Autumn road trip around Traverse City continues…
I think yesterday I must have witnessed all 4 seasons in a single day here in Traverse City. “Welcome to Michigan” one follower on Twitter said. I woke up to snow flurries that morning, and by the evening, I saw an incredibly dramatic sunset reminiscent of summer. I had planned on exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes, but given the weather, I decided to make a bit of a pivot in my plans.
I spent most of the day at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, where I took a tour of this fascinating former asylum. Grand Traverse Commons is now an incredible multi-use facility with housing, restaurants, a winery and other activities. The compound has not been fully renovated yet, but it’s getting close. After my tour, I stopped by Left Foot Charley Winery for a tasting, before going next door to Spanglish for lunch.
I then did a bit of a beer tasting tour, hitting some of the best rated breweries in town:
The next day the sun was out, it was a glorious day! After getting breakfast and checking out of the Grand Traverse Resort, I headed toward Sleeping Bear Dunes. Along the way I stopped by Jacob’s Farm for some fresh cider and to walk through their corn maze. I also stopped by a roadside fruit stand to pick up a few snacks for my afternoon drive around Pierce Stocking and Sleeping Bear.
I was so glad that I had re-arranged my plans and waited to come to Sleeping Bear today. The weather could not have been better, it was a picture perfect autumn day. I did two loops around Pierce Stocking, stopping at nearly every lookout and pullout. I then made my way to the small village of Glen Haven before ending up at Pyramid Point for a hike.
After my afternoon adventure, I headed back to Traverse City where I checked into the Cambria Suites.
That evening I had a sensational fine dining meal at Aerie , which is located on the 16th floor of the Grand Traverse Resort. The views from Aerie are as amazing as the food.
- Spiced Artichokes with a cumin, red pepper and coriander crust, smoked heirloom tomato coulis, pickled cherry tomato finished with black garlic and fresh herbs.
- My entree was a Bronzini Mediterranean Sea Bass that was blackened in a cast iron skillet accompanied with potato gnocchi, succotash of sweet corn, asparagus, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon, brown butter crème and some fresh herbs. It was just divine.
- For desert I tried the London Fog, which is a honey lavender crème brulee with earl grey chocolate biscotti, garnished with candied lavender flowers. Perfect way to end the meal.
Tomorrow will be my last day in Traverse City and I plan on exploring Old Mission Peninsula. I’ll drive out to the lighthouse at the very tip, while seeing what else there is to check out. I’ve had a fantastic time here in Traverse City and hate to be leaving already, it feels like I’ve just barley scratched the surface of this wonderful area. I’ll be producing a road trip guide and video of my experience, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, click here to read my previous Traverse City Road Diary entry. By the way, I have done this road trip in a new Mazda 6 Signature, which I found to be a fantastic vehicle!