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About Traverse City

As if plucked from a Pure Michigan ad, Traverse City, Michigan, is home to mesmerizing sunsets, hundreds of gorgeous waterfronts, and endless opportunities to make memories. The local Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has even been heralded as “The Most Beautiful Place In The World” (Good Morning America, August 2011). Other accolades Traverse City has garnered include: #2, Small-Town Travel Destination in the United States (TripAdvisor, 2009) and One Of The 10 Best Places To Retire (U.S. News, 2012).

Traverse City is an approximately 150-year city that has its roots in a sawmill near the mouth of the Boardman River, the city’s most prominent waterway that runs through parts of downtown. As the main inland port of Grand Traverse Bay, the city and its immediate surroundings sport hundreds of miles of waterfront land and 149 lakes. The summer months are impossible to pass without seeing all manner of boats, jetskis, pontoons, parasailers, sunbathers, and swimmers.

While water and beaches are a key part of Traverse City’s makeup, cherries are also critical. As the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States, the city hosts the National Cherry Festival every summer. A party celebrating all things cherry, attendees can enjoy cherry pit spitting contests and cherry pie eating contests…and of course, eat a variety of cherries.

Another noteworthy festival in Traverse City is the annual Traverse City Film Festival, which – like other similar festivals around the country – showcases independent films and documentaries that do not receive mainstream attention or distribution. A six-day-long movie-lovers’ paradise, four theaters show over 100 films of all kinds.

If you’re not around during either of these festivals, you can partake in one of the area’s 50 wineries, many of which feature free tastings. You can take in a professional baseball game at Wuerfel Park, where the independent Beach Bums play their home games; or a professional football game, as the Traverse City Wolves play in the North American Football League.

Living in Traverse City means you are, of course, near all the attractions and joys the city and its environs provide. Sporting one of the more diverse housing landscapes in Michigan, you’ll find custom-built waterfront mansions butting up to homes nearly half-a-century old. Neighborhoods and developments tend to be open and spacious. There’s brand-new construction targeted toward retirees and first-time homebuyers, and there are classic pre-war American homes complete with picket fences and within walking distance of downtown.

Downtown Traverse City provides opportunities for discovery around each of its corners, with book shops, art galleries, specialty clothing boutiques, toy stores, and over 30 restaurants and bars. There’s a farmer’s market on Saturdays during the warm months, and the restored State Theater shows a mix of independent, popular, and classic films.

Living downtown, or anywhere? Traverse City’s school selection includes a variety of public and parochial educational institutions. Higher education can be found at Northwestern Michigan College, a branch of Western Michigan University, and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, which was established to teach people to be mariners. The school is only one of seven maritime academies in the United States, and gives graduates the chance to obtain licensing on both the Great Lakes and the oceans.

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