Located at the base of the Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse city is the largest city in the region known as Northern Michigan – typically referring to the area north of Mount Pleasant, or the “fingers” of the mitten shape of the Lower Peninsula. The 45th parallel runs across Northern Michigan including Mission Point and Suttons Bay (both located north of Traverse City, separated by Grand Traverse Bay).
History of Traverse City
Traverse City was occupied by the Ojibwe and Ottawa tribes prior to the establishment of the Northwest Territory after the Revolutionary war and the time when European colonists settled. The area was an Indian camp, called “wequetong” meaning “at the head of the bay”. The camp was slowly abandoned over time.
The first settler to Old Mission peninsula was Rev Peter Doughtery, in 1839. The settlement was called “Grand Traverse”. In 1847, the land at the mouth of the Boardman River was purchased by Captain Boardman who, with his son, built a sawmill and private dwelling at the mouth of the river. The Boardman’s sold the sawmill to Hannah, Lay & Co who made great improvements to the mill which attracted more settlers to the area. Today, Perry Hannah is known as the founding father of Traverse City.
Traverse City Today
As the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States, the city hosts the National Cherry Festival with a week-long celebration near the time of harvest that attracts visitors from around the world. The proximity to the 45th parallel, surrounding bodies of water and rolling terrain provide ideal conditions for growing grapes and becoming one of the top producers of wine in the Midwest.
Each year, at the end of July to early August, films and filmmakers from around the world are brought to Northern Michigan for the Traverse City Film Festival founded by Academy Award winning filmmaker Michael Moore.
Convenient air travel is possible via Cherry Capital Airport, on of Michigan’s largest airports, with regularly scheduled passenger flights to Chicago and Detroit and seasonal flights to Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York City, Denver and Newark.
Traverse City and the micropolitan regions surrounding it are know for their small businesses. A few local businesses have become well-renowned and some of the areas largest employers, including Hagerty Insurance Agency and Munson Medical Center.
Natural attractions include freshwater beached, National Lakeshore, vineyards, farms and numerous trails and forest areas to enjoy year-round lending itself as a top tourist destination.
Ten Most Beautiful Towns in the World – Select City Magazine
Eight Dreamy Beach Towns for Entrepreneurs - Livability
100 Most Popular Small Cities to Reloacted – Move Buddha
21 Best Beaches in the World – National Geographic
Best Places to Retire - Forbes
The above list is just a small representation of the accolades within our region. Visit here, for a more comprehensive list of recent accolades.
Real Estate in and around Traverse City
As one of the most desirable locations to live in the Midwest, Traverse City offers the convenience of a small city, with the charm of Up North living. There is a wide range of real estate opportunities in the Grand Traverse Region including waterfront homes, single family home subdivision neighborhoods, and multiple acre farmland. In-town condominiums and townhomes provide a unique opportunity for “downtown living” in a maintenance free destination.
The main, public school district is the Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) which currently has 12 elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, one Montessori School and a charter school. Religious schools include Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, Trinity Lutheran School, Traverse Bay Christian School, and Traverse Bay Mennonite School.
Higher education can be sought at Northwestern Michigan College, a two-year community college with graduate programs including the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Great Lakes Culinary Institute and Great Lakes Water Studies Institute.
Traverse City provides several churches of various denominations. Visit here for the top rates churches in the Traverse City region.
Traverse City is home to some of the region’s top cultural and art destinations, including City Opera House, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Center for the Arts (located just south west of Traverse City in Interlochen), Dennos Museum. The downtown offers a vibrant community of shops, restaurants and more! Larger commercial stores may also be found on the outskirts of the downtown region.
For more information on Things to Do, visit here, provided by the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Traverse City has become a destination for food, wine, craft beer and spirits. Visitors and locals can enjoy a variety of fare from food trucks, to casual serve yourself eateries to elegant fine dining.
For a comprehensive list of Traverse City area eateries, visit TCCVB Restaurants.
Awarded several times as a vacation destination, Traverse City provides a variety of rental opportunities that include resorts, condominiums, hotels, bed & breakfasts, camping and more. For the best information visit: