Listed as one of the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by U.S. News in 2012, Traverse City is also a great temporary destination and vacation spot for seniors. The Michigan town might be small, but it has a host of diverse activities and landscapes, including, beaches, vineyards, forests, and lakes. Traverse City's claim to fame, though, is its weeklong National Cherry Festival in July, when half a million visitors descend on the small town (population around 15,000), the largest producer of tart cherries in the nation. Whether you’re visiting for the festival or not, here are some of the best activities for seniors in and around the city.
Planning a visit to Lake Michigan? Browse Traverse City Rentals!
What to do in Traverse City: Top Activities for Seniors
1. Attend the National Cherry Festival
As the main annual event in Traverse City, all visitors should try to attend the National Cherry Festival, conveniently held on or near July 4th, at least once. The Festival includes cherry pit spitting and pie eating contests, a parade, an airshow, and more.
2. Wine Taste
Though it might be better known for its cherries, Traverse City is also wine country. Visitors can winery-hop themselves, or opt to take one of the many tours that offer up a bus or shuttle for convenience as well. For those who prefer beer to wine, there’s also a notable brewing scene in the city.
3. Sail around Lake Michigan
One of Traverse City's biggest attractions is its location — right on Grand Traverse Bay, a branch of Lake Michigan where the water is deep but also protected. Visitors can rent a motorboat and venture out on their own, or go for a sailing tour. Some tours even offer wine or microbrew tastings while aboard.
4. Watch a Performance at the City Opera House
Originally built in 1891, and recently restored to its former glory and designated a Michigan State Historic Site, the City Opera House is a worthy destination just for its building. However, the building also plays hosts to operas, plays, speakers, singers, and more. After a day out and about, it’s the perfect place to relax and escape from the cold or heat — depending what season it is.
5. Tour the Dennos Museum Center
The Dennos Museum Center, located at Northwestern Michigan College, has changing exhibits that include both historical and contemporary art, but is perhaps best known for its permanent collection of Inuit Art. Current exhibits include photography from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as textile artwork.
6. Enjoy an Outdoor Performance at the Interlochen Center for the Arts
The Interlochen Center for the Arts is one of the premiere places in the country for young dancers, actors, writers, and musicians to go for either summer camp or academic school to practice their talent. For this purpose, they also put on frequent performances, including outdoor shows in the summer. The best part is it’s only 13 miles south of Traverse City. Pack a picnic or tailgate with some friends before enjoying the show.
7. Go to a Minor League Baseball Game
Traverse City is home to the Beach Bums, a minor league baseball team that plays at Wuerfel Park. The name reflects the many visitors who flock to the resort town and enjoy the lakeshore. The games are a fun, spirited time for visitors looking for an afternoon or evening of diversion.
Ready to visit Traverse City? Browse cottages, homes and more in Traverse City on Tripping.com now!
This article was written by Isabella Sayyah.