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I'm Terri and I love to travel with my kids. We have a goal of visiting all 50 states. Learn more...
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Michigan – Old Mission Peninsula

While in Traverse City, we had the opportunity to explore the Old Mission Peninsula with a personal tour guide, Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager of Traverse City Tourism. Normally I don’t write about experiences that my readers can’t do themselves, and while you may not be able to have a personalized tour with Mike, you can certainly take a self-guided tour. This 16-mile-long finger of land protrudes into Grand Traverse Bay, dividing it into a West Arm and an East Arm. The peninsula is named for a Christian mission to the Native Americans founded in May 1839 by Rev. Peter Dougherty and Rev. John Fleming. Our tour guide lives on the peninsula and wanted to show off its beauty. The Traverse City area is the largest producer of tart cherries in the country. You’ll definitely see cherry orchards on a driving tour of the Old Mission Peninsula, and, because grapes were found to grow well where cherries grow, you’ll also see vineyards.

Old Mission Peninsula Traverse City

Eight wineries call the Old Mission Peninsula home. Because this wasn’t of interest to my kids, we admired the vineyards, but didn’t go into any wineries.

Grapevines on Old Mission Peninsula Traverse City

One of the wineries had a hillside of wildflowers.

Wildflowers on the Old Mission Peninsula - Traverse City

Next Mike took us to the tip of the peninsula to see the Mission Point Lighthouse.

Mission Point Lighthouse - Traverse City

The lighthouse was operational from 1870 until 1933. Even though it’s not in operation, you can tour it, climb the tower, and enjoy the view from the top.

View from Mission Point Lighthouse

After that we explored the shore. Mike tried to find a Petoskey Stone to show to the kids, but was unable to find any.

Exploring at Mission Point Lighthouse - Traverse City

The final stop on our tour was Haserot Beach. Mike lives nearby and kindly brought his kayaks for my kids to use. (The kayaks are the part that you can’t do on your own, but you can play at the beach.)

Learning to kayak at Haserot Beach - Traverse City

Mike gave them some pointers, then sent them off.

Kayaking in Traverse City

Kayaking on Old Mission Peninsula - Traverse City

We brought some of our sand castle tools so the kids could build a castle. The kids demonstrated their techniques to Mike.

Sand castle building at Haserot Beach- Traverse City Michigan

Unfortunately, the sand was rather coarse and the hand stacked tower collapsed. They salvaged what was left and decided to turn it into a very small castle.

Sand castle carving at Haserot Beach - Old Mission Peninsula

The finished castle was small, but I think it turned out well.

Sand castle - Old Mission Peninsula - Traverse City

 

Ready to visit?

Old Mission Peninsula Visitor Information (Includes information about parks, farm markets, wineries, and other points of interest)

Mission Point Lighthouse
20500 Center Road, Traverse City MI, 49686
(231) 223-7324

April – October: Open Daily, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
November & December: Open Weekends, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

$4.00 per adult
$2.00 per children 12 & under
5 & under FREE

You might also enjoy:

Michigan – Bayshore Resort in Traverse City

Michigan – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Michigan – Tall Ship Manitou

 Michigan – A Traverse City Sunset

 

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