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About the Traverse City Area
Located 15 miles northeast of Interlochen Center for the Arts' campus, Traverse City and the surrounding area regularly receive accolades and recognition for its natural beauty, food and wine, and arts and culture.
But don't let us tell you. Here's what the experts have to say:
- One of America's top five foodie towns, Bon Appetit magazine
- America's favorite towns, Travel + Leisure
- Sleeping Bear Dunes named "most beautiful place in America" by Good Morning America
- 10 best summer trips, National Geographic
- Top 7 Beer Destinations, The Travel Channel
- Bicycling magazine's "Six Best Cities for a Bike Vacation"
So, whether you're visiting our campus for a concert or dropping off students for Arts Camp, we invite you to explore everything else northern Michigan has to offer.
In addition to beaches, boating, biking and other outdoor pursuits, the Traverse City area offers a variety of festivals and events:
- Traverse City Film Festival - One of the largest film festivals in the midwest, TCFF offers over 180 screenings in eight downtown venues, industry panels, parties, activities for kids, and more.
- National Cherry Festival - The Cherry Festival celebrates Traverse City's tart cherry harvest with eight days of fun, including parades, fireworks, music, road races, and of course, cherry pie eating contests.
- Horse Shows by the Bay - Founded in 2004, this equestrian festival has grown to attract thousands of the nation's best horses and riders. It encompasses four consecutive weeks of premier hunter/jumper competition.
- The athletically inclined will find a number of competitive events, including the Bayshore Marathon, TC Zombie Run, Bigfoot Snowshoe Race, the M22 Challenge, Traverse City Triathlon, the Sleeping Bear Marathon, and the North American Vasa Ski Races.
- Elk Rapids Harbor Days - A small town celebration with a big reputation. One of the best fireworks shows in Michigan!
- Bay Harbor Arts Festival - A two-day exhibition and juried visual arts show. An hour and a half drive from Interlochen, via a very picturesque route along the Lake Michigan coast.
- Crystal Mountain Resort is 25 minutes southwest of Interlochen, and offers skiing, golf, mountain biking, a spa, and more. Crystal Mountain is also home to the Michigan Legacy Art Park, a beautiful 30-acre preserve of wooded hills with over 40 sculptures.
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.
- Located downtown next to the historic State Theatre, Red Ginger offers upscale Asian fusion and sushi.
- The Cooks' House is one of the midwest's "cultiest eateries."
- Located in the historic Grand Traverse Commons, Trattoria Stella offers unmatched service and ambiance.
- 7 Monks Taproom - over 40 beers on tap (including beer brewed by Trappist monks) and an inventive menu employing locally sourced ingredients.
- Drive 25 minutes north of Traverse City to the waterfront village of Elk Rapids, where you'll festive Cajun/Creole cuisine at Pearl's New Orleans Kitchen.
- 9 Bean Rows in nearby Suttons Bay is a charming artisan bakery and cafe, located in an old firehouse.
- Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival - In August, sample over 200 beers and enjoy great music on the grounds of the Grand Traverse Commons.
- Moomers Ice Cream - voted "best ice cream shop in America" by Good Morning America.
For much more information and recommendations, check out the dining guide on MyNorth.com.