Traverse City is a scenic town that offers the best of many different worlds. Full-time residents live through a cold wonderland in the Winter, hear the rustle of leaves in the Fall, and go swimming in the cool Lake Michigan water in the Spring and Summer. Visitors to Traverse City have the opportunity to live waterfront at the edge of the United States coast during all seasons.

Traverse City and the surrounding Grand Traverse bay area are a collection of cozy towns. Coffee shops, golf, wineries and a thriving arts scene inform the Traverse City lifestyle. The atmosphere is light-hearted, friendly, and generally uplifting.

It is the same spirit that caused Peter Dougherty, a Presbyterian missionary, to plant a cherry orchard in 1852. The Winter and Summer ecological conditions combined with sandy soil is especially nourishing to the trees. As a result, Traverse City has become the Sweet Cherry Capital of the United States. 70 percent of the sweet cherries exports in the United States come from Traverse City.

The Lake Michigan inlets once attracted French Explorers and Native Americans inhabited the Traverse City region for years prior to European contact. The French called the bay Grand Traverse. The Anishnabek Indians migrated from Turtle Island thousands of years ago and operated an extensive series of trade routes that reached as far South as the Gulf of Mexico. Today they are generally known as the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.