CNN put together a list of the best places to visit in 2024, and a region of Michigan is one of the 24 spots mentioned.
The list focused on places that are largely undiscovered, alluring in the offseason or frequently overlooked for their larger first cities or neighbors. They’re basically hidden gems where masses of outsiders may not have visited or know about yet.
Highlighted in the Mitten State was Northwest Michigan in an entry written by CNN senior producer Marnie Hunter.
While the area is famous for its summer tourists, Hunter points out that there’s plenty to do there in the offseason and suggested travelers visit Traverse City, Leland and Glen Arbor.
Here’s what she said:
“Refreshing, unsalty Lake Michigan lures boatloads of tourists in summer, but the shoreline, quaint towns and rolling countryside of Northwest Michigan have plenty to offer year-round.
On Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City makes a great home base for exploring wineries on the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas or picking cherries or apples in season. Then fall’s foliage is ripe for peeping, followed by winter’s inviting blankets of snow.
From Traverse City, the scenic M-22 highway winds up the Leelanau Peninsula and hooks back down through Leland, home to a historic fishing village and a collection of interesting shops and galleries.
Glen Arbor is another town worth perusing on the way to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where off M-109 an all-sand, 3.5-mile hike over massive dunes to the Great Lake and back preps hardy hikers for a delicious dinner.
Farm Club, a farm-restaurant hybrid seven miles from downtown Traverse City, serves beautifully prepared dishes showcasing the region’s ingredients — many grown on site — in a minimalist, barnlike space that spills outdoors.”
All three cities are no secret to Michiganders, who, while appreciating the CNN love, might prefer to keep the little slice of paradise to themselves.
Other spots in the U.S. that were mentioned included Texas’ Hill Country and Florida’s freshwater springs.
Our neighbors to the north also got a shout-out, with Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada making the list.