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Explore the Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Located just a few minutes from downtown Traverse City, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is home to a unique collection of shops, galleries, and restaurants in dozens of renovated historic buildings. The Village is one of the largest historic preservation and redevelopment projects in the country and is surrounded by 480 acres of preserved parkland and wooded grounds.

Visitors can explore an extensive trail network, go shopping, pick through the Farmer’s Market,  enjoy some live music or savor a meal at one of the many restaurants, cafes or breweries located in The Village. 

History of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

“Beauty is Therapy” was the philosophy of Dr. James Decker Munson, the founding Medical Superintendent of The Northern Michigan Asylum, now the grounds of “The Village.” He believed that if patients were surrounded by beautiful surroundings, from the architecture to the campus grounds, their emotional and mental state would be uplifted. And this philosophy still rings true today, as present day guests of The Village are certainly uplifted by the gorgeous setting. 

In April of 1883, construction began on the Victorian-Italian-styled Northern Michigan Asylum. The main building (Building 50) was designed to grant each patient room a window with a view of the outdoor grounds, as well as an abundance of natural light. After about 3 years of construction, the asylum opened to patients in November of 1885 and served 39 counties, including all of the Upper Peninsula. Standalone cottages were built during the 1890s expanding the campus to serve the increasing number of patients. 

In the mid-1900s, the administration section of Building 50 was demolished and a new two-story, flat-roof building was constructed in its place. This is now known as Village Center. Today, the site is undergoing a massive historic preservation project that has turned this historic 1880s hospital complex into a sprawling shopping, dining & hiking spot not to be missed.

Hiking & Biking Trails

The Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area includes 140-acres of unpaved trails wandering through the hills behind Building 50, as well as streams and wooded areas that are perfect for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. There is an expansive lawn that is perfect for morning walks, outdoor yoga, and picnics. Behind the building is “The Backyard,” which is home to cafes, shops, and The Piazza. Modeled after European Piazzas, it hosts live music, a weekly farmers market, community events, and more. 

Dining at The Village

The Village campus is home to a selection of restaurants, cafes, local grab n’ go as well as an award-winning brewery. Here’s a list of just a few of the many eateries that you can enjoy during your visit.

  • Earthen Ales Taproom & Brewery – This award-winning brewery was started by a husband-and-wife duo who brew beer that reminds them of places they’ve visited and friends made along the way. Stop by the taproom for a visit and enjoy a delicious brew. 
  • Left Foot Charley Winery – The region’s first urban winery is located in the center of The Village. The winery serves Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and an array of other white and red wines, as well as hard cider, from Northern Michigan’s finest vineyards.
  • Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery – As Northern Michigan’s first Artisanal Bakery, Pleasanton serves incredible wood-fired brick oven bread and pizza, and small-batch pastries. 

Shopping at The Village

Located inside Building 50, the indoor marketplace known as Mercato offers a unique shopping experience with an array of local shops and boutiques. Here are just a few of the many shops:

  • Crystal Lake Alpaca Boutique – The boutique carries a variety of alpaca products including hats, mittens, scarves, sweaters, stuffed animals, and alpaca socks. 
  • High Five ThreadsThis Michigan apparel company creates accessories and T-shirts for men, women, and kids to show the home state of Michigan some love. 
  • Landmark Books – This premier bookstore specializes in modern first editions, literature, and classics. They also carry a large selection of autographed copies and out-of-print books. 

Experience the Best of Northern Michigan at Delamar Traverse City

As the newest addition to the Delamar family, Delamar Traverse City offers exquisite views of Grand Traverse Bay, a waterfront restaurant, and minutes from the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Book your stay with us today!

Image by Jeremy Thompson

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