If your vacationing in Michigan or you live there, Traverse City is the pinnacle of "Pure Michigan". The grand traverse bay is outlined with sandy beaches and great hotels and resorts to stay during the summer months. The city proper is a culinary destination with an assortment of different food genres and amazing sea food dishes. I would highly recommend to Apache Trout restaurant with is delicious food and stunning views of the bay. Traverse City is also know locally for its wineries, the old mission peninsula is lines with some terrific wineries. Chateau Chantal for instance is perched on the top of a hill where you can taste award winning wines while you enjoy breath taking panoramic views of the bay and vineyards below.
If Wine is not your thing, there are some fantastic breweries in the area, like North Peak, Mackinaw Brewing Co., and Left Brain. So If your heading to northern Michigan I would highly recommend staying at least a few days in traverse city.