"TVC...as American as CHERRY Pie" Top 5 Page for this destination Traverse City by 850prc

Traverse City Travel Guide: 123 reviews and 256 photos

The reason we value small town America

Ask any American what "small town America" means, and you'll get varying descriptions of the same thing. It's a town with young and old, rich and poor, with people of varied interests, backgrounds and careers. What makes small town America special is the community sense that's present. Small town America isn't a place lined with high-rise apartments and palatial mansions. For the most part, we're talking more of quiet towns, gracefully aging and yet still living neighborhoods...places that look to the future and yet revere the past. It's those tree-lined streets and the security in living somewhere that people know and like their neighbors.

Back in grade school, one of my first "readers" was "UP CHERRY STREET". When I read those first stories of John and Mary, Puff the cat, etc., I always imagined a town like Traverse City. A place with seasons, a place with an identity and character.

And what makes America so special is that such towns are not only in the imaginations of young readers...they're all across the country. Every hometown is special in its own way, every hometown has its claims to fame and pride. In Traverse City, much is made of its status as "cherry capital of the world".

But what really matters in why we value small town America is that it's such a welcoming place to call home...be it in Florida, Michigan, or even California.

A long history of the finer things

The accompanying photo shows the old town opera house. This building has now been converted to downtown shops and offices, but it points out an important side of Traverse City. From its days as a timber capital to the present-day Great Lakes vacation village, TVC has always been a place where people appreciate and enjoy the good life.

This is a town of arts, fine dining and a highly-educated, sophesticated populace. There is a lot to make the savvy traveller happy on a visit to this part of the world.

The Cherry Capital of the World

As mentioned, Traverse City considers itself the "cherry capital of the world". Part of this emphasis on cherries is a general rebirth of the cherry industry over the past 30 years. For much time in the past, TVC was a major logging area, the land of timber. The timber barons built many of the classic Victorian homes in old TVC. But, as that era ended, the sawmills closed and moved westward. Cherry orchards had also been part of the northern Michigan landscape, and had, during the latter part of the timber boom, been ignored.

Later in the 20th century, concerned northern Michiganders, wishing to avoid the condomineum takeover of their homeland, again turned to the cherry orchards as a source of income and regional pride.

Today, the TVC are exports well over half of the cherry products sold in the USA. And for the most part, many of the cherry product dealers are very civic minded individuals looking to promote and preserve the gentle lifestyle of TVC's past.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The best of small town, middle America.
  • Cons:It IS northern Michigan. Bring your warm clothes.
  • In a nutshell:Traverse City is "the good life" in northern Michigan. Check it out.
  • Last visit to Traverse City: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated Apr 20, 2008
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Reviews (10)

Comments (9)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    I'd love the old houses here, the cherries, the cosy coffee spot and the Epicurean Festival - what a lot of appealing features TVC has :-)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Very nice page! Love the old, classy architecture! Of course, it looks there's lots to love about Traverse City.

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    I never knew about the Epicurean Classic or ForeWord..and I have a house in Houghton Lake Heights, Mi.! I was in Traverse last summer drinking some of their great wine! Maybe I'll meet you in TC??? Janet

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    Interesting Traverse City page! Cherry cookies and crunch must be something special from Traverse City. Historic neighbourhoods must be a great tourist destination. ~ho & pang

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2008 at 8:22 PM

    just came back from travelling in MA's Berkshire county (or simply berkshires). i liked your tips on this town. i will be visiting michigan soon. where exactly is Traverse city with respect to detroit?

  • Maria250's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2008 at 6:23 AM

    Finally I found a describe of what I do like the MOST: small-town- America. Thank you for that great read!!

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Great to read some small town America tips!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2007 at 5:02 AM

    Your intro is beautifully written and right on the mark. I loved it. Wish I had written it. Interesting company you work for...as I am about to self publish my 2nd (very little) book. Sweet town. BTW...I LOVE cherries!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2006 at 3:48 PM

    So this is where the ForeWord headquarters is. I was sort of wondering about that, ever since you gave me a copy to read. I'll be back when you've added the texts to these tips. --- Have a great Christmas! And greetings from balmy Frankfurt am Main.


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