1. Hug the shorelines, by bike, beach or boat
A part of the 10.5-mile, paved Traverse Area Recreational Trail (TART) follows the city's beachfront, and that includes newly revamped Clinch Park (next to the downtown marina and set to reopen in May 2013).
Clinch Park's 1,500 feet of sandy shore on West Grand Traverse Bay makes it a popular and convenient beach. Other city beaches are known for volleyball, family fun or remoteness. To explore the bay from water, ride the 59-passenger Tall Ship Manitou, a reproduction of an 1800s cargo schooner.
2. Get the scoop on ice cream production
Moomers, a farmstead ice cream shop, is a popular stop for families. Creamy treats are sold within view of the cows whose milk is the key ingredient. Farm and creamery tours are possible in summer; reservations are advised.
At least 20 of Moomers' 120 ice cream flavors, Amaretto Cherry to White Chocolate Oreo, are served daily. A Cow Pie is ice cream sandwiched between cookies. The Wholey Cow, a 10-scoop sundae, arrives with bananas, brownies and many toppings, including a full can of whipped topping.
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