Traverse City might be the most dog friendly city in Michigan. I haven’t decided yet, but my point is, you won’t have a hard time spending time with your dog in Traverse City. In this post, I’m sharing 7 wonderful dog friendly things to do in Traverse City that will keep you busy your entire trip!
Spend the Day at the BEach
Traverse City is very much a beach town. You’ll find there are plenty of beaches along the bay, but only two are dog friendly in Traverse City.
West End Beach is conveniently located near downtown (and near Wags West Dog Park) with picnic areas, parking, and restrooms. The far west end of the beach is dog friendly and dogs must be leashed.
Old Mission Lighthouse Park is our personal favorite. This beach is at the top of Old Mission Point Peninsula and is off leash friendly. If you walk past the view of the lighthouse, you’ll find stretches of sand away from people. The beach is usually less crowded than others which is perfect for your dog. Our dog absolutely loves this beach.
If you don’t mind driving outside of the city, there are a few dog friendly beaches near by in Williamsburg along the East Bay.
- Maple Bay Beach
- Bayside Park
- Sayler Park
Hit The Trails:
Traverse City is filled with trails varying between paved paths around town and wooded forests to trek through. Here are a few favorites below:
Boardman Lake Trail – a paved 4 mile trail that takes you around Boardman Lake.
Holiday Woodland Preserve – A favorite area among the locals featuring 80 acres of preserved nature meant for exploring.
45 North Recreational Trail – Located on the grounds of 45 North Vineyard & Winery. The trail is a 3 mile loop and is perfect before or after a tasting on the patio with your dog!
T.A.R.T Trail – A multi-purpose paved trail that is 10.5 miles and runs through downtown, around the two bays, and connects you to Leelanau Trail.
Leelanau Trail – A 17.5 mile trail that connects Traverse City to Suttons Bay and features picturesque forests, farms, vineyards, lakes and ponds.
Stroll downtown and take your pooch shopping! Always ask before entering a store just to double check if they are dog friendly.
- Back Country North:
- M-22 Store
- Higher Art Gallery
diy wine trail:
Here are a few dog friendly favorites:
- Bowers Harbor Vineyards (Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail)
- Chateau Grand Traverse (Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail)
- Mari Vinyards (Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail)
- 45 North Vineyard & Winery (Leelanau Wine Trail)
- Black Star Farms (Leelanau Wine Trail)
- Mawby Sparkling Wines (Leelanau Wine Trail)
DIY brewpub crawl:
If wine isn’t your thing and you enjoy a good brew instead, Traverse City has an ample amount of dog friendly breweries to visit too!
- Right Brain Brewery
- Rare Bird Brewpub
- The Shed Beer Garden (has doggy menu!)
- Workshop Brewpub
- Silver Spruce Brewing (allows friendly dogs inside!)
explore the village at grand traverse commons
The Village Commons is a historic complex that was once the Traverse City State Hospital and Aslyum. It has a fascinating history and you can even take a historic tour (not dog friendly). Now, several of the structures have been renovated into offices, condos, and shops.
The 480 acre property is dog friendly with several trails you can take with your dog. You can choose to stroll through the grounds and wander through gardens and the arboretum or you can take one of the trails behind Building 50 through woods with views of streams and overlooks of the surrounding area.
If shopping is more your thing, you can take your dog with you inside The Mercato. The Mercato is dog friendly, but not all stores are so make sure to ask before entering an individual store. This is a great backup plan if it’s raining since dogs are allowed inside!
take a day trip to sleeping bear dunes – glen arbor
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a must if you’ve never been! Located just west of Traverse City, you and your dog will have a blast exploring the area. Dogs are allowed on a lot of the trails and scenic overlooks and a few beaches. Click here for a list of places your dog is allowed.
Our suggestion would be to hike Pyramid Point and then make your way to Sleeping Bear Beach to relax.
Stop by Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor. Dogs are welcome in the store and on the patio!
I hope this list of dog friendly activities in Traverse City keeps you busy and helps you have a fantastic time with your dog in this awesome little town.