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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Traverse City Trip Report

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We just got back from Traverse City. We stayed at the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn has a great location within walking distance to downtown and along the Tart trail, but is an older hotel and the bathroom is kind of dingy. We got a great deal on hotwire (beach, pool, exercise, restaurant, laundry, internet, golf, tennis were what was listed on the hotwire website).

At Scott’s Harbor Grill, we enjoyed a light meal of buffalo chicken, black bean nachos with a local wine and the relaxing views of the harbor. It was a nice early dinner after traveling and the weather was perfect. We also went to the Grand Traverse Pie Company twice for breakfast. Don’t judge… the pie had fruit in it. We made the drive out to Moomer’s for ice cream. I don’t know if it was the best ice cream I ever ate, but it was an experience eating ice cream and watching cows graze. The steak pasty at Cousin Jenny was very good. My husband liked Mackinaw Brewing Company’s beer, so much that we ate there twice. All of our meals were good (burger, beef brisket, pulled pork), but I thought my Mediterranean salad was the best meal. One morning we went to the Green House Café and spilt an order of biscuits and gravy and a blueberry lemon muffin. The muffins at the pie company looked better, but the biscuits and gravy was good.

Besides eating, we went on the Tall Ship cruise. I was a little disappointed that we did not go out very far away from the dock. It was a two hour tour. The highlight was watching the crew work and getting to “help” raise the sail. The cost was $35.

I do not pretend to know what I am talking about with wines, but I enjoyed stopping at Chateau Chantal (tasting) and Chateau Grand Traverse (tour and tasting). The views from both wineries were worth the trip up the mission peninsula. I also tried Black Star Farmer’s and Peninsula Cellars’ at Traverse City restaurants. The general store made a nice stop along the way. The lighthouse was OK. We did not pay the $5 to go inside. The beach had a sign about swimming. Besides the huge boulders, it looked like you would step into quicksand if you tried to wade into the water. I hope no one drives out there planning to swim.

I loved our day trip to sleepy bear dunes. It took around 45 minutes to get there. If we go back to the area again, I would stay out there for a night. We hiked the Empire Trail Bluff. It was a short hike with postcard worthy views. We also did the dune climb and the scenic drive. If you can hike, I would skip the drive and the crowds to see the park. We enjoyed the beach at North Bar Lake. It was crowded even on a week day.

Overall a very relaxing trip!

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