Laurie’s Guidebook

Laurie

Laurie’s Guidebook

The BEST of TC's notorious FOOD SCENE
Fantastic breakfast, lunch, brunch and morning drinks in the historic Grand Traverse Commons!
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Red Spire Brunch House
800 Cottageview Dr
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Fantastic breakfast, lunch, brunch and morning drinks in the historic Grand Traverse Commons!
Another gem in the Grand Traverse Commons. Delicious tacos, tostadas, salsas.
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Spanglish
1333 Yellow Drive
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Another gem in the Grand Traverse Commons. Delicious tacos, tostadas, salsas.
Your diner style breakfast. Also serves cocktails, whether at breakfast, lunch or dinner!
The Original Flap Jack Shack
3980 US-31
Your diner style breakfast. Also serves cocktails, whether at breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Grab a gobbler and some fresh fruit salad to go. Their chicken salad is amazing. Fill up your cooler for a day out!
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Mary's Kitchen Port
539 West Front Street
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Grab a gobbler and some fresh fruit salad to go. Their chicken salad is amazing. Fill up your cooler for a day out!
Warm, griddled sandwiches and soups. Try the veggie sandwich but add turkey!
The Chef's In
519 W Front St
Warm, griddled sandwiches and soups. Try the veggie sandwich but add turkey!
European inspired food. Great brunch. I prefer it for breakfast and lunch. The olive twists, tomato bisque, the quiche, the coffee and desserts are top knotch! The seating is a little "cozy" but the food and outstanding service can't be beat. Try to sit in Andrew's section. He has won many Red Hot Best awards as a local's favorite server!
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amical
229 East Front Street
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European inspired food. Great brunch. I prefer it for breakfast and lunch. The olive twists, tomato bisque, the quiche, the coffee and desserts are top knotch! The seating is a little "cozy" but the food and outstanding service can't be beat. Try to sit in Andrew's section. He has won many Red Hot Best awards as a local's favorite server!
A Traverse City tradition and long time favorite! This place is family owned and is always creative with their menu and craft cocktails. Fresh ingredients and inspired ideas. Cool art and mellow vibe. Local's love it here. They hand make their pasta as well. Try the tomato spinach swiss soup...you'll go back for more!
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Poppycocks
128 E Front St
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A Traverse City tradition and long time favorite! This place is family owned and is always creative with their menu and craft cocktails. Fresh ingredients and inspired ideas. Cool art and mellow vibe. Local's love it here. They hand make their pasta as well. Try the tomato spinach swiss soup...you'll go back for more!
Downtown shopping and need fuel? Brew offers coffee, and alcohol! Get a Twitchy Russian....A white Russian with a shot of espresso. Yes, it is a coffee shop and bar. Bring your laptop and join the locals at work!
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Brew
108 East Front Street
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Downtown shopping and need fuel? Brew offers coffee, and alcohol! Get a Twitchy Russian....A white Russian with a shot of espresso. Yes, it is a coffee shop and bar. Bring your laptop and join the locals at work!
THE. BEST. RUBEN. EVER. They smoke their own meats and brew their own beer. Need I say more? Say Hi to Kathleen at the bar, tell her Laurie sent you.
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Mackinaw Brewing Company
161 East Front Street
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THE. BEST. RUBEN. EVER. They smoke their own meats and brew their own beer. Need I say more? Say Hi to Kathleen at the bar, tell her Laurie sent you.
The street corn here is so good. These are pricier tacos, but they are paying for some serious real estate in the heart of Traverse City. Again, don't miss the street corn! Guac is pretty amazing too.
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Mama Lu's - A Modern Day Taco Shop
149 E Front St
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The street corn here is so good. These are pricier tacos, but they are paying for some serious real estate in the heart of Traverse City. Again, don't miss the street corn! Guac is pretty amazing too.
GRRRRREAT bar food. Totally cool dive-y scene. Classic rock, trivia. and signed photos of d -ist celebrities who have visited.
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U And I Lounge
214 East Front Street
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GRRRRREAT bar food. Totally cool dive-y scene. Classic rock, trivia. and signed photos of d -ist celebrities who have visited.
Ah-mazing asian fusion. Upscale, metro scene. Professional staff, gorgeous, delicious food.
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Red Ginger
237 East Front Street
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Ah-mazing asian fusion. Upscale, metro scene. Professional staff, gorgeous, delicious food.
Vietnamese food at it's freshest and finest. If they have the potstickers, splurge. They offer a limited craft cocktail selection. The Good Bowl donates $1 from each bowl to the charity of your choice on the World, National, or Local level. Beautiful!
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The Good Bowl
328 E Front St
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Vietnamese food at it's freshest and finest. If they have the potstickers, splurge. They offer a limited craft cocktail selection. The Good Bowl donates $1 from each bowl to the charity of your choice on the World, National, or Local level. Beautiful!
If you are visiting Northern Michigan for the first time, you'll want to try a pastie. Cornish heritage miners brought this food with them. Cornish wives, "Jennys" fill a savory pastry with meats and/or vegetables. Old school miners used to heat them up with the candles on their mining helmets.
Cousin Jenny's Cornish Pasties
129 South Union Street
If you are visiting Northern Michigan for the first time, you'll want to try a pastie. Cornish heritage miners brought this food with them. Cornish wives, "Jennys" fill a savory pastry with meats and/or vegetables. Old school miners used to heat them up with the candles on their mining helmets.
At the Grand Traverse Commons, this is an absolutely gorgeous space, in the former State Hospital kitchen where the Italian food is absolutley amazing and artful. This is a special occasion restaurant as it is a bit more pricey, but so worth the splurge.
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PepeNero
700 Cottageview Drive
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At the Grand Traverse Commons, this is an absolutely gorgeous space, in the former State Hospital kitchen where the Italian food is absolutley amazing and artful. This is a special occasion restaurant as it is a bit more pricey, but so worth the splurge.
Go here for amazing happy hour deals. This is also an amazing steak and seafood place.
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Harrington's By The Bay
13890 South West Bay Shore Drive
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Go here for amazing happy hour deals. This is also an amazing steak and seafood place.
Yummy Thai.
Thai Kitchen
1133 W South Airport Rd
Yummy Thai.
Ridiculously huge steaks. AMERICAN steak house.
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Boone's Long Lake Inn
7208 Secor Road
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Ridiculously huge steaks. AMERICAN steak house.
Yummy fresh food and award winning beer! VERY cool scene and German biergarten style seating. Fun music and activities!
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Rare Bird Brewpub
229 Lake Avenue
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Yummy fresh food and award winning beer! VERY cool scene and German biergarten style seating. Fun music and activities!
Holy Moly! Detroit Pizza is having it's moment and it isn't done better than at Charles and Reid! Dan and Kristin are awesome folks too! Don't be a square, unless your a pizza!
Charles & Reid Detroit Pizza
113 East State Street
Holy Moly! Detroit Pizza is having it's moment and it isn't done better than at Charles and Reid! Dan and Kristin are awesome folks too! Don't be a square, unless your a pizza!
Hippest, coolest coffee.
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BLK \ MRKT
144 Hall St
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Hippest, coolest coffee.
Super yummy and affordable homemade pasta. Casual, downtown.
The Flying Noodle - Italian Pasta House
136 East Front Street
Super yummy and affordable homemade pasta. Casual, downtown.
DEEEEEELICIOUS crepes! Cute shop too!
Millie and Pepper Creperie & General Store
120 S Union St
DEEEEEELICIOUS crepes! Cute shop too!
The absolute premier market in town. Meats, cheeses, dips, wines, spreads, salads, deli, select groceries, sauces, etc. Fill your cooler.
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Burritt's Fresh Markets
509 West Front Street
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The absolute premier market in town. Meats, cheeses, dips, wines, spreads, salads, deli, select groceries, sauces, etc. Fill your cooler.
Our natural foods co-op. Great deli and grocery items. Beer and wine. Fill your cooler for the beach!
Oryana West
3587 Marketplace Circle
Our natural foods co-op. Great deli and grocery items. Beer and wine. Fill your cooler for the beach!
Cool scene in a former depot. Often live music. Friendly staff. Good pizza.
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The Filling Station Microbrewery
642 Railroad Place
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Cool scene in a former depot. Often live music. Friendly staff. Good pizza.
This is a special occassion favorite. Delicious, interesting food in an intimate, fresh setting.
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The Cook's House
115 Wellington Street
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This is a special occassion favorite. Delicious, interesting food in an intimate, fresh setting.
Delicious breads and baked goods. Yummy sandwiches.
Common Good Bakery
537 W Fourteenth St
Delicious breads and baked goods. Yummy sandwiches.
Sweet Treats
Need something sweet?
Handcrafted chocolates, candies, popcorn, ice cream. It all started in this location...hundreds of stores nationwide now! I love the fancy caramel apples and the pretzel sticks!
Kilwins Chocolates
129 E Front St
Handcrafted chocolates, candies, popcorn, ice cream. It all started in this location...hundreds of stores nationwide now! I love the fancy caramel apples and the pretzel sticks!
Get a turtle how they are really meant to be made: with Butterscotch, hot fudge, and loads of pecans!
Wares Bros Frosty Treat
13000 S W Bay Shore Dr
Get a turtle how they are really meant to be made: with Butterscotch, hot fudge, and loads of pecans!
This is a fantastic European bistro, but I love to go here for coffee and to pick something from their beautiful dessert case.
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amical
229 East Front Street
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This is a fantastic European bistro, but I love to go here for coffee and to pick something from their beautiful dessert case.
A local tradition! Pick something from their beautiful dessert case!
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Poppycocks
128 E Front St
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A local tradition! Pick something from their beautiful dessert case!
It's like Subway for donuts! Create your own tasty treat!
Peace Love and Little Donuts of Traverse City
441 E Front St
It's like Subway for donuts! Create your own tasty treat!
Pies, turnovers, muffins so good they're shipped around the country!
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Grand Traverse Pie Company
525 West Front Street
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Pies, turnovers, muffins so good they're shipped around the country!
Look over the dairy farm as you eat their nationally recognized ice cream with lots of flavors daily. Prepare for a line though!
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Moomers Homemade Ice Cream
7263 North Long Lake Road
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Look over the dairy farm as you eat their nationally recognized ice cream with lots of flavors daily. Prepare for a line though!
Bars and Breweries
TC has a great bar scene, lots of live music options and some dance/nightclub options. We run the gamut from cool dive bars, to fantastic, hand crafted cocktails! Something for everyone..
Award winning beer and cocktails! German styler biergarten.
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Rare Bird Brewpub
229 Lake Avenue
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Award winning beer and cocktails! German styler biergarten.
Old timey bar with top knotch craft cocktails!
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The Parlor TC
205 Lake Avenue
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Old timey bar with top knotch craft cocktails!
Local LGBTQ+, welcomes everyone. Dance Dance Dance! Sweaty! Stinky! fun!
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SideTraxx Dance Bar
520 Franklin St
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Local LGBTQ+, welcomes everyone. Dance Dance Dance! Sweaty! Stinky! fun!
Local food truck lot with an attached bar that excels at craft cocktails. Cool scene, usually music or another cultural event happening. Bring your kids and dog before 9pm.
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The Little Fleet
448 East Front Street
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Local food truck lot with an attached bar that excels at craft cocktails. Cool scene, usually music or another cultural event happening. Bring your kids and dog before 9pm.
Cool, dive-y bar in the heart of downtown. Features signed photos of d-list celebrities from 30+ years ago. Strong cheap drinks.
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U And I Lounge
214 East Front Street
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Cool, dive-y bar in the heart of downtown. Features signed photos of d-list celebrities from 30+ years ago. Strong cheap drinks.
Mammoth is a hiiiiigh quality local distillery where you will have your choice of locally distilled liquors that are thoughtfully mixed into amazing hand-crafted cocktails that absolutely do not disappoint! It is also situated in the newer, hip area of town called the warehouse district. Workshop brewery is next door if someone in your group prefers a local beer, or vice versa! This is almost a DO NOT MISS for me. They often have live music in both venues on weekends!
Mammoth Distilling Cocktail Lounge
221 Garland St
Mammoth is a hiiiiigh quality local distillery where you will have your choice of locally distilled liquors that are thoughtfully mixed into amazing hand-crafted cocktails that absolutely do not disappoint! It is also situated in the newer, hip area of town called the warehouse district. Workshop brewery is next door if someone in your group prefers a local beer, or vice versa! This is almost a DO NOT MISS for me. They often have live music in both venues on weekends!
The Top of the Park has the very best views of West Bay and Traverse City. They make a some serious martinis!
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Park Place Hotel and Conference Center
300 East State Street
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The Top of the Park has the very best views of West Bay and Traverse City. They make a some serious martinis!
Our local arcade bar has pinball, skee ball and pool. 130 canned beverage options, outdoor area with food trucks. Super cool.
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The Coin Slot
275 Garland St
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Our local arcade bar has pinball, skee ball and pool. 130 canned beverage options, outdoor area with food trucks. Super cool.
A ridiculous number of taps. So many beers and ciders, etc. And, good food.
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7 Monks Taproom
128 South Union Street
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A ridiculous number of taps. So many beers and ciders, etc. And, good food.
Poolside DJ sets Thursday-Saturday nights. 5-9
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West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort
615 East Front Street
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Poolside DJ sets Thursday-Saturday nights. 5-9
Things to Do
Here are the things we like to do around town. Always check out the local rag, the Northern Express to be up to date on what is happening in town and all of Northern Michigan! There are many golf courses, fishing spots, kayak spots, sooooo many activities! Please ask if you need specific help!
It is a one of our National Parks National Lakeshore! You must spend some time hiking, biking or beaching here!
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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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It is a one of our National Parks National Lakeshore! You must spend some time hiking, biking or beaching here!
Our trail that covers TC for bikers, rollerbladers, skaters, walkers, runners. Safe and clean.
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Tart Trails Inc
148 East Front Street
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Our trail that covers TC for bikers, rollerbladers, skaters, walkers, runners. Safe and clean.
This is the MPAA#1 rated movie theater in the United States! Home to the Traverse City Film Festival , this heart of our community hosts over free events per year. If you are lucky enough to be here during the Film Festival (always the last week of July into August) grab the schedule and don't miss our fantastic array of movies!
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State Theatre
233 East Front Street
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This is the MPAA#1 rated movie theater in the United States! Home to the Traverse City Film Festival , this heart of our community hosts over free events per year. If you are lucky enough to be here during the Film Festival (always the last week of July into August) grab the schedule and don't miss our fantastic array of movies!
Our city beach! This stretches through downtown to the warehouse district. There is a section for families further east, the marina, the open space great for a picnic or kite flying, then the "volleyball beach" where the younger set tend to tan.
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Clinch Park
111 East Grandview Parkway
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Our city beach! This stretches through downtown to the warehouse district. There is a section for families further east, the marina, the open space great for a picnic or kite flying, then the "volleyball beach" where the younger set tend to tan.
Rain or shine this is a great place to stop in! Gorgeous gifts, plants and what-not. You can build your own terrarium! Grab a coffee at the BLKMRKT next door, and explore some of the other shops in the "warehouse district"!
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Darling Botanical Company
144 Hall Street
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Rain or shine this is a great place to stop in! Gorgeous gifts, plants and what-not. You can build your own terrarium! Grab a coffee at the BLKMRKT next door, and explore some of the other shops in the "warehouse district"!
This is one of the most unique places in Northern Michigan. A former State Mental Hospital, closed in the 80's sat and deteriorated for about 20 years...until a local visionary and developer saw it's unique beauty and decided to rennovate and reinvent the space. It is now full of bustling shops, restaurants, offices, condominiums and community spaces. You can spend an entire day here. Many of my restaurant recommendations are here!
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The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
830 Cottageview Drive
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This is one of the most unique places in Northern Michigan. A former State Mental Hospital, closed in the 80's sat and deteriorated for about 20 years...until a local visionary and developer saw it's unique beauty and decided to rennovate and reinvent the space. It is now full of bustling shops, restaurants, offices, condominiums and community spaces. You can spend an entire day here. Many of my restaurant recommendations are here!
Book my Airbnb Experience at the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area! I will lead you on a hike! Message me for details. There is an extensive trail system right within our city limits! Enjoy some hiking, walking or biking through the woods, along the creek, over hill and dale!
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Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area
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Book my Airbnb Experience at the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area! I will lead you on a hike! Message me for details. There is an extensive trail system right within our city limits! Enjoy some hiking, walking or biking through the woods, along the creek, over hill and dale!
Our in town executive course is friendly, convenient and let's you knock out a round in a couple hours.
Bay Meadows Family Golf Course
5550 Bay Meadows Drive
Our in town executive course is friendly, convenient and let's you knock out a round in a couple hours.
Take a booze cruise on west bay! Truly a must do!
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Nauti Cat Cruises
615 East Front Street
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Take a booze cruise on west bay! Truly a must do!
Rainy day? Check out our Smithsonian Affiliate museum at Northwestern Michigan College!
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Dennos Museum Center
1701 East Front Street
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Rainy day? Check out our Smithsonian Affiliate museum at Northwestern Michigan College!
Saturday morning coffee and the freshest fruits, veg, meat and breads the 45th parallel has to offer seasonally. Beautiful morning bay views too!
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Sara Hardy Farmers Market
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Saturday morning coffee and the freshest fruits, veg, meat and breads the 45th parallel has to offer seasonally. Beautiful morning bay views too!

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Airbnb Experience: Local's Favorites with a Favorite Local
I host an Airbnb Experience Local's Favorites with a Favorite Local. Join me as I take you through downtown Traverse City, sharing what I know about this place, it's people, history and favorite bites and bits from this Local's Favorite spots!!!
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Airbnb Experience: Trail Hike In City Limits-Dogs Welcome
Book my Airbnb Experience: Trail Hike In City Limits- Dogs Welcome Join me as we walk a hidden, in town trail system with bogs, fields, forest and creeks. As we go, I will share with you a little bit about the history of the property which was once a working commune; our local State Asylum for the Insane.