A delicate finger of breathtaking beauty, Old Mission Peninsula (OMP) extends northward from Traverse City into Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. Nineteen miles long and 3 miles across at its widest, the land was historically devoted to growing cherries, one of Traverse City’s claims to fame.
But TC’s new “It” crop is hip and alcoholic, as this perfect climate for growing cherries also happens to be ideal for the production of grapes. Old Mission Peninsula is now home of five vineyards, some of which offer tasting rooms and accommodations, as well as several excellent places to dine.
Bad Dog Deli
14091 Center Road
Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5 (closed Sun in winter).
Names after the owner’s miniature schnauzer, at Bad Dog you can create your own sandwich, choosing from fresh breads, deli meats, cheeses and toppings. Or select one on their unique pizzas, such as Cherry Chicken Pesto, Nantucket with shrimp, or your own creation atop pizza dough that is made fresh daily. Grab your beer or wine and you are ready for a relaxing dine-in experience or adventurous picnic on one of the most scenic peninsulas nature has to offer. Located adjacent to the Peninsula Grill.
The Boathouse Restaurant
14039 Peninsula Drive
Open for dinner 7 days a week 5 – 10, Sunday Brunch 10-2.
Reservations Preferred. Alcohol served.
Located on Old Mission Peninsula, The Boathouse offers fine cuisine and a beautiful waterfront setting on West Grand Traverse Bay. The chefs use the finest fresh local ingredients, preparing all items from scratch, as well as a selection of fish that is always wild and fresh.
Bowers Harbor Inn & The Bowery
13512 Peninsula Drive
Reservations preferred at the formal establishment, BHI. Alcohol served.
Bowers Harbor Inn sits in a beautiful wooded setting along West Grand Traverse Bay. Built in the 1880’s, this estate was originally a vacation home of Chicago lumber baron J.W. Stickney and his wife Genevive. Now it’s a hauntingly beautiful inn and fine dining establishment … literally!
The scorned wife of a philandering husband, Genevive Stickney apparently decided to remain at the Inn in spirit, after hanging herself from the rafters of the elevator shaft. She is said to occasionally make an appearance for guests. So visit this tragically historical Inn for a delicious dinner or overnight, and you might be rewarded with a Genevive sighting.
If you are interested in something less formal and less haunted, the property is also home to a more casual restaurant, the Bowery, behind the Inn, open for both lunch and dinner.
Old Mission Tavern
17015 Center Road
Open everyday for lunch and dinner. Alcohol served.
Adjacent to the art gallery Bella Galleria, and set amidst of orchards, vineyards, and farmland, Old Mission Tavern offers fine art, fine food, and an extensive wine list. Take your pick of prime rib, fresh fish, pastas, steak, seafood and many more delicious offerings. Sundays feature the comfort food of a country style chicken dinner special, and Thursday night pierogies are a crowd pleaser.
14091 Center Road
Open daily for lunch and dinner, bar is open late. Alcohol served.
This cozy eatery is a favorite place for Peninsula residents and visitors. The Grill is a casual establishment that offers an extensive menu of fresh seafood, choice cut steaks, pasta and pizzas as well as cocktails and local wines.
To learn more about Old Mission Peninsula and Traverse City area attractions, see the Traverse City website and additional articles on downtown TC restaurants and the wineries of OMP.