Although this charming community may be small, there are plenty of reasons that many Michigan residents are calling Traverse City home. With its ideal location that cradles the west and east coasts of the Grand Traverse Bay, many people who live in Traverse City apartments for rent enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation, as well as agriculture and tourism that are rare in northern Michigan. Excellent schools, a quaint downtown and a pro-business atmosphere are all reasons why this community has seen a small jump in population from 2000 to 2010, according to City-Data. Despite loads of waterfront location near a tight-knit community, the city remains an affordable place to live, with a cost of living index more than 14 points below the nation's average.
The city's ideal location on the Grand Traverse Bay gave rise to the city's popularity in the early 1800s, eventually becoming known as the "Queen City of the North." The area quickly developed a booming lumber industry in the days leading up the Civil War, attracting many European settlers to the shores here for work. Although the lumbering business was depleted at the turn of the 20th century, many farmers were attracted to the rich lands and cool breezes of the bay, so they began to plant grape vines and cherry trees, giving rise to the agricultural industry the city is known for today. Today, Michigan produces more than 75 percent of the nation's tart cherries, and much of this produce comes from the city limits of Traverse City.
Since cherries are king here, it should come as no surprise that the annual National Cherry Festival is held right in Traverse City. During the festivities, the city goes all out, with three parades, orchard tours, cherry pie eating contests and a large fireworks show over the bay. Traverse City also shows its philanthropic roots by giving proceeds of the festival to 40 area charities.
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