An Insider’s Guide to Moving to Traverse City

Molly Buttleman

Traverse City is nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. This charming and picturesque city is known for its stunning scenery and abundant vineyards. It’s rapidly becoming one of the top-visited destinations in the United States thanks to the outdoor recreation and diverse food scene. Nearby attractions include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Cherry Blossom Festival held annually in June, various wineries, and more.

Residents of Traverse City are blessed to be surrounded by endless miles of shoreline, making this city more like a permanent vacation spot. In this friendly town, you’ll enjoy biking, fishing, water sports, excellent farm-to-table restaurants, local boutiques, and award-winning wineries. With so many unique opportunities and amenities, it’s easy to see why travelers worldwide flock to this idyllic town.

If you’re interested in moving to this lovely city, read on for a detailed guide on moving here from a Traverse City Realtor.

Choose from incredible Traverse City neighborhoods

Traverse City offers residents several stunning neighborhoods to choose from, whether it’s along the bay or steps from downtown. Residents can access several master-planned communities that offer gorgeous, custom-built homes, first-class amenities, and lovely tree-lined neighborhoods. One such neighborhood is Parkview South, a highly-desired spot with single-story ranch homes on gently sloping plots that offer walk-out basements and ample yard space. Pine Bluff features gorgeous luxury condominiums with views of Grand Traverse Bay. This is the perfect spot for luxury-style living and amenities with less hassle.

Traverse City also offers several historic neighborhoods. For example, the Boardman Neighborhood Historic District is a charming neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This district provides gorgeous, well-maintained Victorian homes covered in clapboard siding. There are also several lavish homes built in the late 19th century for the city’s most prominent residents. As one of the predominately residential spots in town, you’ll fall in love with the unique homes and characters here.

There are plenty of neighborhoods for you to choose from, depending on your ideal home and location type. Explore the city’s neighborhoods with a trusted Realtor and find your perfect home today.

Enjoy outstanding weather and outdoor recreation

One of the best parts about the Grand Traverse Region is the unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation during all four seasons. The possibilities are endless, with over 100 miles of trails, 144 downhill ski runs, 234 stunning miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and 10,418 acres of lakes. The natural areas and preserves offer residents biking, hiking, paddling, skiing, and more.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Shoreline is a local gem and offers miles of white, sandy beaches with clear turquoise blue waters. Several bluffs tower over 450 feet above Lake Michigan, with clear inland lakes, distinctive flora and fauna, and lush forests providing chances to explore. This coveted spot for locals and visitors is guaranteed to be highly visited.

Residents of Traverse City will find that employers cherish the work-life balance as much as they do and allow for plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoor recreation here.

Indulge in unique eats

Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation and is the top supplier of several crops. What does this mean for Traverse City residents? They have access to fresh, locally-sourced food and an incredible and vibrant food culture and dining scene. Locals struggle to choose where to eat due to an impressive selection of local spots downtown. With trending eateries like Modern Bird, Mama Lu’s taco shop, and fresh farms like Jacob’s Farm and Farm Club, you’ll have access to all the fresh fruit and veggies, plus unique activities you want.

The restaurant culture in Traverse City today has grown tremendously, and it’s easier than ever to find unique flavors and cuisines. If you want to navigate through everything Traverse City offers, check out Taste the Local Difference online. This food and farm guide gives you various selections, recipes, a blog, and newsletters about the Michigan food scene.

Taste the flavors of the Traverse Wine Coast

One of the perks Traverse City offers is it’s situated along the 45th parallel, making it perfect for growing grapes. The area can produce exceptionally complex wines between that and a lake that creates the ideal microclimate for grapes. Housing over 180 wineries, it’s easy to see why this region of Lake Michigan is often called the “Napa of the Midwest.” Explore the Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau wine trails to experience some of the best expressions of winemaking, producing exciting and beautifully balanced wines. Most wineries in the area offer an elegant and rustic atmosphere, with breathtaking views of the lake.

If you prefer a craft brew, you’ll also find that these peninsulas have some of the area's best craft breweries and distilleries. Stop by and visit for a taste of their craft beverages or consider taking local tours like the Kayak, Bike, and Brew Tour.

Immerse yourself in festivals

One fantastic thing about Traverse City and northern Michigan is the festivals. This community gathers for festivals year-round and puts on events you honestly won’t want to miss. The Traverse City Cherry Festival is the main event in the city. This week-long festival in July features an air show, a cherry market, amusement park rides, classic car shows, pie-eating contests, and more.

There’s also a restaurant week each February, a week in November dedicated to local breweries, the Northwestern MI Fair, and Traverse City Film Festival, to name a few. You’ll have the pleasure of attending festivals and enjoying the community year-round here, something people drive from all over to do.

Are you ready to explore more of Traverse City?

If you’re ready to move and want to learn more about Traverse City real estate, contact Molly Buttleman today. As a long-standing, trusted Realtor in the area, she’ll expertly guide you to your dream home.


Molly is known for listening and problem-solving, often putting her own real-life buying, selling, and renovating experience to use for her clients. Her construction industry connections also give her clients an extra sense of trust, especially if they are looking to add value to a property with a remodel.

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