10.11.16

Traverse City, Michigan


Some of the best trips you take are the ones that were to a random place, had the least amount of planning and exceeded your expectations. My trip to Traverse City, Michigan was exactly that. A few weekends ago we decided to take a short one night trip to upper Michigan to get away from our day to day life and enjoy some time together with R. I had heard about Traverse City through a friend and after googling it and seeing few photos I booked us an Airbnb. With no general plan except where we were staying the night, we headed up north to Midwest’s number one small town to visit.



(A few miles outside of Traverse City we drove down this scenic road)
(One of the cute homes on the street we were staying on )
The drive from Chicago is about four to five hours along the main highways and tollways, far enough away but close enough in distance for a weekend away. Most nights I get home from work around 6 30pm so there was no way we were going to drive up Friday night after work. Instead we woke up earlier than usual for a Saturday, packed the car and got on the road. The autumn leaves had begun to change making for a colorful trip and scenery that reminded me of New England in the fall. 

(Selection of delicious pies)
(Grand Traverse Pie Company)


A little after lunchtime we arrived at our Airbnb, a guest house attached to the main house and just a few blocks from the historic center of Traverse City. Our Airbnb host had bikes prepared for us in the backyard, a perfect way to get around town. Even though it was late October we had weather in the mid 50’s F / around 13 C with the sun shining. Having been in the car for a few hours we were both hungry so we got our bikes and rode to the center of town in search for food. We ended up at Grand Traverse Pie Company, a Michigan bakery offering the most delicious pies and baked goods. I ordered the beef pot pie with Italian Wedding soup and R had chicken pot pie with a slice of apple pie for dessert It was the perfect first meal of our trip and the pies were delicious. 

(Map of downtown Traverse City) 
(Walking along the Boardman River)
Boardwalk along Boardman River


Because Traverse City is a touristy town you can find a map of the area in almost every restaurant or store. We loosely used the map to navigate around but decided it would be more fun to spontaneous bike around and see what we would find. The Boardman River curves through town and you can walk along the boardwalk in most spots. We found a few picturesque spots and walked along the water’s edge. The crisp fall air was refreshing to breath in, a detox from the Chicago city air. 

(Filling Station Micro Brewery)
(Bike trail from town to the micro brewery)
We had seen on the map there was a microbrewery that we hoped to find while biking, and with luck we did. Most of the town was quiet and empty but the Filling Station Micro Brewery was full of people drinking and enjoying each other’s company. We ordered our beers at the bar and sat down as the sun began to slowly set. I wanted to see the sun set over the lake so we finished our beers and made a quick stop at our guest house to grab our jackets. The sunset was beautiful to capture and allowed for me to play around with my camera and photography skills. I have been hoping to advance my knowledge of my camera, especially when it comes to using the manual options. Watching the sun set over the colorful treetop covered hills, I was filled with happiness that I had chosen to take this mini adventure. Once the sun set it definitely dropped a few degrees and felt like a cool autumn evening.

(Left: Georgina's Fusion Cuisine; Right: Walking along the lake)




(Great Lakes Bath & Body)
While traveling I love trying local food and restaurants. While shopping for candles at Great Lakes Bath & Body we asked the friendly manager which restaurant he thinks is the best place to have dinner. His response “Georgina’s, if you can get a table”. Challenge accepted. R and I purchased our candles and made our way toward Georgina’s, a creative Latin and Asian fusion restaurant. The place was packed when we walked i but the waitress said our wait could be around twenty minutes if we sat at the bar. After studying the menu we decided we both really wanted to eat here so why not wait. To our surprise we were seated within ten minutes of waiting. We each ordered a glass of wine and took in the lively yet intimate atmosphere. I had the Tostada de Lechon – Cuban pork served between to crunchy tortillas with beans and mozzarella and topped with fresh lettuce, salsa and a side of the rice and beans. Each bit was bursting with flavor, I could definitely make the drive back up to Traverse City to come back for more. R ordered the bistec milanesa, a beef tender pounded thinly, breaded with panko, baked with layers of ham and salami and cheese, topped with a tomato basil sauce. After the last drop of wine was drank we headed out to the beautifully lite streets of Traverse City. Every restaurant was filled with people and a wedding was in full swing as we slowly headed back to our guest house. The evening was topped off with the Chicago Cubs winning the game against the LA Dodgers, moving them on to the World Series. (spoiler alert: they won the World Series!!!!)

(City Opera House - where you can find Great Lakes Bath & Body and Brew Cafe)


(Our breakfast)
(Pure Michigan)


Headed back to Chicago we decided to take a different route than the one we took coming up north. Side roads along the western edge of Michigan take you through the small towns along the coast and allowed for us to see more colorful foliage. Our first stop along scenic route 31 was in Manistee where we got to see one of the many lighthouses that you can find along Michigan’s coast. We couldn’t have asked for a better day – blue skies and the temperatures around  65F/18C, a rarity in Northern Michigan in October. Continuing back home we stopped one more time in Muskegon for lunch. Much to our disappointment a lot of the restaurants were closed on Sundays and we ended up grabbing a quick bite at a Culver’s (my first time at the fast food chain, and it was quite good). 

(Lighthouse in Manistee)

(Left: Life safety ring from Manistee; Right: The beautiful coast of Lake Michigan) 
(Lake Michigan in Muskegon)
(Looking out towards Chicago from the other side of Lake Michigan)
I want to take advantage of living in the Midwest and see as much possible of this region of the US while I still live here. Traverse City had exceeded my expectations and I will always look back at our mini adventure happily. Is there any place you went to that exceeded your expectations?

x the Adventurer

62 comments:

  1. Amazing photos! I would just love to travel to cities like Michigan, Denver and Boston!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! I hope you get a chance to go to those cities =o) I'm sure you would love exploring them!

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  2. Michigan is so beautiful in these autumn colours! The best adventures are the unexpected ones :D -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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    1. The autumn colors in Michigan were stunning! I was so glad we took the trip =o) Thanks for the sweet comment!

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  3. Such a pretty city! Glad you to see you had a great and lovely time there!

    http://violettedaily.com

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment =o) Traverse City was so beautiful to visit =o)

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  4. Beautiful photos!

    (new URL!) www.audrey-allure.com
    xx Audrey

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  5. This place looks like a fairytale, how beautiful! Thank you so so much for sharing this beauty, so good to the eyes!

    Love,

    Lucrezia ♥ (http://www.lucreziacandelori.com)

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment =o) I hope you get a chance to see Traverse City, it's so charming =o)

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  6. Really enjoyed reading this! Great post!xx
    www.shybutsecretlyfabulous.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed reading about Traverse City =o) Thanks for the sweet comment!

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  7. Hey dear, i really like this post! This photos is very nice and beautiful, I like it! Also, It's very original! Big like for post, i follow you.

    http://thestoryofagothic.blogspot.rs/

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment =o) I'm glad you like my photos and post!

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  8. I have to several places that exceeded my expectations: Istanbul, Toronto, Varanasi, Edinburgh,... to name a few. Wish I could travel around the US for a year or two. There is just so much to see!

    LUXESSED

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    1. How fun! I'm actually going to Toronto next weekend! Do you have any recommendations =o)

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  9. Traverse City looks beautiful, I really love your photos. I'm just trying out this airbnb thing for the first time later this month too and I'm really excited! Such a great alternative to hotels :)

    xo
    Marta
    www.paradiseplayground.net

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    1. How exciting! I hope you enjoyed staying at your airbnb =o) Thank you for the sweet comment =o)

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  10. It looks so pretty there, I want some of that pie
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  11. I love how the colors just pop right out of your photos! Michigan sounds and looks really beautiful.

    annescribblesanddoodles.blogspot.com | Bloglovin' | Instagram

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment! I'm so happy you like the photos =o) Michigan was incredible to see =o)

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  12. Wow this is amazing! Great shots xoxo
    http://www.myinfinitystyle.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm so happy you like my photos from Michigan =o)

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  13. the colours of the trees are so pretty! great photos!

    Abigail Alice x

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  14. Spontaneous trips like this that don't involve much planning really are sometimes the best! Love all of these travel photos and I have never been to Michigan but Traverse City looks beautiful. The boardwalk area looks incredible!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

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    1. Michigan was beautiful! It really was a great trip, and it being spontaneous I think made it so special =o)

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  15. Gorgeous photos! They're so stunning as always. I love all the colours and the sea xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh thank you so much! Michigan was so picturesque!

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  16. Great post dear

    Giveaway on my blog!
    http://iameleine.blogspot.com/

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  17. Sounds like a great trip! What a beautiful place and fall scenery! The food, the landscape, everything looks so cozy and welcoming!! I really hope to visit one day!
    Thanks for sharing dear! Hope you are having a great start to the week!
    xo
    Stella www.stellaasteria.com

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    1. Glad you liked my post! Michigan was such a beautiful place to visit. I hope you get a chance to visit Traverse City one day =o)

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  18. The place seems to be really nice!

    XO
    Daria

    http://www.dbkstylez.com

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    1. Michigan was incredible! Thanks for commenting =o)

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  19. Such fall vibes! Looks like you guys had an awesome time, loving your pics! The Cuban food also sounds amazzzing

    Characters & Carry-ons

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    1. The food was incredible! It was such a great trip to Michigan =o) Thanks for reading =o)

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  20. Wow this is such a lovely post to read and so autumnal!

    Shakira / Shakira Sacks

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    1. It was a great fall trip to Michigan =o) Thanks for the sweet comment!

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  21. Lovely! Refreshing to be open to the unknown while exploring. I need to plan a bit less and just wander a bit more. :) -Julie

    http://alohalovely.com

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    1. It was a great trip having not planned so much for Michigan =o) You should definitely try wandering around with no plan for even an afternoon =o)

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  22. Replies
    1. Traverse City was an incredible adventure =o)

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  23. Looks so dreamy, the perfect place to spend your autumn!

    Love from NYC,
    Whit

    http://www.whitneyswonderland.com

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    1. Traverse City was the ideal place to go and see the fall colors! Thanks for the sweet comment =o)

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  24. Gosh this looks so cute!! I would love to drive around the US and explore some of the smaller towns. They are so different. This one is so authentic!
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com/

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    1. It really is great to visit the smaller towns around America =o) Hope you get to visit a few =o)

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  25. This is absolutely great post with beautiful pictures, I love your blog, thank you for sharing!!!

    xxx

    www.noragouma.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm so happy you like my blog and posts!

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  26. The pictures that you have taken makes me want to visit this place so much.
    Great post.
    How about we follow each other on bloglovin'? Follow me and I'll follow you back.
    http://societyfix.blogspot.com.eg/

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment! Traverse City was a gem to visit =o)

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  27. So much "fall" in this post! Love all the beautiful colorful leaves and fall time activities. Hope you had a great time exploring :)

    Erica
    www.eggcanvas.me

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    1. Thank you Erica! Traverse City was the perfect place to visit during fall =o) I'm so glad we went

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  28. Love these photos! I'd love to visit Michigan again. There's so much to see and do there :)

    Fariha | blog.farihawajid.com

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    1. Thank you Fariha! Also thank you for recommending Traverse City, we loved it!

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  29. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm so happy you like my photos =o)

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Thank you commenting and reading about my adventures! I really appreciate it and love reading all of your comments =o)

x the Adventurer