The Traverse Area is full of Unusual Ideas® – unique attractions, activities and day trips which provide an authentic glimpse into the local lifestyle. Interested in exploring the waters, checking out a lighthouse or museum, or perhaps a day of shopping and family fun?

You’ll find it all here. Whether you’ve come to the area for business or pleasure, with family or friends, you’re sure to enjoy a memorable experience when you visit one of our Unusual Ideas®.



 Michigan Area Lighthouses




Click on the tabs below to find out more information on these attractions.

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Becky Thatcher Designs
Jewelry Designs


Becky Thatcher has been capturing the essence of Northern Michigan in gold and silver jewelry designs for over 30 years.

To preserve the beauty of a Lake Michigan summer sunset or a snow swept beach, Becky travels the U.S. and Asia to personally select stones that treasure that moment.

Her palette includes gemstones such as boulder opal, fancy sapphire and tanzanite, along with beach stones like Petoskey, Leland Blue and Michigan fossils.


Glen Arbor | 231-334-3826
5795 Lake Street
A stone’s throw from Lake Michigan
Open year round

Leland | 231-256-2229

301 S. Main Street
Just before the bridge
Open seasonally

Harbor Springs | 231-526-9336

117 W. Main Street
Open year round/Seasonal hours

Traverse City | 231-947-5088

234 E. Front Street
Across from the State Theater
Open year round



Becky Thatcher Designs Mealtickets cardBecky Thatcher Designs map
Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre
Always a Double-Feature and Always Family Friendly


First Run Movies every Friday & Saturday, May & September

Nightly all summer

Rain or shine dusk is the time!

  • ’50′s style mini-golf
  • Playground
  • Diner
  • Shopping & more…



The Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre

18 miles southwest of Traverse City, on US 31 in Honor
For current movie listings call 231.325.3413 or visit our website at

Cherry Stop
Bringing you premium fruit & cherry products since 1995.


Now featuring Uncorked: A Northern Michigan Wine Bar
Sample and take home your favorite Northern Michigan wines.

Old-fashioned Soda Fountain
Try our Cherry Vanilla Cream Soda!

Fresh Cherry Pie & Baked Goods

  • Fruit of the Month Specials & Discounts
  • Premium Dried Cherries & Fruits
  • Chocolate Covered Dried Fruits
  • Fruit Blends, Trail Mixes, & Cherry Candies
  • Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
  • Jams, Salsas, BBQ Sauces & Mustards
  • Cherry Coffee & Tea
  • Frozen Cherries Year Round, Fresh Cherries in Season
  • Cherry Gift Items – Many Locally Made
  • Gift Boxes & Baskets; ask about our Corporate Gift Program

Visit our retail store or shop our on-line catalog at For mail order call: 800.286.7209

Cherries are good tasting and good for you. For a healthy snack or ingredient, try our dried fruit.

We accept the following forms of payment: American Express, VISA, Mastercard & Discover. Open year round

International Shipping

The Cherry Stop

211 E. Front Street Traverse City MI 49684 (231) 929-3990 (800) 286-7290 for Mail Order

Cherry Stop Mealtickets card


Cherryland Antique Mall & Consignment Center
If we don’t have it, we bet we can get it!


Features over 15,000 sq. ft.
of exhibit space
Friendly customer service
Huge variety of dealer wares in 
booths & showcase displays
Well lighted, spacious facility
Air-conditioned, one-level shopping
Ample parking


Open Daily

Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm

Sunday: 12pm-5pm

Cherryland Antique Mall & Consignment Center

Located on Garfield Avenue, across from the Cherryland Center
near South Airport Road

1719 S. Garfield

Traverse City, MI 49686

Antique Mall Mealtickets cardCherryland Antique Mall Mealtickets map


The Dennos Museum Center
It Begins Within

The Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College is the premier cultural facility in northern Michigan, offering a dynamic array of exhibitions and programs in the visual arts, sciences and performing arts.

The Dennos features:

  • New exhibitions throughout the year
  • An engaging hands-on 
Discovery Gallery
  • A renowned Inuit Art Gallery
  • A unique and ever-changing 
Museum Store
  • The 400-seat Milliken Auditorium


The Museum‘s signature collection is Inuit art of the Canadian Arctic, one of the largest and most historically complete collections of these distinctive sculptures and prints in the United States. A significant collection of outdoor sculptures by noted international and Michigan artists surrounds the Museum on the beautiful campus of Northwestern Michigan College.

Dennos Concert Series

The Dennos Museum Center offers an exciting array of performances for the community, with an emphasis on World Music along with Jazz and Blues. At The Dennos you will experience performances not found anywhere else in the region. Join us for a great season of performances that bring the best from around the world to the intimate setting of Milliken Auditorium.


Dennos Museum Center 

Located 1.5 miles East of Downtown Traverse City, at the entrance of Northwestern Michigan College

1701 E. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49686
Open Daily  | Admission Charged

Dennos Museum Mealtickets cardDennos Museum Mealtickets map


Detroit Red Wings Training Camps
Centre Ice Arena | Traverse City

Welcome to Centre Ice Arena. We’re proud to be the home of the Detroit Red Wings Training Camp, NHLProspects Tournament, DRW Development Camp & DRW Golf Classic.


DRW Development Camp
July 7-13, 2012 | Tickets $5

Detroit Red Wings invite top draft picks 
to Traverse City for strength, conditioning and skills training with DRW staff.
40 prospects from around the world
Watched by scouts & coaches
Trained by Osgood, Downey, Chelios
On-ice sessions open to the public


NHL Prospects Tournament

Preceeds DRW Training Camp

8 NHL teams converge at Centre Ice for a 
4-day round-robin tournment consisting of NHL prospects from around the world.
We Saw ‘Em First – See the best in hockey before they make the team.
Tourney alums include Datsyuk, 
Kovalchuk, Zetterberg, Skinner and more
Tickets available at the door or in advance at


Detroit Red Wings Training Camp

Early September

Centre Ice is proud to be the home of DRW Training Camp. Watch 65 veterans & prospects train on-ice up close & personal.
Autograph sessions
Exclusive Training Camp Merchandise
Advanced Tickets Only. Visit our website for ticket sale info


Detroit Red Wings Golf Classic
September 21, 2012

Your chance to play golf with a DRW player or staff. Details on our website.


For more information follow us on or Tweet with us @RedWingsCamps and Follow #drwdc #nhlprospects #drwtc. Visit our website at

Centre Ice Arena
1600 Chartwell Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686


Detroit Red Wings Training Camp Mealtickets cardCentre Ice Mealtickets map
Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars
Fine oils and Vinegars tasted and bottled on site


Join us in beautiful downtown Traverse City to sample extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegar infusions from stainless steel "fustinis".

Select combinations unique to your tastes. We fill the bottles on site and you take home an "out of this world" experience.

Olive Oils
  • Blood Orange
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Chipotle
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Porcini
  • Persian Lime
  • Varietal Oils
  • White Truffle


  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberry
  • Oregano
  • Cherry
  • Fig
  • Lemon
  • Tangerine
  • Blueberry
  • 18 Year Aged


Tasted, Bottled & Shipped

Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars
141 E Front Street
Traverse City, MI


Shop with us online at:


Fustini's Oils and Vinegars graphicFustini's Oils and Vinegars map
Gallery 50
Featuring artists from 50 states in the area’s most unique

Housed in a 125 year old insane asylum, Gallery Fifty’s home in the Village at the Grand Traverse Commons features an eclectic array of artwork ranging from fun & funky to modern & refined. We specialize in original fine art, contemporary craft, studio jewelry and local handcrafted gifts. Adjacent to the gallery, in northern Michigan’s largest fine art venue, The Mercato, we host a quarterly art exhibition series, often showcasing group or theme shows.

We are best known for our outstanding selection of studio jewelry and art-to-wear, including James Blanchard’s “Fordite” or “Detroit Agate”. Created from layers of automotive paint collected from the spray booths in the late 1970s, these one-of-a-kind jewelry designs are exclusive to Gallery Fifty.


  • Original Fine Art
  • Contemporary Craft
  • Studio Jewelry
  • Handcrafted Gifts


Gallery Fifty | The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
800 Cottageview Dr., Suite 50
Traverse City, MI 49684

Gallery Fifty graphic by MealticketsGallery Fifty map by Mealtickets
Grand Traverse Balloons
Beautiful Balloon Flights over the Grand Traverse Bay Area


The adventure lasts a few hours…
The memories will last forever!

Your three hour adventure includes approximately one hour flight time, floating effortlessly above the treetops for panoramic views of the magnificent lakes and islands.

Upon landing, the experience continues with the traditional champagne celebration. You will receive a certificate of ascension, color photo and cloisonne balloon pin.


Enjoy any of the four seasons

Gift Certificates Available

Establised 1987
Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Grand Traverse Balloons Mealtickets imageGrand Traverse Balloons graphic



Interlochen Center for the Arts
2012 Summer Arts Festival

June 10:    Willie Nelson & Family
June 22:    Martina McBride: One Night 2012
June 26:    Pilobolus
June 28-30:    Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
June 29:    Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
June 30:    Gavin DeGraw with Special Guest Andy Grammer
July 1:    World Youth Symphony Orchestra
July 2:    Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang
July 3:    Umphrey’s McGee with Special Guest G. Love & Special Sauce
July 5:    The Capitol Steps
July 5-7:    Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
July 7:    Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”
July 8:    World Youth Symphony Orchestra
July 10:    Interlochen “Collage”
July 11:    Nathan Gunn
July 13:    Doktor Kaboom!
July 14:    Pacifica Quartet
July 15:    Joann Falletta Conducts WYSO
July 18:    Montgomery Gentry
July 19:    STYX
July 20:    Peter Yarrow
July 21:    Dat Phan
July 22:    WYSO with Andre Watts
July 23:    Blind Pilot
July 25:    Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Special Guest Del McCoury
July 27:    Michael W. Smith: Wonder, Worship & Glory Tour 2012
July 29:    Osmo Vanska Conducts WYSO with Anthony Ross
Aug 2-5:    “Children of Eden”
Aug 11:     The Magic of Bill Blagg Live!
Aug 13:     Sheryl Crow
Aug 13, 15 & 18:  Enso String Quartet
Aug 18:    The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue 2012: Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald & Boz Scaggs
September 15:   
Bill Cosby

Student and faculty performances, art exhibitions 
and campus tours offered daily throughout the 
summer. Visit our website or call the Box Office
for more information. Schedule subject to change.


Interlochen Website:

Phone: 800.681.5920


Interlochen Public Radio

Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ "Public Radio Station of the Year"

Classical Music 88.7, 88.5 & 100.9 FM
News 91.5 FM, 90.1 FM & 89.7 FM

Listen online at:

Interlochen Arts Academy

The nation’s first and foremost fine arts boarding high school, where students study music, dance, theatre, visual arts, creative writing and motion picture arts in a college-like setting.


Interlochen Arts Camp

The world’s premier summer arts program for aspiring artists grades 3 through 12, offering programs in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, creative writing and motion picture arts.


Interlochen College of Creative Arts

An engaging series of classes and programs for adults, because it’s never too late to have the experience of a lifetime!

Interlochen Center for the Arts Mealticket cardInterlochen Center for the Arts map
Lucky Jack’s
Traverse City’s Fun Destination

50,000 Square Feet of Fun
More Ways to Play, Every Day

>> Bowling  33 Lanes
     Private 8-Lane Bowling Suite with private bar
>> Arcade  80 of the hottest games with a giant redemption store
>> Laser Tag  2,500 square foot arena, with 20 vests
>> Laser Maze 
     The only laser maze in Northern Michigan
>> Billiards  8 Brunswick billard tables
>> Spin Zone Bumper Cars
>> Food & Spirits 
>> Delicious Pizza

Locally owned for 50 years

Lucky Jack’s
Located on S. Garfield Ave near the airport
1705 S. Garfield Ave
Traverse City, MI

Open Daily Year Round

phone:  231.947.2610

Lucky Jacks Mealtickets cardLucky Jacks Mealtickets map
Motovino Sail
Grand Prix Sailing on an Americas Cup Trainer

Captained excursions on Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan aboard a 50-foot performance yacht.

One of only eight in its kind, the iD48 quickly became the choice for Americas Cup training. A decade later you can experience the excitement of grand prix sailing know to only a few.

For reservations call 231-386-1027


Where the Cork Hits the Road

Motovino Cellars

After your cruise, visit the Motovino Cellars tasting room in Northport for free tastings of wines from Leelanau and Michigan fruit, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Rossi Pasta and much more.


Motovino Sail & Tasting Room
110 Waukazoo Street
Northport, MI


Motovino Sail Mealtickets cardMotovino Sail Mealtickets map
National Writers Series
2012 Summer-Fall Season

Our Mission is to spark students’ writing excellence, and to connect communities with nationally-renowned writers to encourage appreciation of the written word.

Thursday, June 21 @ 7:00 pm
An Evening with Natalie Bakopoulous, and Special Guest, Elizabeth Kostova. Expect moments of magic between a literary star and a great new novelist launching her career.

Monday, July 9 @ 7:00 pm
An Evening with Janet Evanovich, in partnership with the National Cherry Festival. The creator of the mega-selling Stephanie Plum series goes behind the scenes of her best-selling novels.

Thursday, Sept 27 @ 7:00 pm
An Evening with Maggie Stiefvater. The popular YA author (the “Wolves of Mercy Falls” trilogy) launches an exciting new supernatural series in Traverse City.

Thursday, Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm
An Evening with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with special guest host Jack Segal. The Somali-Dutch activist opens up on her best-selling autobiography “Infidel” and a fascinating life in politics and religion.  

Date TBA
An Evening with Benjamin Busch.
A former Marine and TV star explodes on the publishing scene with a searing memoir on combat, loss and the healing power of art.

National Writers Series

For the latest news and updates on NWS, visit

Discounts for students, educators and book club groups available.


All events are located at the 
City Opera House in downtown Traverse City.
To purchase tickets:


National Writers Series Mealtickets cardNational Writers Series Mealtickets map
Pirate’s Cove


Swashbuckling fun for the whole family!

Adventure Golf

Putt your way through mountain caves, over footbridges and under waterfalls on two 18-hole championship courses.


Safely snap into our pirate rigging and soar through the air.

Ropes Course

Navigate your way through two levels of rope obstacles. Fun and safe for all ages.


Speed on the ultimate road track and experience the rush of car racing against a fleet of 18 go-carts.


Drop more than 50 feet, as you twist and turn into a screaming landing.

Bumper Boats

Beat the heat in the hottest and coolest boats that rock, spin and spray.


Kiddy Go-Carts, Game Room and more!

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Park


Pirates Cove card graphic
Centre Ice Arena
Public Skating at Centre Ice & Howe Arenas

Welcome to Centre Ice & Howe Arena, the home of the Grand Traverse
Hockey Association, Traverse City Figure Skating Club,
TC Trojans, TC Titans, and Bay Area Reps.

This is Hockeytown North, the location for Detroit Red Wings Training Camp, DRW Development Camp, NHL Prospects Tournament and DRW Golf Classic. For more information on our rink visit our website at or call: 231-933-7465

Centre Ice        933-7465
Fit For You       421-5667
GTHA               933-4842
Howe Arena     922-4893
TCFSC             947-2267


Public Skating Hours

Cost is $4, skate rental is $3

Open Skating      M, W, F     11am–12:20pm
                             Sat, Sun     3pm–4:20pm
Parent–Child       T               11am –12:20pm
Sticks & Pucks    M              12:30pm–1:50pm
                             Th             11am –12:20pm
Adult Skating      T, Th         12:30pm–1:50pm
Drop-in Hockey    M, W, F   12:30pm–1:50pm         ages 16 & up    
                              W             9:30pm – 11:00pm
Drop in Hockey is $10/person, goalies free



Centre Ice Arena
1600 Chartwell Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686

Howe Arena
1125 W. Civic Center Dr
Traverse City, MI 49686


Centre Ice Public Skating Mealtickets cardCentre Ice Arena Mealtickets map
Riverside Canoe Trips

Experience the Platte River in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park.

Lower Platte:

Friendly river with a gentle current – ideal for the whole family! Let the kids paddle a kayak on their own or float in their own tubes. Riverside will furnish the rope and you tow the tube behind your canoe. The trip ends at Lake Michigan with a beautiful sugar sand beach! This is our most popular “family” trip.

Upper Platte:

Our “fast water” trip – it’s a natural for good times. Clean, spring fed waters and fast current with an average depth of 2-3 feet. Often narrow and full of quick turns and low branches, this trip is a challenge. It’s an “adult” trip.

Rental Services:
  • Canoes
  • Tubes
  • Kayaks
  • Rafts
  • Boats
  • And more!

Including a complete country general store! VISA & MasterCard accepted.


May 1st – Mid-October 7 days a week


For more information, contact:

Riverside Canoe Trips

5042 Scenic Hwy.

Honor MI 49640


(231) 325-5622

Shooters Range
Guns + Bows + Accessories


Our indoor gun range and indoor archery range provide year round access for shooters to hone their skills.

  • Rental – over 2 dozen in stock
  • 8 lane indoor shooting range
  • Full ammo selection
  • 3 indoor archery ranges
  • Featuring full 3-D course
  • TechnoHUNT video shooting range


Offering Try Before You Buy
Lessons & Classes


Monday – Friday     10am – 8pm
Saturday     10am – 5pm
Sunday     Noon – 5pm


1299 Silver Lake Crossings Blvd,
Grawn, MI 49367

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The Village at Grand Traverse Commons


Discover The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.


The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is one of the largest historical rehabilitation sites in the country. Formerly the Traverse City State Hospital, our 18th century Victorian-Italianate buildings now host a thriving community where creative people live, work, shop, and simply enjoy life.

We’re located just over one mile west of Downtown Traverse City. Visit us for an unforgettable day in the area’s largest public park, and discover our many attractions:

FIne Foods • Wine Tasting • Fun Shops • Food Artisans • Great Coffee • Galleries • Salon & Spa Services • Historic Buildings • Hiking and Biking Trails  •  Local Art  • Cafes • Picnic Lawn  •  Seasonal Farmers Market


West Eleventh St. at Cottageview Dr., Traverse City




The Minervini Group

Featured in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Detroit News, and Grand Rapids Press