Traverse City, MI
Traverse City ( /trævərs sɪti/ or local /trævər.sɪti/) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, although a small portion extends into Leelanau County. It is the largest city in the 21-county Northern Michigan region. The population was 14,674 at the 2010 census. In 2008, the Traverse City micropolitan area was estimated to have a population of 142,316. Despite its modest population, Traverse City functions as the major commercial nexus for a seven-county area totaling over 2,700 square miles (7,000 km2) and, along with cross-peninsula counterpart Alpena, is one of Northern Lower Michigan's two anchor cities.
The Traverse City area is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States. Near the time of cherry harvest, the city holds an annual week-long Cherry Festival in the first full week in July, attracting approximately 500,000 visitors annually. The surrounding countryside also produces grapes, and is one of the centers of wine production in the Midwest. Tourism, both summer and winter, is another key industry. The Traverse City area features varied natural attractions, including freshwater beaches, vineyards, a National Lakeshore, downhill skiing areas, and numerous forests. In 2009, TripAdvisor named Traverse City the number two small town travel destination in the United States.
Traverse City is named after the Grand Traverse Bay, which the city heads. The bay earned its name from 18th century French voyagers who made la grande traverse or "the long crossing" across the mouth of the Grand Traverse Bay.