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11 Top-Rated Resorts in Traverse City, MI

Written by Carri Wilbanks and Becca Blond
Sep 15, 2021

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The Northern Michigan town of Traverse City is a wonderful place to vacation and as such is filled with resorts for most types of travelers. Home to Grand Traverse Bay, which leads into Lake Michigan, as well as a lively downtown and natural attractions like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Traverse City has plenty of things to see and do year-round.

While some resorts here are seasonal, the majority stay open year-round, so you can visit during the fall foliage season or when there are fewer tourists in winter, and the bay is surrounded by a blanket of snow.

Resorts in Traverse City fall into the mid-range and budget price brackets, with no five-star properties in town. The majority of hotels are of the 3-star variety, but there are many quality choices offering amenities from farm-to-table restaurants to spas and private beach access on the east or west sides of the bay. Here are our favorite resorts in the "Cherry Capital of the World" - oh, and if you like cherries, make sure to visit in July when the town holds its annual cherry festival.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Bayshore Resort

Photo Source: Bayshore Resort
Photo Source: Bayshore Resort

On the beach in West Grand Traverse Bay, Bayshore Resort is also within walking distance of the shops and restaurants downtown. The 3-star resort is a top choice for a Traverse City getaway, whether you are traveling with the kids or on a romantic vacation.

The hotel offers a range of rooms and suites in various price brackets, and kids stay free here. Book one of the spa rooms if you want an in-room two-person Jacuzzi tub. There are also suites with bay views and sleeper sofas for the kids. Suites also have the jetted tubs.

Amenities include a complimentary continental breakfast, an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, a game room, and a fitness room. In summer, Jet Ski and boat rentals can also be arranged. There is no on-site restaurant; however, the location means there are plenty within walking distance.

Address: 833 E Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Bayshore Resort

2. Delamar Traverse City

Photo Source: Delamar Traverse City
Photo Source: Delamar Traverse City

Delamar Traverse City sits right on the waterfront facing Grand Traverse Bay. The contemporary resort offers 173 rooms and suites all of which have at least partial views of the bay. The suites are the only accommodations with full bay views. Suites are done up in mid-century modern style and also have separate living spaces with pull-out sofas and kitchenettes.

If you are traveling with kids, book one of the family rooms with twin bunk beds and a half wall separating them from a king-sized bed. Regardless of which class of room you get, all have floor-to-ceiling windows, stylish design, and Bulgari amenities in the baths.

Resort amenities are also plentiful. Valet parking is complimentary, and there is an electric vehicle charging station. There's also a fitness center with a Peloton bike, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, and a sauna and hot tub. Two on-site restaurants complete the picture. One serves breakfast daily, and the other offers innovative New American fare with Lake Michigan views for lunch and dinner.

Address: 615 East Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Delamar Traverse City

3. Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City

Photo Source: Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City
Photo Source: Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City

A favorite with families, Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City was built with kids in mind. The resort has an indoor water park with lots of slides and watery features, and passes are included for guests. If your kids prefer dry land, there are also non-water-focused activities, from bowling to mini-golf, arcade games to gem mining.

Accommodation is in standard, themed, or premium suites. All are made for families and come with extras like private balconies and kitchenettes, but the themed suites are extra fun, with themes ranging from tented camps to wolf dens with bunk beds.

Other on-site amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and multiple restaurants. Try Hungry As A Wolf if you want pizza, pasta, and salads served family style. If parents need some pampering there is a full-service spa.

Address: 3575 N US Highway 31 S, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City

4. Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

Photo Source: Sugar Beach Resort Hotel
Photo Source: Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

Named for the white-sand beach of East Grand Traverse Bay on which it is located, Sugar Beach Resort Hotel underwent a full renovation in 2017.

The property has rooms and suites for all styles of travelers. If you are on vacation with the kids, book one of the suites that can sleep up to six people and have a sleeper sofa in the living room. All accommodations here have a cheery, beach-style vibe with blue accent walls, comfy pillow-topped mattresses, and flat-screen TVs. Some rooms have furnished balconies with bay views.

The hotel offers guests a free breakfast in the morning. There is also direct beach access, and water sports equipment rentals are offered. You can also take a dip in the indoor swimming pool, soak in the hot tub, work out in the fitness center, or hit up the game room. If you are in need of a massage, there is also an on-site spa.

Address: 1773 US 31 North, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

5. Pinestead Reef Resort

Photo Source: Pinestead Reef Resort
Photo Source: Pinestead Reef Resort

From one-bedroom studios to three-bedroom deluxe condos, the 46 waterfront suites at Pinestead Reef Resort make the property a great option for families or groups of friends.

Even the studio rooms can accommodate up to six people, with two double beds in one room and a sleeper sofa in the living room. All units come with full kitchens that make it easy to cut down on dining expenses by cooking for yourself. They also come with private balconies and flat-screen TVs.

Set on 700 feet of sandy beachfront in East Grand Traverse Bay, the resort has sun loungers set out for guests to use. There is no restaurant on-site, but there is a vending machine, and the resort is under a 10-minute drive from downtown Traverse City, where you'll find numerous dining options.

Guests can also make use of the indoor swimming pool, take a soak in the hot tub, or sweat it out in the sauna. There is also a game room and a billiards table. Should you need to wash clothes, self-service laundry is available.

Address: 1265 N US Highway 31 N, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Pinestead Reef Resort

6. Hotel Indigo Traverse City

Photo Source: Hotel Indigo Traverse City
Photo Source: Hotel Indigo Traverse City

In a very walkable location across the street from West Grand Traverse Bay, in the waterfront Warehouse District and less than half a mile from the Boardman River Boardwalk, Hotel Indigo Traverse City is a trendy boutique hotel.

The rooms and suites feature eclectic decor and accent walls covered in wallpaper murals with different natural scenes: trees in one, stones in a brook in another. Bathrooms also have a unique look with faux wood paneling instead of traditional marble.

Amenities include the Warehouse KiTChen + Cork restaurant, which serves fresh, seasonal fare three meals a day. There is also a workout room, rooftop terrace, laundry service, and evening entertainment on some nights. If you want to explore the area on two wheels, the hotel has bike rentals.

Address: 263 W Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Hotel Indigo Traverse City

7. Cambria Hotel Traverse City

Photo Source: Cambria Hotel Traverse City
Photo Source: Cambria Hotel Traverse City

For an all-suites hotel experience with a farm-to-table restaurant, check into the Cambria Hotel Traverse City. Located near Grand Traverse Bay and close to Northwestern Michigan College, it is also convenient to downtown Traverse City. The hotel even runs a free shuttle to the lively downtown area, which is home to numerous boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Suites have a homey country cottage vibe, with lots of wood accents, as well as pops of color in the form of decorative vases and pillows. They also come in a number of sizes, including family room options, and boast kitchenettes.

Reflect Bistro is the house restaurant, and it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also an indoor swimming pool and hot tub plus a state-of-the-art fitness center and even a spa. The front desk is open 24 hours, free airport transport is offered, and babysitting can be arranged.

Address: 255 Munson Ave Us 31, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Cambria Hotel Traverse City

8. Beach Haus Resort

Photo Source: Beach Haus Resort
Photo Source: Beach Haus Resort

When it opened on Traverse City's "Miracle Mile" (on the east end of Traverse Bay) in 1968 it was the first of its kind in the area. Now the 2-star Beach Haus Resort has been welcoming guests for more than half a century and sees its share of multiple generations of families coming back year after year.

The beach here is definitely a reason to stay and likely the nicest on the strip. The resort has 200 feet of golden-sand lakefront reserved for guests. There are sun loungers on the sand and on the lush green lawn behind it.

The Bavarian-style main building is home to just 31 rooms. These are tidy and comfortable for the price-point, and many have balconies with direct bay views. Rooms also have fridges and microwaves.

Amenities include a complimentary breakfast but there is no on-site restaurant. There is also no swimming pool, although there is a hot tub. BBQ facilities are available.

Address: 1489 N US Highway 31 N, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Beach Haus Resort

9. Cherry Tree Inn and Suites

Photo Source: Cherry Tree Inn and Suites
Photo Source: Cherry Tree Inn and Suites

Set on 400 feet of beachfront in East Grand Traverse Bay, Cherry Tree Inn and Suites is a top 2-star property. There are pool- or city-view rooms and suites, which are clean and comfy. If you are traveling with kids, there are family room options. All rooms have kitchenettes and pillow-top mattresses.

Amenities include an indoor swimming pool that stays open 24 hours a day. There is also a hot tub and dry sauna. There is a second seasonal outdoor pool. Guests also get a complimentary breakfast, and there is an arcade and fitness room on-site

Address: 2345 N US Highway 31 N, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Cherry Tree Inn and Suites

10. Pointes North Beachfront Resort Hotel

Photo Source: Pointes North Beachfront Resort Hotel
Photo Source: Pointes North Beachfront Resort Hotel

Pointes North Beachfront Resort has a location right on the beach along East Grand Traverse Bay and has sun loungers for guests to use. The budget-friendly resort has clean and comfortable rooms and suites that while not fancy, come with some nice amenities - upgraded digs have two-person Jacuzzis and balconies with bay views. Rooms also have pillow-top beds, and suites feature kitchenettes and sleeper sofas.

Parking is free if you are driving. There is no restaurant on-site but there are a number within walking distance. The resort has a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, vending machine, and outdoor fireplace.

Address :2211 US 31 N, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Pointes North Beachfront Resort Hotel

11. Courtyard Traverse City

Photo Source: Courtyard Traverse City
Photo Source: Courtyard Traverse City

It isn't directly on the beach, but the Courtyard Traverse City is popular for its central location between the east and west branches of Grand Traverse Bay. From here, it is easy to access the area's best beaches, as well as the downtown area (although, you will need a car to get around).

If you are looking for a good-value property where kids stay free and a complimentary breakfast is served each morning, then the Courtyard is a consistently good choice.

The rooms are tidy and comfy with modern decor. Beds have crisp white duvets and dark wood bed frames, and there are framed photographs as wall art. There is an indoor swimming pool that is heated and has a shallow end, as well as a hot tub.

Other amenities include a picnic area, vending machine, business center, fitness room, and laundry service.

Address: 3615 S Airport Road W, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Courtyard Traverse City

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