Mark and I just took a whirlwind trip to the Traverse City area. I packed up some bottled water and plenty of car snacks and away we went. We left home about 7:30 am on Saturday and got back around 6 pm on Sunday. We had some sort of a loose plan and are very familiar with the area, so we made this quick trip work perfectly!
Shorts Brewing Company
The main reason for this quick trip was that I had arranged a Tour at Shorts Brewing Company for a post in the Michigan Brewery Series I had been writing. They were our first stop at 11:30 am. We took an extensive tour, learned a lot about Shorts Brewing, tasted some mighty fine beer (me with my notebook scribbling frantic tasting notes) and had an amazing lunch. Thanks again Andrew!!! We took our time and really enjoyed the experience and even did a little shopping at the Brew-tique before heading out.
Holiday Inn Express Acme
After leaving Shorts, we headed toward Traverse City. I had booked us a hotel in Acme which is on the North East side (closest to Bellaire). We checked into our “Landing Pad” at 3pm a little tired from the driving and that big lunch. So we took a little break in our room to recharge our batteries before heading out for more adventure. (Nap time).
Northern Latitudes Distillery
I had been seeing a lot of interesting posts from Northern Latitudes Distillery on Instagram and wanted to check them out. I tried to arrange a Tour before we went up, but it just didn’t work out. It was about a 30 minute drive across Traverse City to get to their location on the Leelenau Peninsula. When we got there, a bus with 30 people on it rolled up…..ugh! Before the bus unloaded, we hurried in and made a mad dash to the bar for a complimentary tasting. We each got 4 tastes in shot glasses. I tried the Bloody Mary made with their Horseradish Vodka mixed with Zing Zang. Nice! I also had their Gin mixed a Ginger Liqueur. Spicy. Kathy mixed the Cherry Bounce and the Mackinaw Fudge liqueurs together to make a delicious Chocolate Covered Cherry shot. Those could be dangerous! We thought about staying around to order a cocktail, but once the folks on the bus piled in, it was pretty packed in there and seating was limited. We hit the road.
Hop Lot Brewing
Mark was pleasantly surprised that Hop Lot was only a few minutes from the Distillery. He loves that place. When we got there we found rows of these little igloos outside. OMG they are sooooo cute. I ran around taking photos and wanting to hang out in one. We found out that they are reservation only. Next time!
You can read more about Hop Lot in my post:
Boone’s Prime Time Pub
While I sipped my Stout, I looked up nearby restaurants and found Boone’s Prime Time Pub was only 5 minutes from Hop Lot. Both the location and the fact that we had never been there made made it perfect. Mark and I love to explore new places. It was a cozy little place with a lot of variety on the menu. We decided to order the Steak dinner for 2. It was pretty good. It was an enormous 24 oz Porterhouse served with salads, a huge dish of drunken mushrooms and our choice of two sides.
We were stuffed when we left the Pub and quite ready to head back to our hotel Base Camp. I was excited that a big football game that I had wanted to see was available to watch in our room before turning in for the night. What a great day we had.
After a good nights sleep and some breakfast at the hotel, we just needed to decide what we wanted to do on Sunday before heading home. We had time for about 2 stops if we wanted to get home at a decent time.
Mari Vineyard is a winery on the Old Mission Peninsula that we hadn’t been to yet. It didn’t take much for me to convince Mark that this should be our first stop for the day. We took the scenic drive up the peninsula and admired the beautiful views before doubling back to the winery. They open at 11 am on Sunday which was perfect for us. Coming early is a great trick to wine tasting in a busy area. We literally had the place to ourselves.
If you have never visited this area, put it on your list. Traverse City is full of gorgeous lake views and packed with fabulous food destinations, breweries, wineries, ski slopes and so much more. It’s my favorite place in Michigan.
I’m not going to dote to much about Mari Vineyards yet, because there is a full post coming soon that will go into greater detail about this must visit winery.
After completing a tasting, we had a glass of wine while taking a Tour of the establishment. I was amazed at the size of the place once you got inside. Then we said Arrevederci to our lovely hostess, Madi and headed to our next stop.
Right Brain Brewery
Mark’s choice for lunch and a beer before heading home was Right Brain Brewery. This is a super quirky brewery that serves awesome and unique beer. They had some really funky new artwork hanging that was fun to check out while we were there. I like to sit at the bar here because the staff are always very friendly.
You can read more about Right Brain Brewery in my post:
Beers I tried:
- Rosemary Brown Ale
- 2 Brains
- Looping Owl
- Fire Starter
- Thai Peanut (just because it’s my favorite beer)
- Whole Pie Cherry
I loved my Beer battered waffle sandwich with turkey and avacado. We also had some tortilla chips with house made guacamole. Heaven. We eat well when we travel.
Last stop on the way out of Traverse City……Mark saw a field full of Buffalo. Couldn’t resist a quick hop out for photos. This may have been a quick trip, but we jammed a lot into it without it feeling chaotic. The key to doing the most in a small amount of time is to DO THE RESEARCH before you go and have an outline of what you want to do. If we don’t have some semblance of a plan on a trip like this, it leads to frustration as we flounder over plans.
Love Road Trips! Love Traverse City! Love Michigan! Love Traveling!
For those of you reading this that traveled with us in Europe this summer, while I was writing this I kept thinking of our Tour Director, Emile, saying that we were “Maximizing our Experience.” Lol
So many Emile-isms!