The Old Mission Peninsula stretches from the middle of Traverse City. Most of the shoreline to the West of the Peninsula and Boardman Lake comprise Traverse City. Some of the bay area streets are curvaceous or end abruptly.

At some points along the bay, water surrounds both sides of the roadway. Visitors should consult a map prior to driving in Traverse City and stay alert. Otherwise, he or she could unintentionally take a scenic drive up the Old Mission Peninsula.

West of the peninsula, numerical Streets lie in an E-W orientation. The signs decrease in number as travelers approach the bay. For example, 13th street is farther from the bay than 2nd Street. Route 22 is a major pathway around the bay's edge outer edge. Towards the East it is called Bay Street. It turns into E. Grandview Parkway and E. Grandview Parkway eventually aligns into E. Front Street.

From East Front Street, it is possible to drive up Peninsula drive, which suitably takes visitors on a very long, scenic drive up the peninsula. The drives ends at Lighthouse Park. Route 37 and Center Rd. lead drivers back to the middle of Traverse City. Alternatively, stay on East Front Street to reach downtown

Farther from the bay, Traverse City becomes more desolate. The greater concentration of tourist activities and life occur around the coast. Route 31, Airport Road, suburban roads, and train tracks  surround the outskirts of Traverse City.

A car is generally a necessity in Traverse City. The Bay Area Transport Authority provides service between villages and around the Peninsula. However, the hours are limited. The shuttle can be helpful for elderly people who want to tour the villages or go to the casino early in the morning.