May is cherry blossom time in the Traverse City region! The soft pink and white Traverse City cherry blossoms provide a striking contrast to the rich, green, rolling fields. These meadows anchor the cherry orchards across the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas.
Old Mission Peninsula’s Blossoms
The best way to see the cherry blossoms on Old Mission Peninsula is to take a drive up M37 (Center Road). It weaves through farms and orchards. It offers stunning views of West and East Grand Traverse Bay. It’s a pretty drive year-round, but when the blossoms come out in May, the landscape really lights up.
Leelanau Peninsula Blossoms
Leelanau Peninsula is home to port towns such as Leland, Northport, and Suttons Bay. It has a lot more ground to cover than Old Mission, but is also blanketed with beautiful cherry orchards. One of the most scenic cherry blossom drives is north on County Road 641 from M72. This is just west of Traverse City. A drive up 641 winds through stunning cherry orchards and features some shimmering glimpses of Lake Leelanau.
A cherry blossom tour is a great way to spend an afternoon. It is even better when paired with a stop at one of the Traverse City region’s many wineries and cider houses. There are 10 wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula. Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail hosts 26 wineries. The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is divided into the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Grand Traverse Bay Loop, and the Northern Loop.
You can also take advantage of special Traverse City Uncorked! offers and events this month. May is wine month in Traverse City. All month long you can enjoy lodging packages, tasting room specials, chef events, winemaker dinners, education, and more.
The Beautiful Blossoms by Tandem Ciders
If the wineries get too crowded, or you’re looking for a change of pace, head to one my favorite secluded and scenic spots in town: Tandem Ciders.
Dan Young and Nikki Rothwell are the owners and operators of Tandem Ciders. They moved to Leelanau County in 2005 and opened their establishment in 2008. Tandem Ciders is just a few miles north of Suttons Bay. The name is inspired by a tandem bicycle ride the couple took in England in 2003.
Set among orchards, the Tandem tasting house is small and inviting. It features a white barn exterior. A tandem bicycle hangs above the front door.
Tandem offers many different cider options. These range from sweet, to tart, to dry. Don’t forget to sample the well-known Smackintosh cider made from McIntosh, Rhode Island Greening, and Northern Spy apples.
Tandem’s indoor tasting room and outdoor patio seating are intimate environments. They are perfect for sampling cider, soaking in views, and enjoying snacks such as pickled eggs and peanuts in the shell.
You can’t go wrong with a tour of Traverse City cherry blossoms. Make the trip even more enjoyable with a glass of wine or pint of cider at one of the region’s awesome wineries or cider houses.
What are some of your favorite ways to take in Traverse City’s cherry blossoms? Leave us a comment below.