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Posts Tagged ‘Traverse City’

Anyone who’s ever played Monopoly knows Park Place means high-class (or at least high-rent), and the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan doesn’t disappoint.

We were there on a recent weekend to check out some area wineries and story ideas, and get a taste (hehe) of the TC foodie scene while we were at it. (More on the food and wine, later!)

The Park Place Hotel in Traverse City. It was cold and rainy, but still lovely.

We stayed at the lovely, downtown Park Place Hotel, and found it to be a very friendly place, with a few exceptions.

The rooms were well-designed (two sinks, YAY!) and large, with plenty of room to stretch out and unwind after a day of exploring the area. Ours even had a balcony, which would have seen more use if the weather hadn’t been so cold and rainy. (Actually, it started to snow as we were leaving.)

The front-desk service was immaculate and helpful, although the service at the attached restaurant, Minerva’s, wasn’t quite as impressive. It’s not in my nature to be picky with service employees, but I’ve also never been told that a restaurant couldn’t seat anyone else in the next half-hour because they had a very large party of guests that had just been seated. Hmm…

Moving on. The other complaint we had at the Park Place Hotel was that upon returning to the hotel Saturday night, there was a sign up in the parking lot saying it was full, presumably from restaurant or event patrons at the hotel. That’s kind of disappointing when you can’t actually park at the hotel where you’re staying. I’m not sure what the downtown Traverse City parking situation normally is, but it apparently could use some improvement.

But in all, the hotel was a great base of operations for a Leelanau or Old Mission Peninsula wine tour, or an exploration of Traverse City’s many shops and restaurants.

Where would you stay in Traverse City? We’ll be headed back down soon, so your recommendations are welcome!

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I have a lot more post subjects to write about in Chicago, but I’m going to add in a few from our Traverse City jaunt in between, so the blog isn’t all Chicago all the time. Don’t worry, I have plenty more topics from both trips that should last at least until we go somewhere else 🙂 I’ve been collecting posts as we wander around the U.P., as well. So here’s a peek at one of the discoveries we made down in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

On our recent weekend trip to Traverse City and environs, we had the pleasure of a lazy, rainy drive through the Leelanau Peninsula wine country.

Of course, that was the reason for the business trip: To get more familiar with vintners, chefs and others in the TC area, because one of the publications we work for, Northwest Michigan Second Wave, covers a lot of things happening in those fields, and of interest to those in the food and wine business. If you have ever been to Traverse City, you know food and wine is a major pastime there, and heck, you probably know that even if you haven’t been there.

It appears that fascination with food extends up the more rural and agricultural Leelanau, as we were looking for a nice place to breakfast before heading out to wineries, and found the somewhat aptly named Cedar Rustic Inn, in Cedar. Now, Cedar itself is a nice, very small town, with not much more than a few stores, the inn, and a sprinkling of houses before the countryside gives way to farms and orchards again.

The Cedar Rustic Inn opened in 2006 and was a great stop to eat on the Leelanau Peninsula.

The Cedar Rustic Inn is right next to the Longview Winery tasting room, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for those passing through, perhaps on a wine tour.

From the photos in the foyer, the restaurant has been the subject of quite a restoration project, having opened in 2006. In past lives, it’s been a roadhouse, a foundry, a gas station, and a pool hall. Now, it’s run by Chef Aaron Ackley and his wife, Nikki.

We were greeted with friendly service and good coffee, and decided on a late breakfast of pretty traditional fare; bacon, eggs, potatoes, corned beef hash, et al. We were told the breakfast sausage comes from Cedar’s own butcher shop, Pleva Meats, and it certainly lived up to its reputation.

Examining the menus for lunch and dinner showed that the prices are pretty nice all day, which isn’t always what you get in a heavily tourism-centric area, so that was good to see.

The dinner menu departs a little from traditional American fare, bringing in more global influences, but sticking with coastal Michigan favorites of seafood, fresh fish and local ingredients.

We’ll be  visiting the area again this summer, so do you have any other breakfast, lunch or dinner recommendations? We know there are lots of great places near Traverse City to eat!

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Hey all,

Just a quick post to let you know where we are at this weekend. Sam and I are on a business trip to Traverse City, which so far has been great — I’ve never been down here before and it’s really lovely.

So, I’m still catching up on posting stuff from Milwaukee and Chicago last week, but I’ll have some Traverse City-area posts coming soon too 🙂 After that I don’t think we’re going anywhere for a month or so, so I should be able to catch up!

Traverse City means cherries!

Any great recommendations while we’re here? Restaurants? Sights to see? I’ve noticed not much tourist stuff is open yet cause well, it’s really not very spring-like weather yet.

May, I’m told, is spectacular here with all the cherry blossoms. Maybe another year 🙂 It’s OK for now cause we are here to explore the wineries instead!

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