Enjoying Traverse City cherry blossoms is one of the best things to do in Traverse City each spring. If you’re hoping to find the best places to see cherry blossoms in Traverse City this spring in Michigan, we’ve got you covered!
Every May, more than two million Traverse City cherry blossoms burst forth in bloom, their soft pink and white colors provide a striking contrast to the rich, green, rolling fields and the rich blue water of Grand Traverse Bay.
Whether you’ve never seen the Traverse City cherry blossoms or it’s one of your annual spring traditions, we’re here to help.
This helpful guide provides everything you’ll need to plan your spring Traverse City day trip or weekend getaway in Northern Michigan to see the cherry blossoms — everything from where to eat to where to shop to where to stay.
Where to See Traverse City Cherry Blossoms in Michigan
Cherry trees can grow just about anywhere, but the Grand Traverse Region provides perfect conditions for them to grow with rolling hills, sandy soil, and even the whipping Lake Michigan winds.
The first cherry trees in the region were planted in the late 1800s and by the early 1900s, local cherry farmers held an annual “Blessing of the Blossoms” to celebrate strong cherry crops.
That annual celebration has since grown into the National Cherry Festival, but seeing the cherry blossoms every spring is still a favorite pastime for thousands of people.
Fortunately, there are several spots near Traverse City where you can see the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Michigan Cherry Blossoms on Old Mission Peninsula
Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse County is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms. The best way to see the Traverse City 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 scenic drive year-round, but when the Michigan cherry blossoms come out in May, the landscape really lights up.
Cherry blossoms last an average of four to five days on the trees, but because different parts of the region bloom at different times, Traverse City cherry blossom season can be enjoyed for most of the month of May.
Lovely Cherry Blossoms on Leelanau Peninsula
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 Peninsula but is also blanketed with beautiful cherry orchards.
One of the most scenic Traverse City 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.
Michigan Wine & Cherry Blossom Tours
A Michigan cherry blossom tour in Traverse City is a great way to spend an afternoon. It is even better when paired with a stop at one of the best Traverse City wineries or 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.
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. Learn more about special Traverse City Uncorked! offers and events this month.
Beautiful Cherry Blossoms Near 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 apple 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.
More to Explore During Michigan Cherry Blossom Season
You can’t go wrong with a spring tour of Traverse City cherry blossoms. Make the trip even more enjoyable with an overnight stay at a Traverse City luxury hotel or have a meal at one of the best local restaurants in Traverse City!
If you’re planning on staying in the area for a few days, there’s so much to see and do around you.
Indulge in Some Traverse City Shopping
Shopping is so much fun in Traverse City because there are so many options. In downtown Traverse City alone, there are historic movie houses, an old theater, an orchestra and so much more.
If you’re looking for familiar department stores, the Grand Traverse Mall has a great mix of national retailers.
Hike Along the TART and Boardman Lake Trails
If you love hiking and being outdoors, you can’t go wrong with a hike or a bike ride along the Traverse Area Recreational Trail (TART).
The trail stretches 10.5 miles from Leelanau Trail to Acme Township and passes through neighborhoods, businesses, and recreation areas.
The Boardman Lake Trail is part of the TART system and is a four-mile loop that wraps around Boardman Lake just outside of downtown Traverse City.
Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
If you’re looking for the perfect day trip in the midst of your cherry blossom adventure, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Sleeping Bears Dunes is only about 40 minutes west of Traverse City and stretches across miles and miles of scenic Lake Michigan shoreline.
On the way there, there are multiple scenic overlooks, where you can see incredible views of the dunes and the views only get better the closer you get.
Where to Eat In and Near Traverse City Michigan
Seeing the beautiful Traverse City cherry blossoms up close may just take your breath away, but you’ll probably work up an appetite too.
If you’re looking for spots to eat in and around Traverse City, it’s simply a matter of picking a good spot because there are so many good options.
Awesome Traverse City Breakfast Options
J&S Hamburg Downtown doesn’t look like much on the outside, but it’s been a TC institution since 1938 and serves up tasty omelets, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and other breakfast favorites.
Red Spire Brunch House in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons offers classic breakfast options as well as unique twists. There are also options for those on gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets.
The name says it all at Benedict. Not only can you find classic eggs benedict on the menu, but you can also find some great benedict alternatives, all made with fresh ingredients of course.
Check out more great Traverse City breakfast options here.
Amazing Traverse City Lunch Spots
Slabtown Burgers serves up some high-quality burgers and other lunch favorites at an affordable price. The burgers here are freshly made every day and served up tasty, crispy fries.
North Peak Brewing Company is well known for its delicious brews, but also offers customers a full lunch menu featuring soups, salads, sandwiches, and more.
Don’s Drive-In is a trip back in time and visitors can enjoy burgers, fries, and shakes in a classic diner from the 1950s. This is a family-friendly spot everyone can enjoy.
Delectable Traverse City Dinner Options
Pangea’s Pizza is a great place to sit down for a slice or two. Not only is there space on the roof to enjoy your pie, but the menu features some incredible stone-fired pizza creations that you just have to taste for yourself.
The Little Fleet has something for everyone — great drinks, a year-round taco shop, indoor and outdoor seating, and food trucks nearby from May to September.
If you’re looking for a fine dining option, try Red Ginger, which serves up delicious Asian fare right in the heart of downtown Traverse City. You can grab some sushi if you’re on the go or try some tasty small plate offerings.
Places For Snacks and Desserts
If you’ve got a craving for sweets, fear not! Traverse City has several great spots to satisfy sweet tooths of all ages.
MOOmers Homemade Ice Creams offers customers more than 150 fresh flavors to choose from, with at least 20 available every day. They also have vegan ice cream and other allergy-friendly options.
The Grand Traverse Pie Company offers a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the dessert options are downright delectable. The dessert options here include an impressive lineup of pies, turnovers, cookies, and more.
Where to Stay During Your Cherry Blossom Visit
If you’re planning a trip to see the Traverse City cherry blossoms, you want your visit to be memorable and comfortable. That’s easy to do when you stay at a Traverse City boutique hotel.
Some of our favorite Traverse City boutique hotels include:
Chateau Chantal on the northern end of Old Mission Peninsula is a bed-and-breakfast with great views of Grand Traverse Bay and its own vineyards.
The Grey Hare Inn on Old Mission Peninsula is also situated on vineyard grounds and makes you feel like you’re staying right in the heart of Southern France.
The Oviatt House Bed and Breakfast is located right in downtown Traverse City in a home that dates back to 1900. There’s plenty of space with six rooms and plenty of history with furnishings that date back to the 1750s.
Plan Your Traverse City Cherry Blossom Day Trip or Weekend Getaway
Northern Michigan is absolutely beautiful in the spring and a trip to Traverse County is a definite must on your Michigan spring bucket list.
Peak cherry blossom season is the best time to be near Traverse City to see these beautiful cherry blooms for yourself. Seeing them up close is a real treat and is a sure sign that spring has finally arrived.
The window to see the blossoms doesn’t last long, so start planning your trip today. Not only can you bask in the beauty of the blossoms, but you can also enjoy local restaurants, shop at local stores, and stay at quaint, comfortable local boutique hotels.
Thanks to former Creator Team member, Jay Harrington, for his contributions to this article.