Traverse City is one of my absolute favorites places to visit in Michigan (read my other posts here) and I couldn't wait to head back again this summer. My husband and in-laws plan a golf trip every year in Northern Michigan and we had been wanting to check Jack Nicklaus' iconic Bear course off our list for some time which is located at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. We spent two amazing days at the resort which has so much to offer in addition to award winning golf courses. Keep reading for everything there is to do and see here and why I think it's the perfect place to stay when visiting northern Michigan.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Grand Traverse Resort and Spa during our stay. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Honestly, the views from the tower rooms alone should be enough to convince you to stay here. Our room had wall to wall windows overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay which was so peaceful to watch the sunset over the bay in the evening and wake up to a view of the golf course covered in dew each morning. The rooms themselves are so spacious with a desk, seating area, and private bathroom. You will also get your own robe to wear during your stay which I pretty much lived the entire time. I loved the thoughtful touches and decor which had a definite elegant coastal vibe. They also passed my pillow test with flying colors!
You can't stay at Grand Traverse and not eat at Aerie - their signature restaurant located on the 16th floor. If you thought the views from your room were good, wait until you step off the elevator and are greeted with floor to ceiling windows surrounding you. There isn't a bad seat in the house as all the tables are designed to face the windows. Aerie is known for their extensive wine list and they also have a number of creative cocktails - I had the Tiny Pink Bubbles and loved it! Honestly, this was one of the best meals I've ever had and I don't think you could go wrong ordering any of the dishes. I had the potato gnocchi as an appetizer and the filet for my main course with shrimp added for a surf and turf. And let's not forget about dessert! The TC cherry toffee pudding is an absolute must order when in the Cherry Capital and the chocolate cherry bomb was also very good.
There are several other places to eat within the resort including The Grille (more on that below) and The Marketplace (great stop for grab and go coffee and breakfast). My in-laws also stopped at Sweetwater American Bistro one morning for their breakfast buffet or you can head to Jack's Taproom for craft beer and pub fare.
This was the main reason for our visit and The Bear did not disappoint. This course has been rated one of the hardest 18 holes in Michigan and offers immaculate greens, moguls and mounds, and deep bunkers (which I landed in more than once). Throughout the course you'll pass through forests, lakes, streams, fruit orchards, and see a variety of wildlife (we came across a deer grazing only a few feet away around one of the turns!) This truly was a beautiful course and so much fun to play. When you're done stop for lunch or dinner at The Grille located at the Clubhouse and sit outside for views of the 18th hole. Be sure to order the truffle fries or pretzel bites as an app!
Grand Traverse Resort is also home to two other courses - The Wolverine and Spruce Run. My husband and father-in-law had plans to play the Wolverine the next day and unfortunately were rained out which means we'll just have to plan another trip back.
If you ask me, the real star of the show at the resort is their outdoor pool. Not only is the pool itself big, the deck surrounding it is even larger with ample amount of chairs (one of my biggest pet peeves is when you have to fight over chairs at the pool). They even have a separate sun deck that overlooks Spruce Run golf course. There is a pool bar where you can order drinks and snacks to enjoy while you work on your tan. The resort also has two indoor pools and an indoor water playground for guests to enjoy.
Other Activities to Enjoy
I'm convinced you never even have to the leave the resort if you don't want to - there really is something for everyone here. Be sure to check out these other amenities during your stay:
I love creating detailed travel guides to ensure you get the most out of your time. On this blog I'll be sharing some of my past trips in hopes that it helps you plan your next adventure. Pack your suitcase you never know where I'll be heading next!
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