Traverse City, Michigan has a rustic ambiance to it yet plenty of metropolitan amenities making it one of my family’s favorite summer vacation destinations that we visit every year. A four hour drive from Detroit and five hour trek from Chicago makes this northern Michigan community a manageable road trip destination for many families living throughout the Midwest. While the area’s boating, biking, fishing, hiking and swimming activities make it an excellent location for a family road trip with kids, Traverse City’s wonderful selection of bistros, breweries, restaurants, wineries and vineyards also provide a great spot for an adults only getaway.
Traverse City’s wineries have developed an excellent reputation and touring the numerous tasting rooms at the vineyards that dot the region is a must-do activity for anyone over 21 years old who appreciates enjoying an exceptional glass of wine. The region’s two peninsulas, Leelanau and Old Mission, are both designated as American Viticultural Areas, with diverse microclimates uniquely suited for a variety of wine grapes. Local wineries are producing internationally acclaimed varietals such as Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc here in the United States.
“Traverse City represents one of the most unique viticultural regions in the country,” according to Lee Lutes, winemaker at the Black Star Farms winery. “Combine the region with the dedication of growers and winemakers that are passionate about these cool climate varieties, truly exceptional wines are being produced.”
To showcase the region’s burgeoning wine and cuisine scene, Traverse City Tourism, the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula are collaborating to host a month-long series of wine-related fun experiences and special opportunities throughout May called Traverse City Uncorked. Goings on include special entertainment and dinner affairs including a Sips & Giggles Comedy Show headlined by the hilarious standup artist Andrew Norelli and the Swine & Dine Dinner which combines a gourmet pig roast with some of the best wines northern Michigan has to offer. Plus participating wineries will be hosting tasting room specials, chef events, educational seminars and more. From May 1 through the 31st a variety of local hotels will also be offering lodging packages specifically for visitors wanting to take in Traverse City Uncorked.
“Traverse City Uncorked serves as the perfect venue for showcasing the rich diversity, stylistic complexity and breadth of character from the wines grown and produced throughout northern Michigan,” added Lutes.
In addition to the Traverse City Uncorked festivities there are a lot of great things to do when visiting the area in the spring. Take in a baseball game at Wuerfel Park, home of Traverse City’s professional independent league baseball team, the Beach Bums. Enjoy a performance of the Traverse City Symphony Orchestra which performs in the beautifully restored City Opera House. Stroll through the Dennos Museum Center viewing its galleries of artwork or sculpture garden. Hike the trails at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for some spectacular views. Hit the links on one of the area’s 16 championship golf courses. Play blackjack, poker, craps or slot machines at the two local casinos. These are just a few suggestions out of the numerous activities you can engage in when visiting in May. Summer isn’t the only time it is fun to visit Traverse City and going during the spring has the perk of avoiding the peak tourist season that occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
For more information about the discounts and perks available for overnight stays or to view a complete calendar of all the wine themed events taking place go to traversecityuncorked.com. 2017 may be the inaugural year for Traverse City Uncorked but it is starting out strong with a great selection of offerings that will be enjoyable to participate in whether you are a diehard wine fanatic or just a casual drinker. What a great way to discover why wines from northern Michigan are growing in popularity at restaurants and bars around the world right now. Plus I’m sure this would make a great romantic jaunt with your significant other that you both are sure to enjoy.