About the Traverse Bay Area
A spectacular natural environment and safe, strong communities are what residents find most appealing about the Traverse Bay Area. The area, Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties, offers a strong economic base, quality schools and abundant recreational and cultural opportunities. The area’s location on Lake Michigan and the 45th Parallel (midway between the North Pole and the Equator) provide it with four seasons and countless ways to enjoy each one.
Continued growth in the area creates a wide variety of living accommodations for every lifestyle and budget. Along with wide-open acreage for the quiet country life, the region is dotted with towns and villages that offer old-fashioned, small-town living. The region also offers charming historic neighborhoods in the city as well as classic subdivisions nestled in rolling hills. New developments in the outlying areas allow buyers to build or buy homes with easy access to shopping, medical facilities and recreation. In addition, the Lake Michigan shoreline and inland lakes and rivers offer waterfront living at its finest.
Schools are at the very center of the communities of the Traverse Bay area and high-quality education is a top priority. There are more than 24,000 students and 2,000 educators in the TBAISD region. Our schools consistently rank above state and national averages in standardized testing and graduation rates.
While each local school district has its own identity, unique to the students and community it serves, all work in partnership with TBAISD and Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) to provide the best possible options for every student. Collaboration provides greater resources for all. TBAISD provides comprehensive and innovative special education and career-technical education programs that have received both state and national recognition.
All area districts participate in Schools of Choice, agreements between districts which allow families to select the district they want to attend as long as there is space available. When a family chooses a district other than the one in which they reside, the family must provide transportation to and from the chosen district’s nearest bus stop. TBAISD alternative and distance learning opportunities, and dual enrollment between high school and Northwestern Michigan College, enable schools to expand learning options for students while still offering all the benefits of attending smaller schools.
In the area of higher education, NMC offersmore than 60 areas of study to achieve an Associate Degree or Certificates of Achievement and its University Center enables students to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees through ten Michigan four-year colleges and universities.
Manufacturing, agriculture and tourism are the area’s biggest industries. Traverse City is said to be the birthplace of the second industrial revolution with the invention, by a local industrialist, of numerically controlled machining. The area is home to a growing number of traditional and high-tech manufacturing enterprises.
The climate and rich soil makes agriculture the area’s first major industry and cherries its most famous crop. This region annually produces about 40 percent of the tart cherries grown in the U.S., and Traverse City, known as the “Cherry Capital of the World”, hosts the National Cherry Festival each summer. The prime climate and soil conditions have also proved to be good for growing grapes. An increasing number of vineyards in the region are producing wines that winning national and international awards.
While the area population swells with summer residents, four seasons of recreational opportunities have made tourism a year-round industry. The entire area boasts abundant hotels, restaurants and unique shopping opportunities. Traverse City, retail center of the region, provides most of the choices found in larger urban areas. Three malls are home to a large number of Midwest and national chain stores and its picturesque downtown offers a wide range of unique specialty shops, boutiques and galleries which will satisfy the needs or the whimsy of any shopper.
Accessible, high quality health care is of substantial importance to a community. The Traverse Bay region is the home of Munson Healthcare, headquartered in Traverse City, and is comprised of many hospitals located throughout northern Michigan - Kalkaska Memorial Health Center (Kalkaska), McLauren Northern Michigan, Cheboygan Campus (Cheboygan), Mercy Hospital Cadillac (Cadillac), Mercy Hospital Grayling (Grayling), Munson Medical Center (Traverse City), Otsego Memorial Hospital (Grayling), Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital (Frankfort), and West Shore Medical Center (Manistee). Services are also available at Munson Community Health Center (Traverse City) and Mercy Community Health Center (Prudenville). Munson Healthcare offers a continuum of health care services to people from 24 counties.
Munson Healthcare provides direct access to more than 600 physicians, representing 57 specialty services, offering high quality healthcare and specialized advanced medical services, including oncology, cardiology, and orthopedics. Munson Medical Center repeatedly ranks among the Top 100 Hospitals by Solucient which maintains the nation's largest heath care database, and was the sole recipient of the National Quality Health Care award for 2000 from the National Committee for Quality Health Care.
Munson Healthcare offers comprehensive services including emergency and urgent care, home health, and hospice services. The Traverse Bay area is also home to a growing number of high-quality assisted living and nursing home facilities.
Entertainment & Recreation
Hundreds of miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, along with inland lakes, streams and rivers combine with abundant woodlands to provide a multitude of opportunities for outdoor sports and recreation. The area’s parks including the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are natural wonders and five ski resorts and over forty public and private championship golf courses add to the area’s bounty. The region is also home to the internationally known Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Dennos Museum Center, the State Theater, the City Opera House, Old Town Playhouse and a year-round schedule of festivals that celebrate area history and culture with fun for the entire family.
Antrim Area Resources
Benzie Area Resources
Grand Traverse Area Resources
Kalkaska Area Resources
Leelanau Area Resources