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Gem of the Midwest!

Puerto Rico
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46 posts
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Gem of the Midwest!

Thank you to all who helped us navigate through all the things to do, places to eat in Traverse City and neighboring cities of Highway 31!

**note: our trip started in Ann Arbor, Mi to Saugatuck, MI...I've posted that part of the trip on the forums for those 2 cities.**

Just a little background. We are 2 couples traveling together. We have lived in Toledo for the past year...our good friends flew out from California to see the Midwest sights.

Lodging: Cambria Suites Inn

Restaurants: The Boathouse, Old Mission Peninsula

The Cove, Leleand

The Cook's House, Traverse City

Boone's Prime Time Pub, Sutton's Bay

We left the area for Traverse City and our 2 night stay at Cambria Suites Hotel. We decided to book the King Suite. It’s a nice set up for 2 couples traveling together that don’t mind sharing a bathroom. There is a king bedroom with closet. The rest of the suite is the bathroom, living room and another king sized bed that is separated by a 3/4 wall. This additional space has it’s own closet too. The hotel is very clean and decorated tastefully. From the moment we called the hotel to make the reservation to check-in/check-out the staff exceed in exceptional customer service. They have a substantial breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets and eggs for $7.95 per person.

Dinner tonight was at The Boathouse on Old Mission Peninsula. A beautiful location on the waterfront. The food was delicious. Appetizers tonight were asparagus tempura, crab bisque & caesar salad. Entrees were filet au poivre, veal marsala & lake superior white fish. All were prepared perfectly. The 3 chocolate dessert was the perfect conclusion to this meal. We will definitely return to this spot on future visits.

Our next day was devoted to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. We really enjoyed our day here. From the dune climb (yes we did it!) to the quaint town of Glen Haven our friends enjoyed the splendors of the national park. After seeing the highlights of the area and swimming in Lake Michigan....we decided to go to Leland, MI. No visit to the area is complete without a stop at The Cove for a Chubby Mary. Fishtown has some quaint shops filled with treasures from local artists.

Dinner tonight was our favorite. We had reservations at The Cook’s House in Traverse City. (reservations are a must) This is a must-do if you are a foodie or just want an amazingly creative meal. The food, service & presentation is more reminiscent of a restaurant in the Napa Valley...but is surprisingly in Traverse City! We all ordered different dishes. The tasting menu was enjoyed by one in our group. The menu that night included the chilled tomato soup, beet risotto with shaved bittersweet chocolate, grass-fed NY strip, fresh field greens with 3 cheeses (1 of them was brie from Cowgirl Creamery...incredible!) and the last course was blueberry creme brulee prepared with duck eggs....making it extra creamy. The rest of our party had as appetizer the smoked rabbit with a delicate sauce that was served over steel cut oats prepared like a risotto, beef ox-tail & a handmade pasta with smoked whitefish and topped with sorrel was the surprising hit at the table that night. Entrees were the whitefish with scallions, spinach & radishes, Wyandotte chicken breast and stuffed leg & the grass-fed NY strip steak. The Cook’s House should be on the must do list! Chef Eric Patterson is innovative and his staff are all well trained. We felt as if we were truly at his house for an amazing dinner party that we didn’t want to end.

Our last day in Traverse City we wandered the quaint downtown area and ended our shopping with a stop at Right Brain Brewery. If you are into microbreweries...this is a must stop! We drove up to Lake Leelanau area to the factory store of Baabaazuzu. A creative use of ‘recycled’ wool transformed into beautiful bags, gloves & hats. Our last meal was at Boone’s Prime Time for the fried perch fish sandwiches & burgers before heading back to Toledo & California.

Few additonal notes:

On The Rocks, Traverse City worth a stop for creative use of local stones.

Nawbin Beads, Traverse City if your’e looking for any local stone to create your own jewelry.

Gaylord, Michigan
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1. Re: Gem of the Midwest!

Wow. You visited some of the best that the TC area has to offer. You really did your homework. Haven't been to any of the restaurants or shops that you described, but they are on our "list". All sound wonderful, including the "Chubby Mary". I know Cook's House is the top of the line. Thanks for the detailed report and glad you had such a wonderful time.

Edited: 09 September 2011, 19:51
St. Clair Shores, MI
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2. Re: Gem of the Midwest!

Great report, I S S.

We loved our own trip to Traverse City last year. And our short visit to Fishtown was terrific.

Did you try any Whitefish Pate on your travels?

Puerto Rico
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3. Re: Gem of the Midwest!

We had whitefish pate at The Cove & thought it was quite tasty!

Bay City, Michigan
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4. Re: Gem of the Midwest!

Love the store On the Rocks!

You did good with restaurant selections!

Thanks for the TR.

5. Re: Gem of the Midwest!

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