There’s no shortage of 4th of July festivities when it comes to celebrating in Traverse City! With the summer’s biggest holiday around the corner, it’s time to enjoy all the activities that salute the nation and honor its history. From spectacular fireworks over West Bay, to lakefront concerts, beach parties and more, there’s no better place to celebrate the country’s independence in Michigan than Traverse City.
Grab your friends, family, and sparklers, and turn up your USA-themed playlist, then head to one of these Northern Michigan 4th of July celebrations!
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A
Enjoy the Traverse City Boom Boom Club’s spectacular 4th of July firework display shot over West Bay beginning at dark! You’ll find great viewing from anywhere along the West Bay shoreline in Traverse City. Click here for more information.
The best part about Northern Michigan is its beaches. No salt, no sharks, and nothing but fresh water! If you’re looking for the biggest 4th of July gathering, head down to West End Beach or Clinch Park along the shores of Traverse City’s Open Space. Locals and visitors alike will claim their space on the beach, with boaters anchored nearby, creating a fun boat-to-shore social scene.
Each summer since 1968, Traverse City has celebrated one of its most famous and delicious goods: the cherry. The 2017 National Cherry Festival takes place July 1 through July 8, and it’s full of all sorts of fun – concerts along the bay, good eats, local wine and beer, athletic events, a spectacular air show and of course lots and lots of cherries. I highly suggest hitting up a concert, walking the midway, and topping of your evening at the beer tent.
Happy Birthday America! Let’s raise a glass and toast to our history and accomplishments, and if you’re a wine drinker like myself, you’re going to be sipping on that TC local good stuff. Situated on the 45th parallel – just like France’s Bordeaux region, and Italy’s Piedmont region – Traverse City has quickly become a notable wine destination, boasting a variety of cool-climate wines that pair entirely well with the booming cuisine scene. Combine all of that with the beauty of Old Mission Peninsula, Leelanau County, Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, the region’s wine scene will have you craving for more!
Let’s be honest, are we even in Michigan? Named the “Most Beautiful Place in America” on ABC’s Good Morning America, the Sleeping Bear Dunes encompass 65 miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan’s Eastern Coastline, with bluffs that tower over 450 feet, luscious forests, clear blue inland lakes, and breathtaking views. Escape the town and crowds, and enjoy the scenic ride and experience out to the area’s most beautiful spot.
Here in Northern Michigan, we get to take our beer outside and enjoy it in cool places such as my favorite, Hop Lot Brewing in Suttons Bay. There’s something enticing about getting to enjoy Northern Michigan’s charm with a good beer in hand, surrounded by your friends and family. Hop Lot’s Beer Garden has established itself as the ultimate Northern Michigan destination to embrace the local beer culture, while taking in the breathtaking outdoors.
With a venue like this, how can you pass up a Cherry Festival Concert. The 90’s Dance Party 2.0 featuring Vanilla Ice, All-4-One, and C & C Music Factory will be taking the stage along the Bay this 4th of July. Last year I was able to attend this one-of-a-kind dance party, and I can promise you that it’s a great time. Get your tickets here!
A Traverse City 4th of July isn’t complete without a big slice of cherry pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Co. With two Traverse City locations, they make it easy for you to indulge on their cherry deliciousness.
With a prime location, incredible views, and good drinks, The Hotel Indigo is a must-visit! The rooftop view lines up perfectly with the main stage of the Traverse City Cherry Festival, and the Lake in the background doesn’t hurt either. It’s the perfect destination to kick back and enjoy a nice sunset over the bay, while listening to the sights and sounds of the Cherry Festival.
Now that I’ve provided you with a fun-filled 4th of July, it’s your turn to get out and enjoy what Northern Michigan has to offer! Cheers and Happy Birthday America!
While Traverse City and Leelanau County are predominantly known for their wine and beer scene, hard cider isn’t to far behind as a Michigan favorite. With the country’s third largest apple crop, Northern Michigan has emerged as an industry leader, and with warmer weather on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to tour the leading cider destinations in the area. Whether you’re a local or traveler, no trip to the area would be complete without a visit to these Northern Michigan cider establishments.
Here’s a list of my favorite places around Traverse City to grab a glass of hard cider:
With a prime location in the center of Downtown Traverse City, Taproot Cider House has become a Front Street favorite. With 17 ciders on tap, there’s a cider for everyone in the group to enjoy. What I enjoy most about this cider house is that it’s a true Northern Michigan establishment with a welcoming atmosphere! Taproot captures the essence of Northern Michigan, with accents of reclaimed wood from a big storm that hit Traverse City in August of 2015. Other features such as a physical taproot that was donated from a local orchard acts as the famous centerpiece behind the bar.
Taproot Cider House is known for supporting local farmers, distilleries, wineries, and craft breweries. Their earth to table concept features a food menu with a nice variety of local and organic produce. Let Taproot be your next downtown destination!
Yes, I tasted all 17 ciders on tap, and here’s a list of my favorites!
The regions first urban winery located in the center of the historic Northern Michigan Asylum, now known as The Village Traverse Commons, offers a unique space that allows them to create wine and cider from vineyards and orchards around Traverse City. Left Foot Charley has a variety of wine and cider on hand, and is only a short drive from downtown Traverse City! Open until 9pm, think of Left Foot Charley during your next outing! Their patio is unbeatable in the summer months.
With unparalleled views of Grand Traverse West Bay and a bar that looks out to Power Island, Suttons Bay Ciders is the optimal setting for a Northern Michigan Hard Cidery. Family owned and operated, Suttons Bay Ciders is located just a half mile off of M22, and offers the perfect cozy and laid-back atmosphere. My recommendation is to enjoy a nice sampler of all their ciders up at the bar, while taking in the pure Michigan sights.
Make yourself at home, because Tandem Ciders is the ultimate local cider hangout. Found along a scenic country road in Leelanau County’s wine country, Tandem Ciders offers a variety of ciders that you can enjoy in the tasting room, or take to go. I recommend getting a flight, and taking home a growler of your choice to enjoy! Their highly popular “Smackintosh” cider is a crowd favorite.
Located right on the 45th parallel, this Northern Michigan winery has become a Leelanau Peninsula destination thanks to its variety of wine, casual atmosphere, outgoing staff, and of course their unique ciders. 45 North has been able to capitalize off of its distinct location as the driving force behind its approach to crafting world-class wines and ciders that represent the West Michigan wine and cider scene. Tucked between the woods, 45 North has a great Northern Michigan vibe. Stop in for a cider tasting, and pair it with their award-winning wine. You can even enjoy your taste from their horse saddle bar stools.
In addition to their wines, Veterra Winery’s sister project, Chaos Ciders makes a variety of hard ciders that are becoming a staple known to the Northern Michigan cider scene. Nestled in the town of Leland, their unique tasting room — which once was a barber shop/pool hall in 1927 — is one-of-a-kind. Whether your tasting, grabbing a glass, or taking home a growler, Verterra is a great one stop shop for both cider and wine lovers. When you do visit, be sure to ask for Lindy because she was absolutely wonderful! Lindy gave such an educational, yet enjoyable tasting experience and was full of knowledge!
For the cider drinkers with a sweeter palate, Chateau De Leelanau is the place for you. As you’re entering Leelanau County’s wine country, Chateau De Leelanau is an easy stop to hit with direct access off of M22. Try one or all five of their ciders, and take a glass to enjoy outside on their patio. Their large tasting room is fully equipped to handle you and all your friends tasting needs!
Situated halfway out on Old Mission Peninsula, with views overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, Bowers Harbor offers a cozy and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy wine and cider, while learning about the different varietals, and growing practices. Whether you’re enjoying a glass on the patio, or tasting at the bar, the staff provides a fun, yet knowledgable experience. Their Apple cider was my favorite, however, Bowers Harbor’s cider list has a nice variety of seasonal tastes and flavors. Sipping on their Peach and Blueberry ciders were a nice taste of summer in the middle of winter.
Now it’s your turn to get out and try these local cider favorites!