In the 1850s lumbering dominated the Traverse City area, stripping the land of its white pine forests. When the lumber was gone, large-scale farming, fruit orchards and vineyards took hold. Today, with its scenic landscape, clear water, sand dunes and quaint towns, tourism has become a major industry in Traverse City.
One thing that hasn’t changed since 1852 is the proliferation of cherry trees. The first European settler in the Traverse City area, Peter Dougherty, planted a small orchard of the trees. The orchard flourished in the sandy soil as the tempering lake effect moderated the cold winters and the hot summers and the local cherry industry was born. Today Michigan produces 75 percent of the nation’s cherries and Traverse City calls itself the “Cherry Capital of the World.” If you are visiting in July, don’t miss the National Cherry Festival (www.cherryfestival.org).
As with most Michigan vacation towns, Traverse City has plenty of festivals including the Traverse City Film Festival, founded by filmmaker Michael Moore, which is held in late July. This is a big event that features free outdoor classic movies. You can even watch movies while sitting in the middle of the Bay. Nauti-Cat sponsors the sail into the sunset with a projector, screen and popcorn in tow. See more at www.traversecityfilmfest.org.
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!