Where to Stay in Traverse City – 3 Best Places & Top Hotels

0 Where to Stay in Traverse City

Looking for the perfect summer destination near Lake Michigan? Then, my friend, you’ve landed on the right page! I’m happy you are here because you’ll get to read one of the best guides on where to stay in Traverse City!

The best place to stay in Traverse City is Downtown! Here you’ll find the top-rated Traverse City hotels, great restaurants, and fabulous attractions! But fear not, if you don’t feel like the city center is for you, I’ve got 2 more areas, one near the Country Club and the other one perfect for beach lovers; South Traverse City and West End Beach.

Make sure you stick around until the end because I’ve added a couple of bonus sections with some wonderful hotels in Traverse City near Keith J. Charters State Park and the top VRBOs in the city!

And since we’re on the hotels’ chapter, I have to let you know that these boutique hotels and resorts sell out fast! Book yours in advance to avoid losing your favorite room with a view of Traverse Bay!

I think we’re all ready to start this virtual trip now, let’s go!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

I know some of you are ready to book right now. So here’s a list of the best hotels in Traverse City, all located in Downtown  

Check out this amazing map! It will help you visualize all the areas where to stay in Traverse City that I’ll talk about in the post:

Map of best places to stay Traverse city
  1. Downtown: for first-timers
  2. South Traverse City: near the Country Club
  3. West End Beach : on the water

1. Downtown – where to stay in Traverse City for the first time

1 where to stay in Traverse City for the first time

This Northern Michigan town is one of the best places for a long vacation! With lots of sandy beaches and a fabulous Downtown area filled with fun attractions and boutique hotels, Traverse City will become one of your favorite holiday spots!

You can start your exploration right in the center of Downtown Traverse City. There you’ll dive into the town’s cultural side and find many boutique stores and restaurants where you can rest your feet and plan the next adventure.

Another bonus? The Boardman River surrounds the whole Downtown area, so you don’t even need to go to the beach to catch a scenic sunset!

Just before we move on to the next bit and talk about all the hotels in Traverse City, you should know that you’ll need to book your accommodation super in advance. Otherwise, you might miss your chance to stay at your favorite boutique hotel!

Luxury hotel
1 1 Wellington Inn for romantic honeymoon

Set in a beautiful neo-classical mansion from 1905, this is one of the nicest hotels in Traverse, with a central location and many modern amenities including private baths, and some even have air-jetted whirlpools! This boutique hotel features spacious rooms decorated with antique furniture and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs.

Other accommodation options in Downtown

1 2 Cambria Hotel with the pool

Set within walking distance from the beach, this modern hotel has an indoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center

1 3 Best Western Plus

This Traverse City hotel comes with cozy rooms, a heated indoor swimming pool, and a free breakfast

1 4 City Condo

A super comfortable and spacious condo conveniently located near the beach that has a kitchen and free wifi

Top hotels for families in Downtown Traverse City

Coming with the whole family to Downtown Traverse City, MI? I’ve got you covered! I think the city center is great for families as you’ll have everything you need in proximity plus there’s a wide range of hotels with all the facilities your family might need.  So here’s a list of the top places to stay in the Downtown area for you! 

1 5 Top hotels fo%D0%BA families in Downtown Traverse City
  • Luxury: Hygge – This holiday home is so perfect for you and the family! It’s super cozy, and it’s set within walking distance from the beaches and restaurants! Each room has elegant decor and the house also has a kitchen and a patio with garden views!  
  • Mid Range: Delamar Traverse City – A fabulous hotel in Traverse City with all the facilities you and the kids will need, including an indoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and rooms with flat-screen TVs. Delamar Traverse City offers great views of Grand Traverse Bay and has an on-site restaurant. 
  • Budget: Bayshore Resort – Fancy a hotel on the beach? Bayshore Resort has a private beach area and spacious family rooms with private balconies. During the day, you can also relax in the indoor pool or hot tub! I’m sure the kids will be busy playing in the games room! 
  • Airbnb: Beautiful Condo – Offering super city views and lots of space, this family-friendly condo in Downtown Traverse City comes with 3 rooms, a kitchen, a balcony, and free wifi. 

Things to do in Downtown

  • Visit the historic City Opera House
  • Eat a delicious dinner at Bubba’s restaurant
  • Enjoy the river views at Union Street Dam
  • Buy lots of souvenirs from the Cherry Republic Gift Shop
  • Spend a fun day on Clinch Park Sandy Beach
  • Check out the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College
  • Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and its rolling hills of sand

2. South Traverse City – best place to stay near the Country Club

2 South Traverse City best accomadations

If you’re planning a relaxing getaway to Traverse City and you’ve heard that they have a fabulous country club, stick around for a few moments because I’m about to offer you a fabulous list of hotels in the area!

Located in South Traverse City, a more tranquil part of the city, the country club has become the ultimate destination for tourists and locals to relax, play some golf and enjoy the town.

The area itself is pretty chill, and besides the Country Club, you won’t find many attractions save for a few restaurants and the Boardman River that’s right next door. People who are into outdoor activities and spending time in nature may also consider staying in South Traverse City as you’ll find a few hiking trails in the area right next to the river!

Sadly there are no beaches in this part of the town, but you can always head to Downtown Traverse City to hit the sandy beaches and admire the views of Grand Traverse Bay! Clinch Park Beach is only 2 miles (3 km) away.

By the way, if you’re planning to visit other places in Michigan, I think the next stop should be at one of the hotels in Detroit. That city is so incredible!

Now let’s check out the accommodations and boutique hotels in this area:

Luxury hotel
2 1 Great Wolf Lodge with jacuzzi in room

This lodge has rooms with wooden elements, and some even come with private balconies! Everyone will love the indoor water park, plus the seasonal outdoor pool and indoor pool can’t be beaten. The lodge offers plenty of activities for adults and kids, and although it doesn’t have an on-site spa, it does have facilities like a hot tub and a fitness center to enjoy.

Other accommodation options in South Traverse City

2 2 Cedar Sauna with Free cancellation

Perfect for a romantic vacation, this private place has a kitchen, free wifi, and a sauna for its guests

2 3 Fairfield Inn Suites

A super affordable inn that offers rooms with comfortable beds, an indoor pool, and a free parking spot  

2 4 Modern Apartment

This apartment is so stylish and it has lots of space that it comes with a living room, a kitchen, and a balcony

Things to do in South Traverse City

  • Relax at the Country Club
  • Explore the Boardman Lake Trail
  • Try some whiskey at Traverse City Whiskey Co.
  • Spend a fun night at Lucky Jack’s Bowling Center
  • Take a trip to Elk Lake or Spider Lake
  • Shop until you drop at Cherryland Center
  • Grab a drink at Right Brain Brewery

3. West End Beach – where to stay in Traverse City on the water

3 West End Beach

Great for tourists who want to be on the beach 24/7, this area offers many advantages!

The first one? Well, the beach, of course, but that’s not it. You’ll be super close to the city center area! The best of both worlds if you ask me!

West End Beach is usually filled with locals. They all come here to cool off during the hot summer days and admire the views of West Grand Traverse Bay. The beach is pretty peaceful and just a wonderful spot to spend your holiday in the city.

You’ll still find some restaurants, taverns, and even boutique stores around West End Beach. But as I mentioned, you can always head Downtown if you run out of options. There are plenty of places there that you can try before leaving Traverse City!

Now let’s check out the best boutique hotels in Traverse City, West End Beach!

Luxury hotel
3 1 539 Bay Street

Set right near the beach and West Grand Traverse Bay, this apartment has many facilities and a great location! Perfect for a group of 4 the accommodation has a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, and flat-screen TVs. After a full day at the beach, light up the fire pit and stargaze!

Other accommodation options in West End Beach

3 2 Hotel Indigo Traverse City

Hotel Indigo Traverse City is a great midpriced option with an on-site restaurant, a business center, and fabulous rooms

3 3 Aberdeen Stone Family friendly Cottage

Such a cute and unique cottage! At a fair price, you get a private bathroom and free wifi

3 4 Victorian Loft with the view

This modernized loft has such a great style, a spacious room, and a tv, and it offers free parking!

Things to do in West End Beach

  • Go for a swim at West Bay Beach
  • Grab dinner at Sleder’s Family Tavern
  • Check out the tennis courts in Veteran’s Park
  • Admire the views of the West Grand Traverse Bay
  • Shop for souvenirs at Zany Consignment Boutique West
  • Visit the Chateau Grand Traverse Winery on the Old Mission Peninsula
👑 Luxury price:$300
💵 Mid Range:$200
🛏️ Budget:$120
🏠 Airbnb:$300
💰 Accommodation prices:Medium
📍 Best area:Downtown
👪 Best area for families:Downtown
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Wellington Inn
💵 Best mid-range hotel:Cambria Hotel Traverse City
👛 Best budget hotel:Best Western Plus

BONUS 1: Best hotels near Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park

4 1 Best hotels near Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park

Just 2 miles (3 km) away from Downtown you’ll find the beautiful Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park! This nature oasis is an awesome place to visit during your stay in Traverse City, especially if you’re into outdoor activities.

That’s why I decided to come up with a list of the best resorts and hotels in Traverse City near the park, for anyone who wants to be as close as possible and not waste any time on the road!

NOTE: During the summer months (June, July, and August) the hotel prices are around $100 higher!

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Cherry Tree Inn and Suites –  With a waterfront location on the East Bay, Cherry Tree Inn is set only a 20-minute walk from the Park. The beachfront accommodation offers fun activities for all ages and unique views of the Old Mission Peninsula hills and East Grand Traverse Bay. When you’re not exploring the park, go for a dip in the indoor swimming pool, chill in the hot tub or play with the kids in the games room or in the nautical-themed playground!

Mid Range (US$120 – US$200)

  • The Baywatch Resort – Enjoy your morning coffee on the balcony of your room at this fantastic resort that offers great views of East Grand Traverse Bay! The suites are super bright and come with a coffee machine and free Wi-Fi. Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park is set only a 10-minute walk away!
  • Grand Beach Resort – Set right on the beach, this accommodation has family rooms and it provides a daily continental breakfast that will get you started for a new day! Grand Traverse Resort comes with an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub, and it’s located a 10-minute walk away from the Park.
  • Sugar Beach Resort Hotel – There’s nothing like a getaway at the beach to make one forget about everything and everyone! Enjoy your time in Traverse City while staying at Sugar Beach Resort Hotel, which is located a 10-minute walk away from the Park. The accommodation offers a private beach area, family rooms, and great East Grand Traverse Bay views.

BONUS 2: Top Vrbos in Traverse City

5 1 Top Vrbos in Traverse City

Traveling with the whole family or maybe with a large group of friends to Traverse City and want to stay in a shared house? Don’t worry, I’ve got you!

Below you’ll find 3 fantastic vacation rentals near Downtown Traverse City and the Grand Traverse Bay that will be perfect for your trip. These VRBOs are listed from most to least expensive with prices ranging from US$900 to US$250.

  • Modern House – Your home away from home! This super spacious family-friendly house is set near the waterfront of West Traverse Bay, and it’s equipped with a kitchen, a dining area, and a patio. The accommodation can fit up to 10 people and has a balcony!
  • West Bay Condo – If you prefer modern and freshly built accommodations, then you’ll love this one! The condo can fit up to 6 people, and it’s located within walking distance of Downtown Traverse City. Enjoy your morning coffee while admiring the views of Grand Traverse Bay.
  • Cozy Home – Comfortable and affordable! This accommodation is also near Downtown and the waterfront area. The condo has room for 6 people, and it has all the necessary facilities like a kitchen, a patio, and a dining area.

Frequently asked questions about hotels in Traverse City

6 best hotels near Lake Michigan

🍷 What is Traverse City known for?

Traverse City is well known as the “Cherry Capital of the World”, as it offers delicious cherries productions but that’s not it. The Traverse City area is also known for producing the best wine in the country. 

📅 How many days do you need in Traverse City?

I think 3 or 4 days should be enough to explore all the main attractions in the city, chill at the beach and also visit the State Park if you want! 

🏨 What are the best resorts in Traverse City?

Bayshore Resort and The Baywatch Resort are some of the best resorts in Traverse City. Both have great locations right on the beach and plenty of facilities like pools and hot tubs. 

🎰 Does Traverse City have a casino?

Yes, Traverse City has a casino in one of its hotels and it’s called Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel


7 best resorts in Traverse City

Already in love with this fabulous town near Lake Michigan? Then the feeling is mutual!

I hope this post helped you decide which are the best areas where to stay in Traverse City, which boutique hotels to pick, and what activity to do first!

The article has tons of useful information and a detailed guide to the top areas and hotels in Traverse City plus a bonus section with some fantastic resorts and boutique hotels in Traverse City near Keith J. Charters State Park!

I know that’s a whole lotta content and many hotel options! But trust me, it’s better to be prepared! However, if you’re as indecisive as I am, here are my top 2 favorite hotels, both located in Downtown Traverse City:

  • Wellington Inn – A fabulous boutique hotel set in a neo-classical mansion from 1905 that has spacious rooms with private bathrooms with air-jetted whirlpools
  • Cambria Hotel – The perfect mid-range option near the beach that comes with an indoor pool and a hot tub

As I mentioned these are some of the best resorts and hotels in Traverse City! I recommend booking them in advance to avoid the super expensive deals and get your favorite room!

This is where I say my goodbyes! As always, it has been a pleasure and I hope you have the best trip around Lake Michigan and the Old Mission Peninsula!

If you’ve got any questions on Traverse City’s attractions or hotels, leave me a comment below and I’ll answer them ASAP!

Safe Travels


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