Traverse City Introduction Walking Tour, Traverse City

Traverse City Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Traverse City

Named after the Grand Traverse Bay on the shores of Lake Michigan, at the head of which it stands, Traverse City is an interesting place with lots of parks, theaters, galleries and other attractions. Visitors are drawn here by the richness of recreational and cultural activities. The City Opera House, noted for its distinctive Victorian style, is perpetually busy with different plays and concerts. This orientation walk will help you discover some of the most visited and renowned sights of Traverse City.
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Traverse City Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Traverse City Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Traverse City (See other walking tours in Traverse City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: jenny
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • City Opera House
  • Art & Soul Gallery
  • Central United Methodist Church
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Grand Traverse County Courthouse
  • Front Street
  • State Theatre
  • The Bijou by the Bay
  • Clinch Park
  • Duncan L Clinch Marina
City Opera House

1) City Opera House (must see)

City Opera House represents an important building according to its history and its beauty. It was the first building in the city with electric lights. It was a beautiful house for important events such as balls, concerts, plays and other important meetings. It dates back from 1891 and it was functioning till 1920. After a period of time it was restored and now it is used for other events such as dances, meetings and opera performances. It can be used for special occasions such as weddings. It has beautiful wood floors, a large balcony and a very attractive main ballroom with high ceilings. During the last restoration, air-conditioners were included, which may now be used for different occasions. It has a Victorian building style that was made by three brothers-in-law. It has around 1200 seats.
Art & Soul Gallery

2) Art & Soul Gallery

In Art and Soul Gallery you will find some great collections of gold and silver jewelry, glass-work, masks and sculptures, fiber, metals, paper, paintings, photography and wood pieces of art. It belongs to Amy and Steve Stinson’s and is an interesting place to admire new works by young artists as well as purchase a nice present for someone. The gallery represents both acclaimed artists and newcomers who offer diversity and vision to the world of art. The gallery is open Monday – Friday: 11am – 6pm; Saturday: 11am – 6 pm; Sunday: 11am-4pm.
Central United Methodist Church

3) Central United Methodist Church

Central United Methodist Church appeared in 1858; it was a building made from wood that could hold almost 400 people. Later on, the church was enlarged and organized two services with two groups of people, one in the morning and another in the evening; they also added several wings and annexes for various parish and community needs. The present brick-clad Central Church of the whole complex was completed in 1986. Rather modern in appearance, it is still one of the remarkable landmarks of Traverse City downtown.
Grace Episcopal Church

4) Grace Episcopal Church

Grace Episcopal Church was built in 1867 when three religious congregations decided to build this church. In 1875 the church changed location and a new church building appeared in the center of town. The final church building was established in 1897 and after some years, it got a new hall and a new sanctuary. In 2005 new renovations took place along with some important interior and exterior restorations. This church is simplistic in appearance yet beautiful, its bright white walls tracing features of Early Gothic Vernacular style.
Grand Traverse County Courthouse

5) Grand Traverse County Courthouse

Grand Traverse County Courthouse: Built in 1900, the courthouse was considered the center of the community. Famous speakers—like William Jennings Bryan–would come to speak on the courthouse steps. In 1984 it was saved from demolition by the actions concerned citizens. Now it is especially beloved for the tones of its bell tower, recently restored after many years of silence.
Front Street

6) Front Street

Front Street is the very best place to be in this popular northern Michigan resort community. The street captures just about everything residents and visitors like about Traverse City: scenic views of the Boardman River, a Victorian-era opera house, the Jay Smith Walkway pocket park, generous 12-to-14-foot-wide sidewalks with benches and shade trees, the city's highest density of stores and businesses, and numerous festivals and special events that attract hundreds of thousands of people each year.
State Theatre

7) State Theatre (must see)

The State Theatre was recently acquired by the Traverse City Film Festival from a gift by Grand Traverse Rotary. The theatre underwent restoration and was re-opened on November 17, 2007.

The State Theatre is located on on East Front Street in downtown Traverse City and was originally built in 1918 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire. It showed the first talking movie seen in Northern Michigan in 1929 when it was known as the Lyric Theatre. It closed down in 1991,when the cinemas at the Grand Traverse Mall opened, and their then owners GKC wanted business at those theaters. It was revitalized before being used during the Traverse City Film Festival which began in July 2005. On November 17, 2007, the community celebrated the grand opening of the theater as a year round art house.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
The Bijou by the Bay

8) The Bijou by the Bay

The Bijou by the Bay is a 150-seat nonprofit theater in a lovely City park on Grand Traverse Bay, next to the multi-use TART Trail. The Bijou draws people downtown in droves to see the latest and greatest movies, including blockbuster Hollywood films that we cannot screen at the State due to its deed restriction.
Clinch Park

9) Clinch Park (must see)

Clinich Park is an attractive recreation venue. It is perfect for a walk, for running, admiring the beauty of the nearby beach and breathing fresh air. The beach and the park are the most populated in the zone and represent an interesting touristic point in the city. The nearby Grand Traverse Bay is another attraction of this park that makes people just sit and stare at it. It is located in the center of the city, which makes it more populated and better known. On weekends there are organized concerts and celebrations for all the people that spend time there. Families organize small picnics and spend time in the heart of nature.
Duncan L Clinch Marina

10) Duncan L Clinch Marina

Marina is a wonderful place. Boating, fishing, volleyball, swimming, kite flying, windsurfing, paddle board, bike ride (the tart trail gently sways through the park) at one of the beautiful long sandy beaches