Paradise on a Peninsula

The Grey Hare Inn Vineyard Bed and Breakfast is perfectly situated on the Old Mission Peninsula so that guests find themselves in a bucolic countryside yet just minutes from all the vacation amenities of Traverse City. Panoramic vineyard, orchard and bay views are visible from every room and from numerous points on this 27 acre property.

The inn is in the heart of Northern Michigan’s Wine Country just 7 miles north of Traverse City, and walking distance to several members of the Wineries of Old Mission (WOMP) and a short drive to others. Old Mission Peninsula’s north end is at the 45th parallel; a similar latitude to the wine regions of the Pacific Northwest, Germany and France. Being surrounded by water provides a tempering of the weather so that the Peninsula is warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer, than surrounding areas; and the constant breeze enhances this effect, yielding a perfect climate for growing wine grapes as well as the other predominate crop of cherries.

History, particularly nautical, abounds on the Peninsula as well as in the entire Grand Traverse region. “Grand Traverse” itself is French for a large traverse or crossing which the ancient peoples were required to do when portaging their canoes. There is a lighthouse at the north end of the Peninsula, along with a settler’s log cabin and the missionary Peter Dougherty’s house being renovated to soon open as a museum.

Outdoor activities abound with sailing, kayaking, hiking the trails at the lighthouse and elsewhere, biking along the water. The Grey Hare Inn owners offer sailing, as well as boat and breakfast and all-inclusive yacht charters.

And then for indoor fun it’s wine tasting and gourmet dining. All of the wineries are different in style, but all produce excellent wines, both white and red. There are several larger Chateau style wineries and others that are smaller offering intimate tasting with friendly staff. Most charge a modest fee for tasting several wines and have some sort of food offering in pairing.

There are a wide variety of dining options on the Peninsula to suit everyone’s budget and tastes, and all are highly recommended. The Boathouse is located right on the waters of Bowers Harbor with outdoor dining available, and an eclectic food presentation that is marvelously creative at the higher priced end of the dining options available. Mission Table’s cuisine is creative as well with attention given to more pedestrian tastes at a reasonable but above average price. Old Mission Tavern is a truly amazing throwback to traditional dining by offering a salad included with the cost of your entrĂ©e, and a reasonably wide selection of traditional and well prepared fare; plus there’s a not to be missed local art gallery in the same building. For more casual dining both Jolly Pumpkin and Peninsula Grill do not disappoint!

There are scenic turnouts in several locations, but one of the prettiest places to just relax with a glass of wine is on the front patio of the Grey Hare Inn.

For more information please request a free electronic version of our innkeeper’s recommendation guidebook. Or go to www.oldmission.com which also has a map of the peninsula attractions.

Michigan Wine Country Links:

Old Mission Peninsula
MI Wines/Grape Council
Wineries of Old Mission
Peninsula Cellars
Leelanau Wineries
Tasters Guild
Round Barn Winery
Black Star Farm
Villa Mari
Bonobo Winery
Pure Michigan
Traverse City Visitors Bureau
Traverse Magazine
Maritime Heritage Alliance