Courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

Key Info


Tours, Wineries/Breweries Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

In addition to its wineries, Traverse City is also known for its many breweries. The city's collection of microbreweries, brewpubs and tap rooms have garnered the city a reputation for producing some top-notch beer. While visiting, you'll have your choice between more than 20 beer spots. If you are unsure of where to start, you can also hop on one of the city's many beer tours or follow the TC Ale Trail.

Some of the city's top-rated beer spots include Rare Bird Brewpub, Right Brain Brewery, Brewery Terra Firma and North Peak Brewing Company, to name a few. If you'd prefer to sample some brews with the help of a local beer enthusiast, consider a tour with Kayak, Bike & Brew or River Outfitters, both of which offer a hybrid tour that combines outdoor recreation with beer tastings. There's also the TC Cycle Pub, which takes visitors on a beer crawl via a six- or fourteen-passenger bikes. For a tour without a workout, you can book a private bus charter with the TC Brew Bus or Grand Traverse Tours. And if you happen to be visiting in November, you can attend the city's annual event dedicated to beer, Traverse City Beer Week.

Many of the city's breweries can be found on Front Street in downtown Traverse City. Hours and prices vary by location as well as tour operators. For more information on the city's beer scene, visit the Traverse City tourism board's website.

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#1 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the few places in the world that visitors can see perched dunes. The lakeshore's towering dunes, which stretch 35 miles long Michigan's eastern coast, were formed by glaciers. The slopes left behind by the glaciers turned into dunes as a result of Lake Michigan's tide pushing sand up onto the shore overtime. It's this unique phenomenon that garnered the park National Lakeshore status in 1970. 

Today, Sleeping Bear Dunes is enjoyed by more than a million visitors per year, who flock to the park to experience the dunes and enjoy an eyeful of the lakeshore's vibrantly colored waters, forested hiking trails, beaches and bevy of outdoors activities. First-time visitors won't go wrong starting their journey with the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, a 7 1/2-mile drive that takes travelers through forested landscapes and along sand dunes to various overlook points. For hiking, you're spoiled with more than 100 miles of trails. For an easy trek, check out the Empire Bluff trail, a 1 1/2-mile round-trip hike that takes visitors directly to the edge of the dunes. The Pyramid Point trail is a more moderate, hilly option, while the 9-mile Alligator Hill trail takes hikers away from the dunes and higher up to provide sweeping views of the lake and the forests that flank it. If you're looking to do more than just hike, know that you can also bike, kayak, canoe and even scuba dive here. During the winter, the park is open to visitors for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and more. 

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