About the Traverse City Area

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.
  • Located downtown next to the historic State Theatre, Red Ginger offers upscale Asian fusion and sushi.
  • The Cooks' House is one of chef Mario Batali's favorites (reservation recommended).
  • 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 find elegant ambiance and fresh seafood at Siren Hall, and 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.
  • 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. June 20, 2015.
  • 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.
  • Visit Georgina's in downtown Traverse City for inspired Asian and Latin fusion, recently relocated to a beautiful, larger space.

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.