and culture.

If you are vacationing in the Grand Traverse area, we invite you to visit our campus. We're an easy 20 minute drive from Traverse City. During the summer months, there are near-daily performances by our students, faculty, and world-renowned guest artists.

If you are bringing your child to Interlochen Arts Camp or Academy, or attending one of our arts programs for adults, we hope you are able to spend some time in the area. Downtown Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Crystal Mountain Resort, several picturesque villages, and miles of scenic Lake Michigan coastline are within easy reach of our campus. 

Either way, you'll discover why our region has received numerous accolades and recognition from national travel and food writers:

Things to do in Traverse City

In addition to beaches, boating, biking and other outdoor pursuits, the Traverse City area offers a variety of festivals and events:

Food + Drink

For a small town, the Traverse City area offers a huge number of excellent restaurants, breweries, wineries, farmer's markets, and food-themed events. Some favorites include:

  • Amical - cozy downtown bistro offering eclectic European cuisine and an amazing dessert menu.
  • A trip to Traverse City is not complete without a stop by the Grand Traverse Pie Company.
  • 7 Monks Taproom - over 40 beers on tap (including Trappist beer brewed by Trappist monks) and an inventive menu employing locally sourced ingredients.
  • Located in the historic Grand Traverse Commons, Trattoria Stella offers unmatched service and ambiance.
  • The Cooks' House is one of chef Mario Batali's favorites.
  • 9 Bean Rows in nearby Suttons Bay is a charming artisan bakery and cafe, located in an old firehouse.
  • Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival - sample over 200 beers and enjoy great music on the grounds of the Grand Traverse Commons.
  • Traverse City Wine & Art Festival - enjoy a selection over over 200 local wines from 32 wineries, as well as fresh, local fare from top restaurants.
  • Moomers Ice Cream - voted "best ice cream shop in America" by Good Morning America.
  • La Becasse offers authentic French country cuisine in an intimate cottage in Leelanau County. Winner of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.

For much more information and recommendations, check out the dining guide on MyNorth.com.

Useful Links

MyNorth.com, the online home of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine, is a great resource for getting the most out of your time here.

Formerly the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Traverse City Tourism website offers a regional event calendar and great ideas for things to do and places to see.

For a directory of downtown Traverse City merchants and restaurants and a calendar of events, visit the Downtown Development Authority website at www.downtowntc.com.

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