Off the Beaten Track

REGION – Step away from the conference room. Put down that same old coffee. There is a solution: Meet somewhere new for a change of pace. Re-energized employees by stepping out of the stale office quarters that you're confined to day in and day out all year long. We all know that the Traverse City area offers top-notch resorts and a plethora of meeting venues that we're all familiar with, however the area also boasts many unique venues that rival any major metropolitan area.

From intimate meetings for 10 to 200 plus, the venues that follow are all within 30 minutes of downtown TC and offer a great change of pace – and scene for your next meeting.

Brengman Brothers at Crain Hill Vineyards

Hosts: Up to 200 guests

Venue Perks:

– Bring in your own caterer

– Wines available onsite with case discounts available

– WiFi

– Outdoor veranda area or indoor seating

– Lawn for tented events

– Cheese- and wine-making workshops available (a great team-building break to

a meeting)

– Private wine tasting for your group

Find It: 9720 Center Highway

Lobdell's Restaurant

Located: At the Great Lakes Campus of NMC on the second floor, this venue offers (by far) the best views of West Bay.

Hosts: 60-70 people for a lunch meeting or strolling Hors d'oeuvers for up to 100

Venue Perks:

– Specialty is French Style Multi-Course Wine or Tapas Dinners

– Open kitchen floor plan and a beautiful bar seating area

– 10 minute walk to Downtown TC shopping and entertainment

– Two hotels situated right next door.

– Events that need to expand their space also have access to the Rotary Hall Atrium area and an opportunity to use the Hagerty Center as well.

– Lobdell's is primarily a Teaching Restaurant, run by the students and staff of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute during school hours.

Find It: 715 E. Front Street, Traverse City


Lotus Room at Red Ginger

Red Ginger's upscale urban-style dining room rocks in a big way, but the intimate upstairs of Red Ginger – ideal to host meetings and events.

Hosts: Seated meetings and events up to 48 people

Venue Perks:

– Audio and visual set up for presentations and slide shows

– Large windows with a view of Front Street

Find It: 237 E. Front Street

Blackbird Arts

Looking for a team building activity, a creative outlet, a change of pace or just a space to meet? Blackbird Arts has 6 artists on site to teach multiple forms of art as well as space flexible to suit many needs.

Hosts: 40 seated, 60 theater style or 75+ for cocktails

Venue Perks:

– Outdoor fenced in garden, perfect for lunch breaks in the summer

– Bamboo floors

– Second smaller room for breakout meetings

Find It: 1485 Barlow Street


Downtown Traverse City's newest event venue provides a clean slate to create an event or meeting. From the moment you walk in, you stop dead in your tracks and say "wow, am I in Traverse City?" Modern and dare I say it with out feeling too old… hip.

Hosts: Seated events up to 300 guests or create a smaller intimate event for 50

Venue Perks:

– Hosts can provide their own beverages

– Exposed brick wall left open from the renovation

– Once was a roller rink

– Private Front Street entrance (the red door)

– Built in speaker system for iPod and microphone available

Find It: 121 East Front Street

Good Work Collective Gallery

This all-arts gallery space breaths energy into any brainstorming session or meeting. Located in Old Town, it's an ideal space for many types of events.

Hosts: 55 for seated dinner, 85-theater style or 100 for cocktails

Venue Perks:

– One of the most historic buildings in Old Town

– Rental fees support local arts and the community

– Owner, Sam Porter can make you paella for your event!

– Free Northwoods Soda

– Kegerator onsite

– Handcrafted podium and many other rentals available onsite

Find It: 417 S. Union Street

Left Foot Charley Winery & Wine Bar

Traverse City's first urban winery located at the historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons is perfect for small meetings and a little wine tasting after…

Hosts: 120 people using the indoor space and the outdoor patio attached

Venue Perks:

– Located in the former laundry facility of the asylum

– View of Grand Traverse Commons

– Private tasting and wine tours available

– Onsite catering available

Find It: 806 Red Drive

Antiquities' Wellington Inn

This 1905 neo-classical mansion in one of TC's most quaint downtown neighborhoods is ideal for private meetings and small company retreats.

Hosts: 50 for a meeting in the ballroom and 34 in the dining room

Venue Perks:

– Walking distance to downtown

– Eight sleeping rooms

– 2 carriage house apartments

Find It: 230 Wellington Street

Level 17

I'm sure most of us have been to the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and many have been to Aerie, but let's not forget that they have the perfect meeting space with breathtaking views as far as the eye can see.

Hosts: 100 people

Venue Perks:

– Open space to design the space layout with windows for the ceiling and walls

– Best spot for sunsets

– Located at the top of the tower at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Find It: 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd. Acme