Traverse City is a small town of around 30,000 residents; however the summer months increase the population ten fold. Surrounded by water, Traverse City is a popular draw for water enthusiasts, as boats and jet skis decorate the waters of the bay throughout the summer.
In the downtown area, shops, galleries and restaurants line main drag on Front Street. Other streets offer antiquing and art purveying, and a farmers market on Saturdays provides the usual regional produce fare. There are several accessible beaches right in the downtown area of Traverse City, including Clinch Park Beach and West End Beach.
Traverse Bay is divided into two strips by the Mission Peninsula, the east arm and the west arm. Another body of water winding through Traverse City, Boardman River, provides fly-fishing and canoeing opportunities as well as boat rentals. The peninsula is a fertile ground for grape growing, and the strip is peppered with vineyards and wineries including Bowers Harbor Vineyards and Chateau Chantal.
In the region, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, hiking and golfing are prevalent outdoor activities throughout the year. The North American VASA Trail in the Pere Marquette State Forest is a 25-kilomter loop and the site of the Nordic race. There are many notable golf courses and cycling routes in the region in addition to the dominance of water sports throughout the Traverse City environs.
Traverse City lies in the northwest portion of the state, at the base of the pocket of Grand Traverse Bay, which flows into Lake Michigan.