My positive attitude about the snow has officially lost the shiny luster I was determined to hold onto until spring. When the sun is out past 5:30, and I happen to leave work in time to see it, hope is momentarily restored, and then it’s dark again. On weekends, my goal has been to get outside and soak in whatever Vitamin D is available. If you’re looking for ways to get out of the house on weekends, or if you’re trying to plan a winter weekend getaway to Traverse City, I have come up with some great reasons to commit!
First is the upcoming 39th Annual Festival of Races at the North American VASA Trail; the VASA Trail is maintained by the TART Trails and has over forty miles of intermingled trails, perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking and snowmobiling. Racers can choose between a 3K, 5K, 10K, 12K, 27K and 50K loop, and the grooming in preparation for the Festival of Races on February 14th and 15th has made it prime for winter activities. Introduced this year is the Winter Sports Single Track which is perfect for fatbiking, or a demanding 15K of skiing or snowshoeing. If you are interested in participating in the races, registration has been extended until February 8th to ensure good conditions for participants. For what it’s worth, Short’s Brewing Co. is the beer sponsor with snacks from Cherry Republic and other generous sponsors. I may just go for the after party!
Also, if you have Valentine’s Weekend plans in Traverse City or elsewhere, there’s a good reason to wait a little longer to plan your TC weekend adventure. The 5th Annual Traverse City Restaurant Week is taking place from February 22nd to 28th, and so far it features 36 restaurants and breweries. Local chefs have designed three-course delights for $25 per person and are working hard to win over your palette. For many of these restaurants, this is an affordable look at what their chef and staff have accomplished as a team; take advantage and budget a night (or two) to dine out during that week.
Lastly, but certainly not least, from mid-January until mid-March, the City of Traverse City funds a number of FREE outdoor public skating rinks open seven days a week. The rink on 14th Street and Pine (by Thirlby Field) has a warming house, as does the rink near Traverse Heights Elementary School! Finally, the rink at F&M Park doesn’t have a warming house, but it is certainly close enough to downtown that you can grab a coffee or some lunch to warm up during intermission. Grab someskates, or your finest slippery shoes, and glide around with friends until you feel as warm as a summer day.
So as you most certainly can see, while the weather outside is frightful, Traverse City is still delightful. What else do you have to offer? Stay warm!