June 25, 2016

What To Do, Where To Stay, What to Eat in Traverse City

For years, I have heard about how amazing Traverse City is but didn’t fully believe it until I saw it myself. We are on our way back from a 5 day trip from the beautiful Traverse City located in Northern Michigan and it was the best vacation that we have taken, aside from our honeymoon. I feel sad leaving because we had such an incredible time.
In typical fashion, I took 7 million photos and will be sharing them over a couple of posts in a What to Do, Where to Stay, What to Eat in Traverse City style post. I hope you enjoy and if you get the chance, definitely visit Traverse City because it is amazing. After being there for two hours, we already started planning our trip back, really. Hopefully this fall, we will be headed back to TC.

Right when we arrived to Traverse City, we rented a pontoon from Sunset Water Sports on gorgeous Lake Michigan. This boat was beautiful and renting a pontoon has been on our summer bucket list for at least 10 years. It was incredible and we enjoyed driving around the lake all day. We stopped at Power Island and walked around. 

The water was super cold so whoever went in the water jumped in quickly and came right back out. My family also joined us for the boat rental and loved it. Adalyn loved hanging out on the boat all day and even took a nap on me. We can’t wait to rent a boat again.

My brother brought his little charcoal grill on the boat and made awesome chicken schwarma sandwiches. We ate great all day long! Sunset Water Sports was great to work with and takes great care of their boats. We felt luxurious being on the boat. I would definitely rent from them again.

After dinner, we all went to Red Mesa Grill for some Mexican food. I felt like a big salad so I ordered that. My dad ordered an awesome creamy tomato soup that was my favorite of the dishes. My mom got chile rellenos. My brother and his wife enjoyed a coconut and a sour cherry margarita.

We then checked into our hotel: Cambria Hotel andSuites which is the #1 rated hotel in Traverse City. The hotel was very clean and modern. We had no issues through the trip. The bathroom was large and we kept Adalyn’s pack and play in there and she slept there for each nap and at night. This gave Troy and I the whole room which was awesome! It felt like a little date each evening. Time together as a couple is so important!

Everyone was very kind at the hotel and kept our room looking great. The hotel has a Keurig in the room which we liked and they serve Higher Grounds Coffee in the lobby and have a café with it which was delicious. We loved our stay there.

Each morning before Troy and Adalyn woke up, I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill or lifted a little bit of weights. The hotel has a great gym. I tried a bosu ball for the first time and now I want one! Troy went to the gym during Adalyn’s nap every day and enjoyed it as well.

The following morning, we walked to the beach. Our 2nd favorite park ended up being Bryant Park which had a great playground and beach access. Adalyn loved playing with her inexpensive beach toys that I bought. That morning, a deer even ran out on the beach!

We shopped around downtown Traverse City and bought some cute t-shirts and sweatshirts as souvenirs. There are tons of cute shops to check out. 

We went to lunch at the Cherry Republic Café. Cherry Republic is one of the must-do things in Traverse City (and Glen Arbor if you go to Sleeping Bear Dunes). They sell cherry salsa, BBQ sauce, candy, dried cherries, etc. You can sample it all which was a bunch of fun.

We loved the food at the café and it was one of my favorite meals while in Traverse City. We ordered the BBQ chicken pizza and a pizza with blue cheese, bacon and fig cherry jam- incredible. Adalyn loved the pretzel bites with cherry mustard. 

Troy got a fountain drink and had fun trying all of the different kinds of cherry pops. I ordered a cherry lemonade which Adalyn stole from me and drank most of haha!

Everything there is pretty much homemade and used different cherry products. I enjoyed talking with the manager about how everything was made and learning more about the company. They have a new store in Frankenmuth which I look forward to checking out the next time we go there. 

That afternoon, we went to the beach to hang out for awhile and play in the sand.

There is also a play area in the shop for kids which Adalyn liked playing on for a few minutes before we had to walk back for her nap.

That evening, we went to dinner at Aerie which is at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. It was a fancy dinner which was a little crazy bringing our loud toddler too but luckily, everyone was so nice about it. We had the shrimp cocktail, house salad, clam chowder and heirloom tomatoes (my favorite).

Troy had the great lakes whitefish which he loved and I had the fettuccine with a basil crème sauce. I cannot believe it but we ate everything- it was all so good! This restaurant had the most beautiful views as it was on the 16th floor. I want to stay at the Grand Traverse Resort one day as well- it looked incredible!

My favorite part of the meal was the dessert. Troy got the chocolate peanut butter which I have a hard time talking about without having my mouth water. It features chocolate mousse, peanut butter, popcorn ice cream and caramel corn. OMG! I had the Traverse City Cherry Pudding which I had to get because it had cherry butter ice cream. I love anything with tart cherries or cherry butter and I loved this ice cream which was slightly tart. Adalyn ate bites of everything and went crazy over the chocolate dessert.

Thanks for reading about the first part of our trip to Traverse City! Stay tuned for part two.

Thanks to Cambria Hotel and Suites for hosting us and several of the restaurants we tried for providing us complimentary meals on our trip. All opinions are my own, as always!

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