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Summer is “beach season” in Traverse City – when you can see why they call this place the Caribbean of the North! Discover why National Geographic named Traverse City one of its Top 10 Summer Trips, why Fodor’s Travel listed it among America's 10 Best Small Towns and why Travel + Leisure called it one of America’s Most Romantic Towns!
With over 150 inland lakes and hundreds of miles of Lake Michigan shoreline – including the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Traverse City offers visitors almost limitless opportunities for boating, sailing, paddling, swimming and beachcombing. There are miles of hiking and cycling trails, blue-ribbon trout streams, and more than 20 golf courses with inspiring views and striking configurations.
Clinch Park Beach
The area's most populated if not it's most popular beach features over 1500 feet of sand along West Grand Traverse Bay in downtown Traverse City. Clinch Park has picnic tables, lifeguards and restrooms.
Dennos Museum Center
The Dennos Museum Center is across from camp, and is considered a premier cultural facility in northern Michigan offering a dynamic array of exhibitions and programs in the visual arts, sciences and performing arts. Opened in 1991, the Museum Center features three changing exhibit galleries and an elegant sculpture court; a unique hands-on Discovery Gallery and a renowned Inuit Art Gallery; and the acoustic delight of Milliken Auditorium. The Museum's signature collection is Inuit art of the Canadian Arctic, one of the largest and most historically complete collections of these distinctive sculptures and prints in the United States. A significant collection of outdoor sculptures by noted international and Michigan artist surrounds the Museum on the beautiful campus of Northwestern Michigan College. In 2000, the Dennos Museum Center was recognized by ArtServe Michigan with the Governor's Award for Arts and Culture. Watch the Video
Great Lakes Children's Museum
The museum is designed with children age 1 through 10 in mind. Guests of all ages can (and do) enjoy the museum.
The Botanic Gardens at Historic Barns Park
The Botanic Garden offers a natural outdoor classroom, where visitors can learn about northwest Michigan’s vast variety of flora and fauna. Uncover the difference between a maple, beech or ash. Learn the distinctive calls of the 114 species of birds that make the garden their home. Or, for those who appreciate a good story, they also offer guided tours of the grounds, which enlighten visitors to the historical importance of their location. This theme of learning extends indoors within the community classroom, where visitors can take a class on cottage gardening or listen to a presentation by a renowned master gardener. As the development of The Botanic Garden continues, visitors will also be able to visit demonstration gardens for some inspiration for what is possible in their gardens at home as well as share a children’s topiary with younger learners. Walk the mowed labyrinth and imagine the future healing gardens that will surround it – a Native American medicine wheel garden, a medicinal herb garden, an accessible garden for the handicapped and a meditation garden. As these gardens are completed, horticultural therapy will also play an important role for those who visit.The Mission of The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park is to design, build and manage a year-round botanical garden in Northwest Michigan for the purposes of botanical and environmental preservation, education and research, and the enjoyment and renewal of citizens and visitors. Located at Grand Traverse Commons.
Taking "old salts" to "first timers", you find yourself relaxed and realizing why your on vacation on the largest catamaran to sail the Great Lakes. With a passenger capacity of 40, the Nauti-Cat is 47' long, 29' wide and a mast 63' high, and because it is a catamaran, the ship slices through the water with great stability, providing a soothing atmosphere. The cruises are typically 2½ hours, except the Kids Cruise, which is 1½ hours. The Nauti-Cat sails on West Grand Traverse Bay and depending on the wind speed, the Nauti-Cat can reach 14 knots. With two heads (restrooms) aboard you can enjoy our full cash bar without being caught short. We carry complementary snacks but you are more than welcome to bring any other food aboard. If you want to feel like a part of the crew; they will put you to work raising the sails, jibing, tacking, and navigation. Located about a mile west of camp on West Grand Traverse Bay.
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
One of the largest, historic preservation and adaptive reuse redevelopments in the country. A beautiful solution to urban sprawl, The Village is the unique renovation of dozens of historic buildings formerly known as the Traverse City State Hospital, and previously, the Northern Michigan Asylum. From boutiques, wineries and fine dining to physicians, legal services and more, there are over 100 businesses who call The Village at Grand Traverse Commons home. The auspicious location of this 63-acre site, centered in one of the Midwest’s most desirable locations, underscores the unparalleled beauty of magnificent, century-old Victorian-Italianate architecture. Pedestrian friendly walkways and expansive lawns, surrounded by an historic arboretum, is perfect for a relaxing stroll or picnic. Gorgeous hiking and biking trails along Kid’s Creek and through 480 acres of preserved parkland. The ever changing, art-adorned walls of the Mercato, an expansive indoor marketplace in the Garden Level of Building 50…and a vast array of eclectic shops, unique eateries, and professional services.
Mission Point Lighthouse
Sitting at the end of picturesque Old Mission Peninsula, this truly unique destination that has been an important part of the Old Mission community and local maritime history since 1870.
While the Lighthouse is no longer operational, visitors can enjoy its quaint atmosphere in many ways: the Lighthouse itself is open to museum tours and tower climbs (see below for admission rates); there are miles of wooded trails in Lighthouse Park; the beach is a rock collectors dream; and the overall peace and serenity the park offers at any time of year makes it the spot for hikers, bikers, snowshoe enthusiasts, and cross-country skiers.