Grand Traverse County (pop. 86,986) is at the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay.
The county’s name was derived from a French phrase meaning “long crossing,” which referred to the water crossing of the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay along Lake Michigan.
The Old Mission Peninsula has eight wineries. The Old Mission Point Lighthouse is at the northern tip of the peninsula.
The county seat of Grand Traverse County is Traverse City (pop. 14,674), largest city in the 21-county “Northern Michigan” region (which does not include the Upper Peninsula).
Traverse City is well-known for the National Cherry Festival, which draws about 500,000 visitors during eight days in July.
The renovated State Theatre (1949) in downtown Traverse City is the home of the annual Traverse City Film Festival, co-founded by Michael Moore in 2005.
The 710-seat City Opera House in Traverse City was built in 1891 and restored 1985-2005.
Traverse City is the home of “The World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan” – about 50 miles from the previous record-holder in the city of Charlevoix.
The former Traverse City State Hospital (originally the Northern Michigan Asylum, built in 1881) is now The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a residential and commercial development.
The Interlochen Center for the Arts, nationally known for education in the arts, is southwest of Traverse City. Its Interlochen Arts Camp was founded in 1928 as the National Music Camp.
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