Category: Travel and Adventure

Traverse City: Home base for the ultimate M-22 road trip

Traverse City

You’ve seen it on vehicles all over Michigan: The M-22 sticker. The image itself is just like road signs on M-routes all across the state. But the combination of that letter and those two numbers communicates something truly special and unique.

M-22 represents natural beauty. It is an emblem of adventure, a symbol of a slower pace M22that affords you the time to meander and explore. It is magical.

You’ve seen the bumper stickers. Now, it’s time to see scenic M-22 for yourself.

It’s time for you to experience the awe-inspiring, waterfront route that winds around the Leelanau Peninsula along the shores of Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. The route that USA Today readers voted the best scenic autumn drive in the country.

When you do buckle up and hit the road, we welcome you to make your base in Traverse City. Whatever season you visit, TC offers the best of Michigan – a snowy wonderland of outdoor activity in the winter, brilliant cherry blossoms in the spring and sparkling blue waters in the summer, not to mention a vibrant downtown with extraordinary dining and exciting events throughout the year.

In the fall, with stunning vistas of colorful forests, both M-22 and Traverse City are especially incredible. Here are 8 reasons why:

Color Tours – Not only do USA Today readers rave about M-22, but TripAdvisor has ranked Traverse City one of America’s top 10 foliage destinations and Readers Digest called a trek from Traverse City along M-22 one of the country’s best fall road trips.

People in carAlong M-22 you not only see breathtaking colors, but roadside fruit stands offering a slice

Wine Tasting
– The Traverse City area is home to more than 50 wineries, each with a unique personality and all within less than an hour’s drive of each other. You can make your way along M-22 from one winery on the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail to the next, with safe, relaxing transportation from one of the area’s many tour companies.of life that nourishes your soul, a wealth of wineries with new flavors to discover andquaint small towns with charming galleries and restaurants.

Fall is an ideal time to take a vineyard tour and see grapes pressed into wine, or to grab a seat in a tasting room and discover a new favorite.

Microbrews – In addition to all the wineries, the Traverse City area has one of the country’s highest numbers of breweries per capita. You can explore them on a beer bus tour or get outside in the crisp fall air and go from one brewery to the next on a paddling or cycling tour.

apples traverse cityWe also celebrate the region’s craft brews each fall during Traverse City Beer Week. This year’s festivities Nov. 8-15 include lots of food and beer (such as a Flapjack & Flannel Festival that pairs beer with pancakes!) and a 5k Great Beerd Run that combines running, beer drinking and, of course, beards.


Farm Markets – Fall is time for farmers to bring in the harvest, and time for us all to get back in touch with where our food comes from. On Thanksgiving Day, we’ll celebrate Michigan’s bounty of agricultural goodness. Until then, you can head out to the farm and have a blast picking apples, navigating corn mazes and taking hayrides to the pumpkin patch. Along M-22 there are lots of farmer’s markets and U-pick farms to experience the season.

Sleeping Bear Dunes – Every summer visitors flock to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which was voted the “Most Beautiful Place in America.” But here’s a secret: Many views are even more impressive in the fall.

Throughout the park along M-22 are hiking trails. Iconic sites include Pyramid Point, which is perched high above Lake Michigan and offers an incredible view of the Manitou Islands that are part of the legend that gave Sleeping Bear its name.

Beaches and Lakes – So much of the picturesque beauty of M-22 comes from the waterfront it hugs. It’s important to remember that the beaches along the way don’t close after Labor Day!

traverse city beachesWith blue lakes and golden sand mixing with the changing colors ofleaves, fall presents an incredible setting for romantic picnics on the beach and long walks by the water.

Fall is also a great time for fishing, when salmon make their annual run upriver from Lake Michigan, and for getting out on the water in a kayak to take in the gorgeous show of color from a fresh perspective.

Golf “Up North” golf reaches its peak in the fall, when the courses are still green, the water remains a beautiful blue and the trees come ablaze with colors of scarlet, orange and gold. It almost makes you want to hit your ball into the woods!

Some of Michigan’s best golf courses live along M-22. And after the round you can settle your bets – or double-down on your winnings – at Leelanau Sands Casino on M-22 near Suttons Bay.

Events – You can anchor your M-22 fall experience around one or more of the many events in the Traverse City area. There’s something happening every day this fall including Walking Ghost Tours, the Harvest Stompede, Sleeping Bear Marathon, Fall Color Sail, Downtown Traverse City Art Walk, M-22 Art2Art Tour, Traverse City Beer Week and more.

Maybe you should celebrate Halloween this year with a Zombie Run. Or run your first marathon. Or go on the wine trail’s Hunt for the Reds of October.

However you choose to experience the majesty of M-22, you can make Traverse City your home base. Fab Fall packages including lodging, dining, shopping and spa discounts are available now.

Learn more at and come see us for a great Michigan vacation.

Download the MI Best M-22 Road Trip Guide


Why the last ethnic neighborhood in Detroit is more vibrant than ever

Greektown Heritage Fest

Ask Christos Moisides about what the Greektown neighborhood means to Detroit, and he’s quick to respond:

“It’s been one of the heartbeats of Detroit for many, many decades,” said Moisides, whose family has owned businesses in the district on the city’s near Northeast side for years. “It means a lot to continue the tradition of what Greektown was and then be a part of transition it into what Greektown will continue to be.”

That’s the same assessment offered up by Tasso Teftsis, the owner of the legendary Astoria Bakery.

“(Greektown) is special to Detroit because it’s the last ethnic neighborhood that is still living and vibrant,” he said. “It’s special to Greeks around here, they feel ownership of Greektown, and we have a responsibility to keep it going.”

Greektown was established in the 1880s as a residential district where immigrants could hold on to their culture as they adapted to a new way of life. It morphed to a commercial streetscape led by family-owned businesses and marked by historic properties and Victorian era architecture.

The area’s cultural legacy was on full display this summer during the second annual Greektown Heritage Festival, which drew thousands of people to explore Monroe Avenue between Brush and St. Antoine streets on July 27.



The event served as a reminder of the Hellenic influence in the neighborhood, but it was also an introduction to one of the city’s prime entertainment district and diverse shopping experiences.

Residents and visitors strolled through the neighborhood watching lamb being traditionally roasted on a spit over open flames, Greek entertainers singing and dancing and a children’s area with balloon artists and inflatable playhouses.

The day-long festival is led by the Greektown Preservation Society with sponsorship by the Greektown Casino-Hotel, which opened in 2007 and has helped the area evolve while staying true to its roots.

“Greektown Casino-Hotel are awesome neighbors,” Teftsis said. “They are a big part of the festival, but they’re also a big part of the community, a part of our Greektown neighborhood partnership…it’s really an exciting time for Greektown.”

While Greektown’s history is evident in its name, the district has also served as a melting pot of cultures, one of which is shown through mutual support to and from The Old Shillelagh, an iconic Irish bar at the corner of Brush and Monroe streets. Owner Shellie Lewis said the festival is a chance to learn more about neighbors who share the goals of keeping Greektown strong.

“There’s a lot of new businesses coming in, and it is making this an even better place to be,” Lewis said. “If it wasn’t for Greektown Casino and Hotel, we wouldn’t be able to pull off the event. They are pillars of the community.”

Moisides, meanwhile, said as other areas of Detroit attract attention for their rebirth, it’s important to remember that Greektown never went away. It’s part of the pulse of Detroit, Moisides said.

“For the longest time, Greektown was everything,” Moisides said. “It’s still such a vital part of the community, where you have vibrant businesses and a great pulse of the area. It’s a place where everyone’s coming to see what’s happening and (wants to be) a part of the community.

“It’s still a safe family environment during the daytime and turns into a great entertaining, kind of nightlife hospitality enhanced area in the evenings.”

See Pictured Rocks and 4 more reasons to visit Munising in the fall

Munising autumn

The incredible natural wonders and extensive outdoor adventure opportunities of Munising and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are legendary, with the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore often serving as the focal point of travelers’ visits.

But there’s so much more to see and do while staying in and around Munising while enjoying panoramic views of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

From majestic waterfalls to crystal clear waters that reveal a scuba diver’s shipwreck paradise, Cori-Ann Cearley, president of Munising’s Visitors Bureau, says the region is more than a one trick pony destination.

“We call Pictured Rocks our ‘big gun’ attraction, and rightfully so,” Cearley said, “but one of the moments we love to see is when our guests come and discover all of the other beautiful and amazing parts of our area that they weren’t aware of.

“They find there’s beautiful scenery to explore while hiking, biking, kayaking or on a boat cruise.”

As Labor Day approaches and the fall colors set to explode – and crowds tend to dwindle with school back in session – now is an ideal time to head north and check out these Northern Michigan gems:

Shipwrecks at the Alger Underwater Preserve

Hugging the lakeshore between Munising and Grand Island, the eight shipwrecks of the Alger Underwater Preserve are a throwback to another era of transportation and shipping. Whether diving or viewing from a glass-bottomed boat tour, the wrecks, some of which have been preserved for more than a century, are visible through clear blue and green waters that are breathtaking in their own right. The area was a shipping sanctuary with the natural protection of Grand Island, but big seas sometimes proved too strong. Wooden schooners, steam barges and steel freight ships dot the coast.


Munising WaterfallAt its core, a waterfall is a simple concept – gravity pulls liquid from a higher point until it finds an outlet, but the release and flow of water is something that captures the attention of nature lovers and photographers. The tranquil sights abound in the Munising area, where 17 waterfalls are found throughout Alger County. The waterfalls are accessible to all and active year-round, an ice-flow waterfall in the winter is a sight to behold on its own. The waterfalls can be found on Grand Island, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and elsewhere. The Munising Visitors Bureau can help you find all the waterfalls in the area.


Navigational advances may have diminished the need for the prime function of lighthouses, but the uniquely built structures remain a beacon for people interested in history and beauty on the shores of the Great Lakes. Munising is the home of eight lighthouses, including the Au Sable Point light that can be toured and climbed from mid-June through Labor Day. Other lights have been renovated and can be seen up close while serving as the center for memorable vacation photos. Some lighthouses have been converted to dream-like private residences.

Grand Island

Hop aboard a narrated bus tour and learn about the 3,000-year history of Grand Island, a 13,000-acre bit of paradise in the Hiawatha National Forest that sits only a half-mile from Munising. The southernmost island in Lake Superior, this natural phenomenon is ideal for hiking and biking to white-sand beaches, stunning elevated vistas and an “I’m all alone in the woods” secluded sites that offer silence from the rush of daily life. Visitors can get to the island via personal boat or ferry. The wilderness area offers unmatched scenery where travelers can see black bear and white-tail deer. Be sure to check out Echo Lake and bring your fishing pole.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Practice your “oohs” and “wow!” before visiting this national treasure that features 40 miles of sandstone cliffs, rock formations, sea caves and sea arches that are equally stunning from the ground and the water. The dramatic colors are breathtaking and the sheer size of the protected lakeshore allows you a freedom that doesn’t generally exist where up to 700,000 people visit annually. Hike 100 miles of trails or jump on a guided boat tour to take in beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls and hardwood forests that will leave an impression for a lifetime – or at least until you come back to experience it again.

Your first – or next visit – to Munising will bring natural joy and relaxation. You’ll find a wide selection of comfortable lodging that matches your desires and vacation plans.

Learn more at

Exploring Detroit

Detroit River

Nick enjoys a Dragon’s Milk White while enjoying Belle Isle and the skyline view from his paddle board on the Detroit River, before heading downtown to explore, find some food and another beer.



How to spend a Michigan’s Best Day in Charlevoix and Elk Rapids

MI Best Day Charlevoix

The best part of our job is showcasing all the wonderful destinations in our state. Sure, we get to eat and drink along the way, but it’s such a joy to meet the wonderful people behind the scenes who make it all happen.

Today we debut our latest “Michigan’s Best Day” video, which focuses on the Grand Traverse Bay region along U.S. 31 between Charlevoix and Elk Rapids.

On this episode we get a tour of some pretty unique homes, meet the owners of a popular art gallery and sample some incredible meat pies. And we get to go on a tour of one of the state’s most popular breweries.

We hope you enjoy it, as well as other destinations as part of our series.

So far we have visited LudingtonGrand HavenJacksonDearbornOwossoBay CityGrand Rapids’ Westside and Petoskey.

We want to thank our MLive video team — Kyle Mattson, Lori Chapman, Jeremy Marble and Blake Neil — for all their hard work in producing this video.

This episode of Michigan’s Best Day is brought to you by the Michigan  Retailers Association, which encourages Michiganders to support their communities by shopping at nearby retailers.


Here is our Michigan’s Best Day video!



Mushroom House Tours |

211 Bridge St., Charlevoix, MI 49720, 231-445-0770

*Meet at Elements Gallery

*Tours offered daily, and year round.

We met up with Edith Pair, who owns Mushroom House Tours to learn more about Earl Young,  a self-taught builder who began his work in 1919 and continued building for 50 years. The tours can be self-guided, but for only $18 a person you go on a 50-minute tour in a GEM car – a 6-seater electric vehicle where a guide tells you more about these truly unique homes.

More about Earl Young:

  • He was an insurance and real estate agent by trade.
  • He built 26 residential and 4 commercial properties – most are still standing.
  • Each house is unique and made with local materials, like stones from Lake Michigan.
  • They are designed to fit into their surrounding landscape.



230 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720, 231-437-3900

John Parsons established Harwood Farms in 1898 on Harwood Lake near Charlevoix. Originally it was  a sawmill and thrashing company with milling services where son George Parsons was the first to tap a maple tree and make syrup he called “liquid gold.”  The farm has been a family business for five generations, which today is owned by sisters Katie and Amber Parsons.

We met up with Amber at the Harwood Gold Cafe, which is located downtown in the former Murdick’s Fudge location where diners can sample a large number of maple syrup varieties, as well  as those delicious meat pies.

It was a great stop for snacks after our Mushroom House tour before we hit the road.

Other tidbits about Harwood Farms:

  • By the 1930s dairy was the farm’s business, but making maple syrup was their “passion”
  • Syrup became a family business in the 2000s, selling online, at farmers’ markets and local restaurants
  • Harwood Gold Store and Café opened in downtown Charlevoix in 2016
  • Maple syrup infusions are popular – with flavors like Michigan Lavender, Ghost Pepper and Pumpkin Spice
  • Maple trees are tapped in the spring when temperatures rise to just above freezing
  • Sap  from collection tanks is automatically pumped underground to holding  tanks at the farm, sap is run through reverse osmosis, concentrated sap  is boiled into syrup


World’s Largest Cherry Pie

We made a quick stop only two miles south of Charlevoix (on U.S. 31)  to check out the World’s Largest Cherry Pie.  In 1976, Charlevoix’s Dave Phillips “rallied local businesses to bake the World’s Largest Cherry Pie as part of the town’s annual cherry festival, “according to “The feat involved construction of a giant pan and an equally massive oven. Local farmers supplied the edible ingredients. The resulting cherry pie…was a world record. For a bit, until 1987.”

World's Largest Cherry Pie

John Gonzalez |

According to a plaque on site: The pie crust measured from 14 feet, 4 inches in diameter, 3 feet deep and weighing 7 tons. The fillings:

  • 4,950 pounds of Michigan cherries
  • 2,850 pounds of water
  • 260 pounds of butter
  • 90 pounds of tapioca
  • 3,850 pounds of cherry juice
  • 540 pounds of sugar
  • 120 pounds of lemon juice
  • 90 pounds of salt



3500 US-31, Charlevoix, MI 49720, 231-547-2288

Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily; also by appointment

*6 miles south of Charlevoix

Ray and Tami Bier have conceived a gallery that features more than 100 national and regional artists that sell everything from jewelry, pottery, sculpture and more. Located not too far from Charlevoix and inside a turn of the century schoolhouse – the Hilton Schoolhouse  — it’s a great stop for those looking to buy some great art or just be inspired.


Bier’s Inwood Brewery,  17959 Ferry Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Located within walking distance of Bier Art Gallery is Bier’s Inwood Brewery. The head brewer is Tyler Bier, their son.



When you travel along U.S. 31 any beach is a great stop to hunt for stones, including the prestigious Petoskey stones.

Barnes County Park hosts county Petoskey Stone festival to kick off summer.

Things to know about Petoskey Stones, which are fossilized prehistoric coral only found in the Great Lakes:

  • Find a rocky beach
  • Find a beach that isn’t crowded, or go first thing in the morning to beat other rock hunters
  • Look along the waterline, they’re much easier to spot when they’re wet
  • Spring is the best time to find them – winter waves and ice bring new stones to the shore
  • Tips for polishing:
  • Dampen the stone and file with coarse sandpaper if you want to make it more rounded
  • Sand with finer sandpaper to remove any cracks or blemishes
  • Put some car rubbing compound on a damp, soft cloth and rub in short, circular strokes
  • Charlevoix stones are similar and slightly more rare, the coral colonies are closer together, giving it a honeycomb appearance

After the beach, we stop at King Orchards for pie!



986 U.S. 31 S, Kewadin, MI 49648, 231-264-0715

*Additional location:

4620 N M-88, Central Lake, MI 49622

*Both markets offer u-pick and we pick fruit, bakery items, and other farm goodies.

King Orchards Fruit Stand

John Gonzalez |


Love cherries? We encourage you to make a stop at King Orchards for:

  • U-pick strawberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, apples and pumpkins
  • Products include frozen cherries, dried cherries, cherry concentrate, jams, jelly, salsa and homemade pie


Berries at a farm stand

John Gonzalez |

Brothers John and Jim King, along with their wives Betsy and Rose and their children, have been growing fruit in Northern Michigan for more than 30 years. A first-generation farming family, it is located on the northern edge of Michigan’s famed cherry growing region and atop glacier-formed ridges and rolling hills near Torch Lake and Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. They grow on more than 140 acres of Montmorency tart cherries, in addition to Balaton cherries, black sweet cherries, apples, peaches, pears, apricots, plums and nectarines. The US 31 Market houses a bakery and is making fresh pies, cookies, muffins, jams and jellies daily throughout the harvest season for both markets.


The Old Mission and Leelanau  Peninsulas to the west are a can’t miss wine-lover’s dream, but plenty of fun is fermenting on this side of the bay with new destinations for  beer, cider, wine and cocktails. Let’s take a tour to see how the magic happens inside two Elk Rapids destinations right around the corner from  each other.

First stop: Short’s Brewing Company’s production facility in Elk Rapids.



211 Industrial Park, Elk Rapids, MI 49629

The production facility features the Pull Barn, a location that offers Short’s beers on tap, retail and a food truck. It’s the perfect stop if you’re craving Short’s beers and you can’t make it to the main pub in Bellaire.

While you’re there, we encourage you take a tour to see the behind the scenes operation, including the canning and bottling lines.

Head Brewer Tony Hansen takes us on a tour of the production facility. The tours run each summer top of the hour on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Other tidbits:

  • Joe Short started his business when he was only 22 years old
  • He  had experience at other breweries but decided he wanted to work for  himself so he could experiment with specialty or creative beer  ingredients and flavors that some might consider outrageous
  • Renovated a 120-year-old hardware store and opened his pub in April 2004
  • Opened Elk Rapids production facility in 2009
  • Started a Hard Cider brand Starcut Ciders in 2015
  • Pub was renovated in 2010 and expanded in 2014, added a biergarten, can now hold 460 people
  • Beer is distributed to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and cider in Colorado
  • Even  though they’ve grown, they say they brew their beer the same way they  always have, and take pride in their hands-on, “mom and pop” approach to  their business



127 Ames St, Elk Rapids, MI 49629, 231-498-2800

Hours: 1-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 12 noon-4 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday-Wednesday.

After our stop at Short’s Brewing Company’s production facility, we made our way to the area’s first distillery. Owners Geri and Nick LeFebre are making small batches of spirits. Geri is the head distiller at Ethanology.


A few tidbits:

  • They make vodka, gin, whisky and Mel – distilled local honey that is 80 proof
  • They  use a small 500L batch distillation system – they say it allows them to  craft every product with “uncompromising attention to detail and  quality”
  • They want to stay small and don’t distribute
  • None of their ingredients come from more than 33 miles from the distillery
  • The name of the source farm is on each label



John Gonzalez |\


At Ethanology we tried two cocktails:

The Gemisus, made with Mel, raw honey and smokey goodness of an Old Fashioned.

Prince, made with their vodka, elder, lotus and lavendar and blue butterfly flower tea.

Both were fantastic!





Some tidbit about downtown Elk Rapids:

  • Bordered by East Grand Traverse Bay and Elk Lake
  • Unique boutiques, galleries and restaurants line River Street
  • Elk Rapids Cinema is a restored Art Deco theater
  • Elk Rapids Historical Society Museum – learn about the history of the region
  • Walk of Art sculpture park – on the shore of East Grand Traverse Bay, up to 30 works of art in a natural, wooded setting


Our next stop……


617 Ames St, Elk Rapids, MI 49629, 231-264-0530

Some tidbits from Pearl’s:

  • Has been open for more than 20 years
  • Authentic New Orleans-style Cajun and Creole food – Etouffee, Po’boys, Jambalaya, crawfish, catfish, oysters, fried green tomatoes, hot fudge sundae beignet
  • They  say New Orleans was the birthplace of the cocktail and Pearl’s embraces  that tradition with a variety of unique cocktails – Margatini – tequila steeped in seasonal fruit, with fruit liqueur and sour mix, Sazerac, Hurricane, Cherry Margarita with Michigan cherry liqueur, house infused vodkas and bourbons



The end to a great day on U.S. 31!

Kyle Mattson |
The end to a great day on U.S. 31!


It only lasts a few weeks each summer, but you can’t pass up the opportunity to take a selfie in the golden sunflower fields.

Sunflowers planted on both sides of the highway by local farmers on leased land.





Thanks again to our hard working crew:


Also, we want to thank Lori Chapman, our editor for video, and Tanda Gmiter, our editor for content.

Learn more about Charlevoix at: and

Learn more about Elk Rapids at:

Thanks again to our sponsor, the Michigan Retailers Association,

Hockeytown moves north in September as Michigan hosts world’s best young players

Lake Trust CU

Two months ago, Alex Pietrangelo captained the St. Louis Blues to their first-ever Stanley Cup title and scored the series-clinching goal in a winner-take-all Game 7. Nine years before reaching the pinnacle of professional hockey, he was skating at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City.


Prospect Tournament Logo

Long one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League, Pietrangelo is one of many players who competed in the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City and then went on to All-Star careers. The annual event returns to Centre Ice Arena in September with another batch of the world’s best hockey prospects. The 16-game tournament Sept. 6-10 offers a glimpse of the future for the Detroit Red Wings and seven other NHL teams.


Who knows which prospects might follow in Pietrangelo’s steps and soon hoist the Stanley Cup?


“The NHL Prospect Tournament is some of the best hockey played for a minor cost of $10 a day,” said Tom Rodes, tournament director. “Top-end talent and future stars headline rosters every year.


“Additionally, many former NHL stars are now managing, scouting or coaching some of the teams, so you could bump into (Red Wings’ brass including new General Manager) Steve Yzerman, (assistant general manager) Pat Verbeek, (director of scouting) Kris Draper or (director of player evaluation) Jiri Fischer.”


In fact, ticket sales for this year’s tournament are going faster then ever, and “we’re thinking it

Stanley Cup champion Alex Pietrangelo (left) has tussled with the Detroit Red Wings for years, going all the way back to the 2010 NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City.

Stanley Cup champion Alex Pietrangelo (left) has tussled with the Detroit Red Wings for years, going all the way back to the 2010 NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City.

has something to do with returning Red Wings ‘Captain’ and now General Manager Steve Yzerman,” Rodes said.


The Red Wings started the NHL Prospect Tournament in 1998, the year after the team started holding its pre-season training camp at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. The tournament gives team management and scouts the chance to evaluate prospects before the season, and it’s a great opportunity for fans to find new favorite players for the future.


The NHL Prospect Tournament was the first of its kind and remains the largest with eight NHL teams participating including the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and the Red Wings.


As host of the NHL’s largest prospect tournament, Traverse City has become the gateway to the NHL for many of the game’s best players. In fact, more than 600 NHL Prospect Tournament alumni have played or are currently playing in the NHL including current Red Wings Dylan Larkin and Jimmy Howard.


Detroit Red Wings goalkeeper Jimmy Howard is one of more than 600 current and former NHL players who participated in the NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City.

Detroit Red Wings goalkeeper Jimmy Howard is one of more than 600 current and former NHL players who participated in the NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City.

The eight teams in the NHL Prospect Tournament consist of drafted players from the Canadian junior leagues, European players and players with up to a year of minor-league experience such as Filip Larsson, who is slated to play goalkeeper this year for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League. Three of the top six players picked in this summer’s NHL Draft are expected to participate including Kaapo Kakko, Kirby Dach and the Red Wings’ own Moritz Seider. Top Red Wings’ draft picks in 2018, Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno, as well as current Red Wings Ryan Kuffner and Taro Hirose also are likely to suit up.


The eight teams each play four games in a round-robin format that concludes with a championship game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Red Wings games are scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, and at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9. The Red Wings also will play on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at a time to be determined.


“The hometown Red Wings draw a full house every time they play and the championship game at the end of the tournament is also typically jam packed,” Rodes said.


Tickets are available for $10 per day and include all four games scheduled that day. Evening and weekend games tend to attract the largest crowds.  Undated general admission, not game Traverse City Training Camp logospecific.


After the NHL Prospect Tournament, the full Red Wings team will gather at Centre Ice Arena for the annual Red Wings Training Camp with practices and games Sept. 13-16. Ticket prices range from $10 to $35 with games scheduled at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and noon Sunday, Sept. 15.


While in town for the NHL Prospect Tournament or the Red Wings Training Camp, you’ll have a great opportunity to enjoy a last blast of summer or a first taste of fall in beautiful Traverse City. Starting in September, you can get Fab Fall Packages in Traverse City with deals on places to stay as well as discounts on dining, shopping, wineries, spas and more.


RELATED: 11 Awesome Michigan Things to Put on Your Fall To-Do List