Traverse City Is “Pure Michigan”

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Do you hear that noise? It’s the sound of the warm summer sun breaking over the horizon. The summer flowers swaying in the gentle breeze. The summer birds chirping their happiness.  It can only mean one thing…it’s summer vacation time. Time to unwrap yourself from a cocoon of clothes you wore all winter.  To change your hot chocolate to lemonade bouncing around in an ice filled glass. To decompress from a too cold winter.

There is no place to do it better than in the Traverse City Michigan region. It is an area of beaches, water activities, shopping, golf courses, sand dunes, wineries, museums, casinos and fabulous restaurants.

The Traverse City area is nestled between Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. It provides numerous water activities and amazing sunsets. You can boat, jet ski, cruise on a tall ship, or just lay back on your little piece of heaven and take it all in.
TRAVERSE CITY PARKIf your idyllic summer vacation is to shop, Traverse City is the spot for you.  Besides the downtown area which has a multitude of stores, they have taken the former mental hospital and have transformed it into a shopping, eating and relaxing mecca, called The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.


STORE AT VILLAGE AT GRAND TRAVERSE COMMONSGolf courses abound in the Traverse City area. We just happened upon one, Lochenheath.

It is a private golf club with limited public times. All you have to do is call to see if there is a tee time available. What we saw of the golf course, it looks amazing both for the views and the challenge. It is an award winning Scottish link course designed by Florida architect Steve Smyers.  As for the views, it sits on a bluff overlooking Grand Traverse Bay.

VIEW OF LOCHENHEATH GOLF COURSE FROM RESTAURANTOn the winding path into the club house we came upon a couple of buildings designed with a Scottish influence.
LOCHENHEATH GOLF COURSEEven if you are not a golfer a visit to this golf course is well worth your time. The restaurant in the club house is to die for, both the views and the food. In fact, our meal here was one of the best dinners we had in Traverse City, both for the uniqueness of the menu and the taste of the food.

DININGROOM AT LOCHENHEATH GOLF COURSEFor an appetizers Randy and I shared a Morel Pizza. It was prepared on flatbread, had Michigan blonde morels, mozzarella, asparagus & truffle salt.

MOREL PIZZA AT LOCHENHEATH GOLF COURSEFor our entrees Randy had Arctic Char layered on sesame soy braised bok choy. It included rhubarb, edamame, ginger & lime.
ARTIC CHAR AT LOCHENHEATH GOLF COURSEMine was the Lemon Crusted Whitefish. It was lemon panko crusted. It also had parmesan whipped potatoes, peeled asparagus and lemon beurre blanc. The fish was light and flaky and the lemon provided just the right amount of tang.
LEMON CRUSTED WHITEFISH LOCHENHEATH GOLF COURSEDesert was Heath bar ice cream made especially for Lochenheath by the local dairy, Moomers. We were thrilled. They have amazing ice cream.

The wait staff was friendly and attentive without being overbearing. While it was obvious that many of the diners were regulars (and probably members) they never made us feel out of place.  On the contrary, they made us feel extremely welcome. A great place to have dinner if you just want to have fun or if you are looking for a romantic meal.

Sand dunes can be found many places along lakes, but none are as more beautiful than Sleeping Bear Dunes. In fact, in 2011 it was named the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by Good Morning America.
SLEEPING BEAR DUNES VIEW OF LAKE MICHIGANThere are two ways to see the dunes.

One is to walk them. I remember taking our girls here when they were young and walking the dunes. It was a strenuous hike but one of their all time favorite memories.
SLEEPING BEAR DUNESThe other way is to either drive or bike the trail. We chose this time to drive. They have numerous pullouts with amazing views of Lake Michigan. What I find amazing is that the dunes are constantly changing.  A trip there this year could look a lot different a few years down the road. It is always new and awe inspiring.
SLEEPING BEAR DUNES WALKWAYThe Traverse City area has the perfect conditions to grow grapes. Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are home to award winning wines. You can drive along these peninsulas and be rewarded by scenery of rolling hills, acres of grape vines, and views of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.
GRAPE VINES TRAVERSE CITY AREA (1)Do a wine tour or just stop in at one of the wineries and have a sample.
GRAPES TRAVERSE CITY AREA (1)Touring museums is also an option for the Traverse City area.  In fact, we just happened upon The Music House and decided to take their two hour tour.
Music House Museum 1It is the place for music lovers, history buffs, or antique lovers.  They have fully restored musical instruments from as far back as 1870 up to the 1930′s. Many of the instruments have been restored to the point where they can be played again. It was amazing to hear the player pianos, organs and nickelodeons.
Music House Museum 2
Music House Museum 4
Music House Museum 3If casinos are your thing there are two in the Traverse City area.

Restaurants abound in Traverse City and we came upon one for lunch that we could not have been more pleased with – Cousin Jenny’s.

COUSIN JENNY'SMany years ago Randy worked for the DNR and would come home raving about pasties. For those of you who do not know pasties  are vegetables, meat, and sauce wrapped inside a pastry crust. This is what Cousin Jenny serves. I had the vegetable. The crust was flaky and light while the vegetables were flavorful.

VEGETABLE PASTIE AT COUSIN JENNY'SRandy had an unconventional Italian pastie. It was spicy and filling. Just the way he liked it.

ITALIAN PASTIE AT COUSIN JENNY'SIf you are in Traverse City and looking for someplace different to eat, I would highly recommend Cousin Jenny’s.

If you have heard Tim Allen’s “Pure Michigan” ads, the Traverse City area is definitely the epitome of “Pure Michigan”. The place to get away from it all and recapture the feelings of relaxation and stress free life.

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About Tired Grandma Judy

Hi! My name is Judy and I’m a proud Grandma of four. With 3 granddaughters and 1 grandson, I spend a lot of time as a happy babysitter. I absolutely love being a grandmother and my grandchildren growing up in Ohio and Michigan, I spend a lot of time on the road, on the phone, and traveling. I"m happy to be aboard here at 2 Wired 2 Tired where I enjoy dabbling in food blogging, reviewing products for grandparents, and sharing our trip reviews.


  1. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in web explorer, may test this? IE still is the market leader and a big section of people will miss your excellent writing because of this problem.

  2. Wow I have never been here but I had no idea the area was so pretty thanks for sharing these wonderful pics.

  3. Sarah Hirsch says:

    looks great! I would love to go to traverse city

  4. ellen beck says:

    I havent been to Michigan but they have amazing things there- I want to visit for the great cherries!

  5. It does look like a place you you could relax and be stress free. There looks like so much to do and see.

  6. food looks great – I’ve never been to Michigan

  7. Tracie Vandermeulen says:

    Traverse City is one of my favorite places to visit!!!

  8. Nice pictures! the food looks delicious!

  9. Leanna Morris says:

    Your review of the area has caused me to add Traverse City, Mi to my “bucket travel list”! Thanks for the great review!

  10. We’ve been so many of those places, including that old insane asylum turned condo/shopping.

  11. We visited Traverse City many years ago. I enjoyed it and would like to go back!

  12. Nicole Schweitzer says:

    Traverse City looks beautiful and serene in the pictures! Would love to visit based on this.

  13. Kimberly says:

    We went to this area a couple of years ago while visiting my husband’s family and we still talk about the amazing cherry pies and desserts we had while touring a local festival! that was my first time in that area of MI and it’s beautiful!

  14. Tiffany R says:

    I love the cherry festival time. Northern Michigan is beautiful.

  15. rebecca shockley says:

    WOW, I’m completely amazed at all the wonderful thing’s you did in Michigan. The food looks to die for as always with your pictures!

  16. Sarah L says:

    You really make it sound like an inviting place to visit. I like those big dunes and the yummy looking food.

  17. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    Looks beautiful! The food looks really good too!

  18. Starr Greenwell says:

    I have never been to Michigan, but this looks like an absolutely lovely vacation spot.

  19. Such a gorgeous place! And the food looks incredible too!

  20. Jennifer Marie says:

    I have never done a wine tour-that sounds fun!

  21. Sandy VanHoey says:

    Being from Michigan and living there most of my life, you’d think I would have gone there. Just may have to visit when going back to visit family. It looks great and the food looks delicious

  22. Janet W. says:

    I really want to go visit after seeing your post! Looks amazing!

  23. Maralea says:

    Lots of fun things to do! Will be putting Traverse City on my list of places I would love to visit! Thanks for the great review :)

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