C U R R E N T Travels || Traverse City Travel Guide x Traverse City Tourism

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

*sponsored by Traverse City Tourism

"Would you believe we're alone? So far from home, but you love it though. Set yourself free, in the zone. Ain't got no phone, don't need it though." -Justin Timberlake

T R A V E R S E C I T Y - one of Michigan's noted getaway GEMS that I haven't experienced since 2006! 16 year old Kherington took her senior photos in T.C., while 28 year old Kherington spent her 8th wedding anniversary in T.C. Same girl, same location, different lifestyles. I am so happy my husband and I were able to experience this city through fresh eyes together! Today, I'm teaming up with Traverse City Tourism to give you my personal travel guide. I'm sharing style, stays, eats, sips, + all of the local love!

C U R R E N T Style
This wouldn't be a C U R R E N T L Y Kherington blog post if I didn't talk style. Let me first start by saying the weather has been g o r g e o u s here in Michigan all summer long. Let me conclude by saying that WAS NOT the case during our trip. Hahaha. It rained from the minute we arrived until the following evening, so all of my "cute" outfit plans were immediately switched up. I packed my rain coat + forgot my rain boots *naturally*, but I kept it casual with a t-shirt, jeans, + a bomber jacket. I also dressed up in a jumpsuit for dinner each night.

C U R R E N T Stays
If you tuned into the blog last week, then I already virtually "talked your ear off" {in a sense} about our stay at Hotel Indigo Traverse City! Legit, the B E S T hotel we have ever stayed at. From the rooftop bar views of Grand Traverse Bay to the selfie ring light mirror in the bathroom, I was here for ever single detail {but you can read more about all that here.}

C U R R E N T Eats
You know that local eats are my JAM, especially on vacation! My foodie list for Traverse City was long {thanks to Insta Story recommendations from you} + where we ended up going DID NOT disappoint. Here are a few of our favorite spots that we tried + LOVED, along with what we ate.

-Trattoria Stella - This local Italian restaurant was our first stop for dinner! {Shoutout to Stuart at Mammoth Distilling for hooking us up!} It was the perfect spot to celebrate our anniversary considering we were able to dine in one of their more intimate spaces. Trattoria Stella has been open since 2004 + is all about farm to table dining. From the House Charcuterie to the Chicken Saltimbocca our dinner was one of the freshest we have ever had. I loved their Baby Romaine Salad + Triangolone dish with homemade ravioli. Their Operations Manager, Alfiero, was so welcoming + made sure we had the BEST experience + service.

-Mama Lu's Taco Shop - Would I even be C U R R E N T L Y Kherington if I didn't hit up a taco joint on vacation?! Mama Lu's was a MAJOR recommendation when I mentioned traveling to T.C. It's located downtown + we stopped there for lunch before heading to Old Mission Peninsula. We split the YUMMY Queso Dip + we each had beef, shrimp, + carnitas tacos. My husband stuck with the classic Mexican Coke, while I sipped on their house made pineapple + hibiscus juice!

-The Franklin - Let's talk about The Franklin! It's in the heart of Downtown Traverse City {conveniently across from Mama Lu's}. They are a sister restaurant of Trattoria Stella, but with a completely different vibe {hello rooftop seating}! Thanks to our good friend Alfiero, we were able to have the entire 2nd level room to ourselves for dinner with an awesome city view! We chose Bulleit Rye + Mai Tai's for drinks. My husband ordered the 16oz Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak with their House Made Herb Tater Tots {yes, you read that right + yes, it was amazing}. I had the Garden Salad {again super fresh + farm to table} + the Pepperoni + Brie Flat Bread Pizza with Banana Peppers {I devoured about 75% of it...SO GOOD}!

-The Little Fleet - I refused to leave Traverse City until we visited The Little Fleet! It's an outdoor restaurant of food trucks + a bar that's open ALL YEAR LONG! Need I say more?! {Imma need Grand Rapids to get on that idea STAT!} We immediately went to the bar to order their House Made Strawberry Margarita + Pink Skies Delight {those drinks tasted SO R E F R E S H I N G }. Then we scoped out the food truck scene + I was *of course* drawn to Happy's Taco Shop! Their Spicy Pork Taco with Kimchi was E V E R Y T H I N G. We also ordered the Roasted Pork Taco + Super Burrito. A M A Z I N G !

C U R R E N T Sips
The sip scene in Traverse City is TOO REAL, especially since one of the main attractions for tourists is experiencing a winery tour. Here's a list of my favorite coffee, wine, + whiskey sips in T.C.

-BLK MRKT Coffee  - Our first stop in Traverse City was to the Warehouse Mrkt, which was conveniently located behind our hotel. I heard all about BLK MRKT Coffee + knew I had to stop there. If I lived in T.C. that would be my number one co-working hang out spot. The aesthetic is on point + the coffee is even better {especially since they partner with Madcap a Grand Rapids favorite}. I'm a Chai lover, so naturally that's what I ordered. Hands down one of the best chai's I have ever tasted!

-Mammoth Distilling - A rustic, chic distillery located downtown directly behind our hotel. My husband is a whiskey lover so he was instantly sold the minute we walked in. Their distillery which opened in 2013 is located in Torch Lake + their tasting rooms are in Central Lake + Traverse City {2017}. Josh ordered their 4 Flight Tasting, while I LOVED the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - you had me at pineapple + jalapeño! They also had a really cool room with dart boards + of course Josh never played in his life + was an expert. That's also where we met their Hospitality Manager, Stuart, who I mentioned earlier! He made sure we had an awesome time + recommended so many places for us to hang out in T.C. {including Trattoria Stella}.

-2 Lads - Our first winery stop in Old Mission Peninsula was 2 Lads. It sits at the highest point + the view is amazing, even in the rain. The winery is definitely the most modern in the area which made it even cooler. We enjoyed their 5 wine tasting + our favorites were the 2015 Crisp Sparkling {we went home with that one} + 2017 Riesling 2L Vineyard!

-Brys Estate - One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Old Mission Peninsula was because of Brys Estate. I'm not ashamed at all to say I WAS 100% HERE FOR THE FROSÈ! This. Is.Not.A.Drill! The frozen rosè was SO SO SO GOOD + literally everyone on the patio knew what was up because we ALL had one in hand. Totally worth the trip + their Charcuterie Board was on point too! I'm so happy I snagged the last of their summer drink before fall hits!

-L. Mawby - If you're all about the bubbly wines, L. Mawby is the spot for you. Their entire selection features sparkling wine + they offer 3 complimentary tastings! Our favorites were the Sandpiper + Freestyle Rosè {also took one of these home for ourselves + my mom.} Plus, they have a pretty cool location on Leelanau Peninsula + I totally ran into a friend from High School there. 

-H&L Social x Hotel Indigo Traverse City - I can't end my sips selection without talking about H&L Social. It's a rooftop bar located at Hotel Indigo Traverse City + it was one of our favorite spots during the entire trip. We both ordered martini's, I had the Lavender + Josh had the Grapefruit! Another tasty + refreshing selection! Fair warning that if the weather is nice, it will be s t a n d i n g r o o m o n l y, but its totally worth it to take in the amazing view!

C U R R E N T Local Love
We aren't truly vacationing if we aren't living like a local. It's all about balancing out tourist attractions + hanging out off the beaten path. Lastly, here's a list of a few activities we enjoyed in Traverse City.

-RPM Records - Since our trip was a mixture of work + play, I wanted to make sure Josh was able to do something he would truly enjoy. As a DJ with new turntables, he's always on the hunt for the perfect record shop wherever we go! I usually tag along with him + RPM Record Shop is definitely one of the largest we have ever visited! We honestly could have been in there all day long, especially since they had an entire room dedicated to 45's. He was able to score some of the vinyls he's been wanting to add to his collection + I left with my favorite Paramore album, Riot!

-Mission Point Lighthouse + Beach - Take M-37 until it runs out + you'll find yourself at the 45th parallel between the equator + the North Pole which is Mission Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1870 + a total tourist attraction. We actually ended up visiting twice during our stay since the first day was pretty rainy. When the weather cleared up the following day, I knew we had to head back when it opened for better photos. I'm so happy we did since it was less busy +  I was even able to get in the water.

-MOOmers Homemade Ice Cream - Visiting MOOmers was a spur of the moment decision since we didn't order dessert at a restaurant we visited, but immediately regretted the decision. I remembered hearing about the local ice cream joint + we decided to head there. At 9PM, THE LINE WAS WRAPPED AROUND THE BUILDING! Did I mention there are cows on location? {Talk about farm to table!} It was 100% worth the wait + I can only imagine what it's like during the day time. Josh ordered the Cow-a-bunga that we totally should have shared. It was complete with ice-cream, hot fudge, oreos, whipped cream, a brownie, AND a cherry on top!

-Photoshoot with Tony Demin Photography - Our trip to Traverse City wouldn't be complete without a photoshoot! When Traverse City Tourism asked if we wanted to shoot with their photographer, it was an immediate YES! We met up with Tony, an adventure lifestyle photographer, + his wife Debbie on Friday night + Sunday afternoon. We shot at Mammoth Distilling, the Hotel Indigo Lobby, a mural at Bistro Fou Fou, + The Little Fleet! They were both so awesome + chill. They made us feel like we had known them forever + are truly amazing at what they do! I can't wait to see the photos soon + you will definitely be the first to know about it!

Just like that our much needed anniversary getaway came + went! A HUGE thanks to Traverse City Tourism for showing us a good time + making this an anniversary to remember. There are so many other spots we weren't able to visit, so now we are trying to plan another trip to T.C. in the winter + m a y b e include our toddler. 

If you're planning a visit to Traverse City, Michigan, I hope my extensive travel guide is helpful! If you've already been, share your favorite spots to hang out in the comments. In the meantime, I'll be going through all of my photos + asking Siri to beam me back immediately. I'll let you know how that goes.

*This post was first seen on CURRENTLY Kherington + sponsored by Traverse City Tourism. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Previously on CURRENTLY Kherington || Hotel Indigo x Traverse City Tourism
Next on CURRENTLY Kherington || How I'm Wearing White This Fall

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