15 Awesome Traverse City Adventures You Don’t Want to Miss

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Thrilling Things to Do in Traverse City

If you’re looking for something to make your visit to Traverse City even more memorable, this list is for you!

Take your pick from these unexpected, lesser-known or adrenaline pumping activities that will satisfy that itch for trying something new.

Ready to live a little on the wild side?

Mishe-Mokwa, Ferry to Manitou Islands

Find adventurous things to do, places to eat, and places to stay in Traverse City right here:

Big List of Exciting Traverse City Adventures

Let the adventure seeker in you come out with our list of adventurous things to do.

Paddling & Trail Rides at Ranch Rudolph

Ranch Rudolf offers horseback riding, kayak and canoe rentals, and other water rentals. They have dinner available for overnight guests.

6841 Brown Bridge Rd, Traverse City, MI 49696 // website

ranch rudolph trail rides traverse city

Wheels on Rails

Check out this unique form of biking. With special “rail bikes” ride old out-of-service railroads for a one-of-a-kind experience.

5843-5853 US-31, Grawn, MI 49637 // website

Traverse City Wheels on Rails Rail biking

Snorkel or Dive to Explore Shipwrecks

Traverse City’s waters are teeming with shipwrecks, many easily visible with just a snorkel, mask, and fins. (Lake Michigan’s cold, fresh water has preserved these wrecks well.)

Scuba North can assist divers who want to explore the deeper shipwrecks.

Scuba North 833 S Garfield Ave, Traverse City, MI, 49686 // website

Traverse City Shipwrecks

Grand Traverse Commons Tunnel Tour

Go underground on the Grand Traverse Commons Tunnel Tour at what was once the Traverse City State Hospital. This old Northern Michigan asylum is now filled with shops, apartments, and restaurants. Sign up for one the themed tours of the grounds – most all include a visit to the tunnel.

830 Cottageview Dr, Ste 101, Traverse City, MI 49684 // website


Take the Ferry to Manitou Islands

For a really big adventure, hop on a ferry to the islands of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Day trips to South Manitou Island run seven days a week in the summer. Visitors like to explore the old town that was left behind, as well as the South Manitou Lighthouse. 

Extend the adventure further by backpacking around North Manitou Island.

Manitou Island Transit // 207 W River St, Leland, MI 49654 // website


Try Curling

Curling is an Olympic sport that involves sliding stones toward a target on a sheet of ice. Both the Leelanau Curling Club and Traverse City Curling Club offer a beginner session that will give you a crash course in the basics.

1712 S. Garfield Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

172 W. Burdickville Rd. Maple City, MI 49664 // website

Traverse City Curling Club

Sail on a Tall Ship

Hoist the sails and spend a few hours gliding over West Grand Traverse Bay on a tall ship cruise. Themed trips, like an ice cream sail, add to the adventure.

100 Dame St, Suttons Bay, MI, 49682 // website

Tall Ship Manitou Traverse City

Catch a Big One!

Cast a line in Traverse City and you’re on your way to a great day fishing the waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

Lots of fishing charters in Traverse City to choose from.

📷 Daydreamer Charters


Take Tree Climbing to New Level

At Climb a Tree you get to spend a sunny afternoon in the cool canopy of a notable giant. Learn from local tree climbing expert Bo Burke.

4301 Cedar Lake Rd, Traverse City, MI 49685 // website

Bo Burke Climb a Tree Photos Traverse City

Friend Group Parasail Flights

Ready to fly? Single, tandem, or triple flights are on the menu at Traverse Bay Parasail. Take off from the boat, float for 10-12 minutes and land for the remainder of your boat ride. Kids allowed.

1469 US-31 North, Traverse City, MI 49685 // website

Traverse Bay Parasail

Crystal Mountain: Alpine Slide, Mountain Biking & More

Mountain Bikers: choose from a variety of terrain – casual, rolling single-track through the woods. Or hop on a trail that connects with the 10-mile Betsie River Pathway. Bike rentals and lessons are available!

Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide: Cruise 1,600 feet down side-by-side curved tracks. You control the speed in this action-packed thrill ride with new tunnels, dips, high-bank turns, and spectacular views. Opening this July!

12500 Crystal Mntn Dr, Thompsonville, MI 49683 // website


Kayak & Bike Brewery Tour

A splashing good time! Paddle, pedal and sip your way through this downtown Traverse City brewery tour. Includes three pubs. Tour ends with games and refreshments in their lounge.

436 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684 // website

Kayak Bike and Brew Tours Traverse City

Zipline Tour at Mt Holiday

Fly through Northern Michigan’s trees and hills at 25-30 mph for an unforgettable hour of fun. Unique zip lines, epic views, and non-stop adrenaline!

3100 Holiday Road Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

Zipline Tour at Mt Holiday

Sleeping Bear Dunes Dark Sky Park

Take in the breathtaking views away from the city lights. Experience the skies like never before.

9922 W Front St, Empire, MI 49630 // website

stargazing sleeping bear dunes

TC Trailsports ORV

Gear up and explore Traverse City Michigan’s beautiful off road trail system. Beginners and experienced riders ages 18+ are welcome to join in the fun.

 Supply Road ORV Trailhead // website

TC Trailsports ORV trips

Leelanau Wine Trail Bike Tour

Grand Traverse Bike Tours has designed this self-guided tour for you to enjoy the seven wineries at your own pace. They also offer an e-bike tour that takes you to 10 different wineries.

318 N St. Joseph St (M22), Suttons Bay, MI 49682 // website

wine tasting shady lane cellars traverse city

Rock Climbing at Elev8

Climb to new heights at Elev8. Traverse City’s indoor rock climbing facility. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or brand new to climbing, Elev8 has something for all levels of learners.

777 Boyd Ave Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

Elev8 Rock Climbing - Traverse City - FB

More Traverse City Ideas

21 Things to do with Teens

Activities teens & tweens actually enjoy


Yummy flavors & family-friendly places to eat

Toddler-Approved Fun

Stroll the shops, hit the beach

Unexpected Adventures

Off-the-beaten path in Traverse City

Multi-Gen Trip Ideas

Activities, eats & stays for all ages

Festivals & Fun

Traverse City’s best things to do in the summertime

Adventurous Eating in Traverse City

Take your tastebuds on an adventure with these exciting places to eat.

Black Star Farms Cooking Class

Get adventurous with food and drink at this winery and inn.

Enjoy the hands-on taste-as-you-go cooking classes that finish with a plated dinner and glass of wine.

📷 Black Star Farms Estate Chef, John Korycki

10844 E Revold Road, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 // website

Little Fleet Food Trucks

Little Fleet, a year-round food truck park, offers a variety of foods and flavors with an open air bar serving hand-crafted drinks. Check their calendar for DJ nights and special events. Located on the east end of downtown’s Front Street.

448 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

traverse city little fleet

Broomstack Kitchen & Taphouse

Eat, drink, curl! Finish your curling lesson and head next door to this family-friendly establishment in the old schoolhouse in Maple City. Patio.

172 W Burdickville Rd Maple City, MI 49664 // website

Broomstack Kitchen & Taphouse

Hop Lot Beer Garden

This family-friendly brewery in Suttons Bay offers a full menu as well as a full list of delicious brews. Enjoy your selections outside in their beer-garden. Campfires, live music, and a 75’x75′ sandbox (bring your own sand toys).

658 S W. Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 // website

hop lot brewing

Places to Stay

Want more adventure?

These Traverse City lodging options deliver overnight experiences that are beyond the ordinary.


KOTI, Finnish for “home,” is where you’ll find Traverse City’s Scandinavian cabins. Hop on your bike, the TART trail is right here. Tranquil, wooded setting.

44 Dinger Rd, Thompsonville, MI 49683 // website

KOTI Lodging Traverse City

Overnight Sailboat Charter

Spend the night on a cozy boat, Second Wind.

There is nothing like sleeping on a boat in a marina; you can enjoy the evening in the cockpit, then at bed time just head downstairs and sleep like a baby. Sleeps 4.

12935 SW Bayshore Dr. Traverse City MI 49684 // website

Second Wind Overnight Sailboat Charter

Stay Overnight at a Winery

Sleep where the magic happens – at a local winery. Located on Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula, these refreshing stays combine vineyards, a winery, and cozy places to stay for the ultimate experience.

Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery 3309 Blue Water Road, Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

Pictured: Chateau Chantel 15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

The Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse 12239 Center Road Traverse City, MI 49686  // website

Black Star Farms 10844 E Revold Road, Suttons Bay, MI 49682  // website

Chateau Chantel Winery traverse city restaurants

Go Glamping in a Yurt

Timber Ridge Resort offers easy access to beaches, the great outdoors, and everything else Northern Michigan is known for.

4050 Hammond Rd East, Traverse City, MI 49696 // website

Yurt Glamping - Timber Ridge Resort - Traverse City - FB

Rent a Pet-Friendly Camping Cabin

The TC KOA is geared up for fun. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, giant chess, gem mining, an RC car track, recreation room, volleyball, horseshoes, & more. Plus, camping cabins are pet-friendly!

9700 S M-37, Buckley, MI, 49620 // website

Traverse City KOA Camping Cabin Pet Friendly

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

The Grand Traverse Resort is known for fantastic golf, luxurious rooms and condos, delicious restaurants, wonderful pools, and more.

100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd, Acme, MI 49610 // website

Grand Traverse Resort Pool

Delamar Resort

The Delamar Resort is situated right along the Grand Traverse Bay and is short walk to the shops and restaurants downtown. Rooms include spacious suites.

The resort also features outdoor and indoor pools, as well as poolside drinks and snacks on the Pool Deck. You can even sign up for their Power Island Adventure Tour!

615 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686 // website

Delamar Resort Traverse City Pool

Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain offers a variety of lodging options. Ranging from traditional hotel rooms to stand-alone units with bedrooms and kitchens. They also offer a variety of activities to enjoy from their outdoor pool, slides, golf, and biking trails.

12500 Crystal Mountain Dr. Thompsonville, Michigan 49683 // website

Crystal Mountain overview summer
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All Things Traverse City

This article brought to you with help from our partners at Traverse City Tourism, your one-stop-shop for all things Traverse City. Find things to do, lodging, and great vacation ideas on their website, Travers

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