Nestled along the picturesque shores of Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is a jewel in the crown of northern Michigan. Known for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant food scene, and warm hospitality, this region offers visitors a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. While there are many accommodation options available, nothing quite captures the essence of northern Michigan like staying at a bed and breakfast. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most unique B&Bs in the Traverse City area and why choosing a B&B over other options can enhance your Up North experience.

Why Choose a Bed and Breakfast? Before we dive into our unique B&B recommendations, let’s address why you might want to choose a bed and breakfast over an Airbnb or hotel:

  • Personal Touch: B&Bs are often family-owned and operated, offering a level of personalized service that’s hard to find elsewhere. Hosts are typically passionate about their properties and the local area, providing insider tips and recommendations.
  • Unique Character: Each B&B has its own personality, often reflecting the local culture and history. You’re not just getting a room; you’re immersing yourself in a curated experience.
  • Gourmet Breakfasts: As the name suggests, breakfast is a highlight at B&Bs. Many feature locally sourced ingredients and homemade specialties that showcase the region’s flavors.
  • Built-in Social Opportunities: Common areas and shared breakfasts provide chances to meet other travelers and exchange stories, if you’re so inclined.
  • Local Expertise: B&B owners are often long-time residents with deep knowledge of the area, offering recommendations you won’t find in guidebooks.
  • Amenities Included: Many B&Bs offer amenities like Wi-Fi, parking, and snacks at no extra charge, unlike some hotels or Airbnbs.
  • Quieter Atmosphere: B&Bs typically have fewer rooms and stricter policies, ensuring a more peaceful stay.

Unique recommendations for Bed and Breakfasts in the Traverse City Area including Petoskey, Charlevoix, Elk Rapids, Empire, Glen Arbor, Traverse City, Old Mission Peninsula, Frankfort, Onekama

House in Natural Beauty

Country Hermitage Bed and Breakfast
7710 US HWY 31 N Williamsburg, MI 49690

  1. Country Hermitage Bed and Breakfast Traverse City- Located just outside of Traverse City in Williams burg, Country Hermitage offers a rural escape with easy access to Traverse City’s amenities. Surrounded by orchards and vineyards, this B&B provides a true northern Michigan farm experience.
  2. The Cottonwood Inn Empire- Nestled in the charming town of Empire, just a stone’s throw from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, The Cottonwood Inn offers a perfect blend of comfort and natural beauty. This B&B provides easy access to outdoor adventures while maintaining a cozy, home-like atmosphere.
  3. Spring Lighthouse B&B Elk Rapids- As its name suggests, this unique B&B in Elk Rapids is housed in a former lighthouse. Offering stunning views directly on Grand Traverse Bay, Spring Lighthouse B&B combines maritime history with modern comforts, making for a truly memorable stay.
  4. Sylvan Inn Glen Arbor- Located in the picturesque town of Glen Arbor, the Sylvan Inn is a historic bed and breakfast that dates back to 1885. Its proximity to both Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan makes it an ideal base for exploring the natural wonders of the area.
  5. Canfield House Frankfort- Though technically Onekama, the Canfield House in Onekama deserves a mention for its peaceful ambiance and proximity to beautiful Portage Lake. This B&B offers a quieter alternative to busier Traverse City while still providing easy access to the region’s attractions.
  6. Horton Creek Inn Charlevoix- Situated just outside Charlevoix, Horton Creek Inn offers a secluded retreat surrounded by nature. With its own hiking trails and proximity to Lake Charlevoix, this B&B is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a peaceful getaway.
  7. M22 Inn Glen Arbor- Named after the scenic highway that runs through northern Michigan, the M22 Inn in Glen Arbor combines modern amenities with a rustic charm. Its location makes it an excellent base for exploring the Leelanau Peninsula.
  8. The House on the Hill Charlevoix- Perched atop a hill on the “Chain of Lakes” region of Michigan and very close to Lake Michigan, this B&B offers breathtaking views and elegant accommodations. The House on the Hill is known for its gourmet breakfasts and proximity to Charlevoix’s famous “mushroom houses.”
  9. The Wellington Inn Traverse City- This beautifully restored 1905 neoclassical mansion in the heart of Traverse City offers a step back in time. With its period furnishings and elegant common areas, the Wellington Inn provides a glimpse into the area’s rich history. You won’t walk far to enjoy all that downtown Traverse City has to offer.
  10. Grey Hare Inn Vineyard Bed and Breakfast Old Mission Peninsula- For wine enthusiasts, the Grey Hare Inn on Old Mission Peninsula is a dream come true. This charming B&B is surrounded by its own vineyard and offers stunning views of East Grand Traverse Bay.

Seasonal Considerations: When planning your B&B stay in Traverse City, keep in mind that each season offers its own unique charm:

Spring: Watch the cherry blossoms bloom and enjoy early season wine tastings.
Summer: Peak tourist season with warm weather perfect for beaches, outdoor dining, and festivals.
Fall: Experience the stunning fall colors and enjoy harvest season at local farms and wineries.
Winter: Cozy up by the fireplace after a day of skiing or snowshoeing in the nearby hills

While staying at your chosen B&B, don’t miss these Traverse City area attractions:

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: A must-visit for its breathtaking views and outdoor activities.
  • Front Street: Traverse City’s main street, lined with boutiques, restaurants, and the historic State Theatre.
  • Mission Point Lighthouse: Take a scenic drive up Old Mission Peninsula to visit this historic lighthouse.
  • The Village at Grand Traverse Commons: A unique shopping and dining destination in a former state hospital.
  • Traverse City area beaches: From Clinch Park, Bryant Park, Maple Bay to unlimited beaches along M22, there are plenty of sandy shores to enjoy.

Traverse City’s food scene is a major draw for visitors.

Many B&Bs are within walking distance or a short drive from notable restaurants. Don’t miss local favorites like The Cook’s House, Trattoria Stella, or the farm-to-table offerings at The Cooks’ House.

Choosing a bed and breakfast in the Traverse City area offers more than just a place to sleep; it provides an authentic, immersive experience in northern Michigan culture.

From historic homes to vineyard retreats, there’s a B&B to suit every taste. By opting for a B&B, you’re not just finding accommodation – you’re becoming part of the local community, if only for a short while. So next time you’re planning a trip to Traverse City, consider skipping the standard hotel or Airbnb and treat yourself to the unique charm of a local bed and breakfast. Your taste buds, your sense of adventure, and your need for relaxation will thank you.