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Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Northern Burbs of...
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Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Hello

My brother fiance and I are taking our mom on a last minute trip to the Traverse City MI area. Mom has cancer and we learned last week it's spreading so 1 of mom's final wish requests is while she is ok for right now to take her to Traverse City MI area. We have never been there we usually visit the New Buffalo MI area. With this being said after reading alot I came up with us visiting the below wineries so I wanted to see if I should change anything based on your knowledge. I want to take her to places that are friendly, have a great view, maybe some that are unique, and aren't too far of a drive, and have decent wine since my fiance & I love wine. . So far I am seeing they are about 10-27 miles away from where we will be which should be fine. I have reached out to some and some are doing special things in mom's honor. We also like all kinds of wine mom likes wines that are a little sweeter like a riesling but nothing too sweet. I haven't found many reds in MI that we really enjoy. Well there's 1 from Lemon Creek winery that we really enjoy but that's about it for reds.

So here is a list of the wineries I was planning on going to:

Two Lads

Boathouse

Bowers Harbor

Hawthorne Vineyards

Brys Estate

Chateau Chantel

Willow Vineyards

Blustone

We were going to go to Black Star Farms but when I contacted them to see if they could do anything special in mom's honor they told me they are too busy. Really? well then maybe we are too busy to come visit

I would also like to know what are some must get to restaurants that don't cost a ton. We are from the Chicagoland area so we enjoy our restaurants. We enjoy all kinds of food we aren't picky eaters at all.

We were planning on going to Apache Trout Grille

Maybe the Coveland

Maybe Jolly Pumpkin but it seems expensive

Maybe Red Ginger

If there is anything else that's a MUST VISIT please let me know. We are planning on doing the scenic drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes. 4 Piano concert. Taking mom to the shopping area.

Thanks a ton.

Traverse City...
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1. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Wow...You have our hearts. Your choices are solid, you will love the Dunes, you've covered just about all that Old Mission has to offer for vineyards, and you should be happy with the resto choices. There are "better" ones - ranked more highly - but you can read about those yourself right here on T-A. Also, there are several posts/comments about Old Mission just below your question. I don't think you'll discover anything new, but you may enjoy reading about spots already on your list. Have a wonderful trip!

Traverse City...
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2. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Oh, and some of those you listed are restaurants, not wineries. I'm thinking esp of The Boathouse. You said thost that "don't cost a ton". Their prices may or may not rival those of Chicago, but for here...they're pretty steep. Nice views though, esp at sunset - so I've read.

Northern Burbs of...
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3. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Thank you. Yes forgot to say Boathouse was a rest. I also saw cherry republic so that soubds great.

Traverse City...
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4. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

You've got a lot of the bases covered, and it looks like you've got a solid list underway.

As for the wineries, all the ones you've listed definitely score high on the "scenic view" meter. I might also add Bel Lago and Leelanau Cellars (both on the Leelanau side) to your list. If the view factor is of most import, I might drop Boathouse....it's a lovely setting but not as stunning as the others listed. Blustone has nice views as well, but it's more pastoral, and not water-focused.

If your mom's tastes go to sweeter-but-not-too sweet, then probably stay in the medium-dry/medium-sweet Riesling territory for her. You'll find Rieslings in abundance at most of the wineries. "Late harvest" Rieslings, however, will likely steer you to the too-sweet side. As for reds, I'd definitely suggest stopping Brys Estate as in past years they've put together some really nice red varietal releases.

As for the restaurants you've mentioned, Jolly Pumpkin is more on the sports-bar side. If you're going to be downtown (which is sounds like you will be), then I'd suggest Amical for dinner or lunch as well. Hitting the Traverse City Commons is well worth it, too, and Trattoria Stella has some very good food also. If do visit the Commons and are feeling a tad adventurous, Spanglish has some very good, very basic, Mexican fare for lunch. Pleasanton Bakery is also at the Commons, too,

If you're out on the Lake Michigan shore, and get hungry, two informal "local spots" would be Art's Tavern (cash only) in Glen Arbor and Fischer's Happy Hour in Northport.

And if you haven't already got this on your list, when you get into town stop by the visitor's center in downtown TC and snag one of their "blue" maps. They're nicely detailed and a good oldschool supplement to 21st-century GPS touring.

Enjoy your visit!

Edited: 19 September 2013, 14:58
Northern Burbs of...
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5. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Great additional information this is great. I will look into your recommendations too. I think we will skip the Boathouse it seems way too pricy. Also BluStone said they would do something special for mom so we will probably go there and Brys is doing something special too so good to know this is a good place to stop at. Black Star Farms told us they are too busy so not sure I will even be stoping there.

So are these other restaurants you are mentioning near Sleeping Bear Dunes when you say if we are out on the Lake Michigan shore?

It seems alot of the restaurants aren't cheap. Some worse than Chicago prices and Chicago is expensive.

Also I think we might pass on Jolly Pumpkin. My fiance might go there to try beer but it just seems like basic food.

Some of the restaurants at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa caught my attn too. Looks like Aerie has some amazing views so maybe go there for a drink or lunch or brunch TBD. Might stop at that resort to check it out and their other restaurants actually have decent prices.

I don't really like planning alot I like to just wing things and see where things take me but for this trip I wanted to make it as special as possible for mom so I made sure I did some research.

Thanks for everyone's help.

Praying for a safe great trip for mom.

Traverse City...
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6. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

The forecast for this Sunday is a good one - cool, but lots of sun! It should make your trip up the peninsula delightful. Though the concert/church is at the base, if you do decide to take advantage of the weather and do the wineries, etc (and if you're stil researching) , you might want to investigate the Mission Table. It will be more or less on your way around, and I think your mom would like it. Also be sure and ask at your hotel about the winery maps- If they have one right there, you'll save yourselves a stop....

And as an FYI - If your days are Sat/Sun, Sat is supposed to be much more overcast, with more rain and less sun. Plan accordingly.

Bay City, Michigan
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7. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Try Aerie at GTR for Sunday brunch. I hear it is A great brunch! We have dined for Sunday brunch here, but not as Aerie. Going to assume it is just as good as always!

Sorry about your mom, hope you can make good memories and take lots of pictures. Let us know how it goes.

Traverse City...
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8. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Yes, that's a great suggestion, the Sunday weather should be perfect for the views, and I'm pretty sure your mom will love it!

Traverse City...
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9. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

Oops - too fast. I also wanted to add that the only hitch is that Aerie is in the opposite direction for you, either going out to the Dunes or Old Mission. On the one hand, you probably won't find it too much, but on the other there are lots of choices along either of the ways you will be going. But I guess if you let your mom choose, she'll probably be happy...

Chicago
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10. Re: Wineries & restaurant must get to in Traverse City area

I do hope you have a wonderful trip that creates some great memories. I hope you don't mind if I ask what types of 'special' things you were arranging with some of the places you mentioned? I am just curious really.

Safe travels. Best to your mom.