Traverse City B&B – Where to Stay in Traverse City

Traverse City Weekend Trip

Stay in a Traverse City Bed and Breakfast

On my first trip to Michigan Wine country, I knew I had to stay in a Traverse City B&B.

One of my guilty TV pleasures is “How I Met Your Mother”, and I think Marshall and Lily are pretty adorable. Whenever they go on couples trips in the show, they ALWAYS stayed in a super cutesy Bed and Breakfast. I wanted to try one but never had the chance – B&Bs aren’t so popular in Thailand nor in Brazil.

I could not have found a better location for my first B&B experience than in Traverse City. I brought my fiance along for the full “Lily and Marshall” experience.

Traverse City Tourism Pick #3 – Stay in a Traverse City B&B

Maybe you’re not familiar with “How I Met Your Mother” (GASP!!) nor B&Bs in general.

You could be wondering, exactly what is a Bed and Breakfast? To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure either.

Simply put, it is a small guest house that offers a homemade meal in the morning. Usually, the host/innkeeper lives in the home as well, and offers up rooms for rent. There is typically a common space living area, while the guest bedrooms are private. Some rooms may have private bathrooms, many rooms will have shared bathrooms.

B&Bs are known for being “quaint-American” styled, friendly, and having super personalized service. Usually in historic homes, most B&B owners take great pride in their home, know a lot about the surrounding area, and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

While there are plenty of great hotel options (like the West Bay, or the famous Grand Traverse), I really recommend staying in a Traverse City B&B for a real Traverse City weekend trip. And if you’ve never stayed in one before, this is a great time to try! A B&B is both an accommodation choice and a really interesting activity/experience, and tends to be a lot cheaper than a regular hotel (especially in Traverse City!)

Never stayed in a Traverse City B&B before? Here are my tips below:

1. Do your research on TripAdvisor

Staying in a Bed and Breakfast can be really fun or really awkward. It all depends on your host. Read about past traveler’s experiences (check out TripAdvisor for a less biased viewpoint than the glowing recommendations listed under Testimonials on your prospective Traverse City B&B’s website!), and get the real scoop.

2. Choose a Traverse City B&B whose breakfast fits your requirements

If the B&B only offers one standard breakfast, it may not be a great fit for someone who is vegan or gluten-free. If you have any dietary restrictions, make sure your Traverse City B&B can accommodate them before booking. Don’t just skip out on the breakfast – it’s one of the best parts of the experience!

Also remember to remind your host of your pre-approved dietary restrictions so you aren’t accidentally fed bacon (if you’re a vegetarian).

3. Make sure your trip fits a Traverse City B&B style

If you are planning on partying all night and coming back super drunk and late, a typical Traverse City B&B might not be for you is not for you. As they tend to be in old houses with thin walls, you need to make sure your noise level is courteous to other guests, as is your behavior.

4. Think about your bathroom preference

While I’m fine with shared bathrooms in dorm rooms while traveling abroad, I prefer my own bathroom when traveling to relax (especially in the US). For my first B&B experience, I didn’t have a private bathroom (I shared with one or two other rooms), and I thought it was pretty awkward. I decided from then on, that I want my own bathroom… preferably with a tub! But that’s just getting greedy.


For my first Traverse City B&B, I stayed at the Oviatt House Bed & Breakfast. It was such a wonderful experience!

Oviatt House Bed and Breakfast Traverse City TourismThe house is located less than ten minutes (by walking) away from the main street, and it was super easy to walk to the Nauticat cruise, to be picked up for the winery tour, and to drive to see the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Oviatt House Bed & Breakfast is a totally ideal location (I don’t know how you could do any better!) as a base to explore Traverse City.

I would recommend getting a room with a private bathroom, and if it gets too hot please do just let your host know. There is AC throughout the house and they also have mini cooling units for the rooms that get too warm. They’ll work with dietary restrictions (including vegetarian) and the breakfasts are AMAZING.

The house is decorated so lovely and welcoming, and Fran makes the absolute best B&B host I could ever imagine. She makes you feel right at home.

The rooms themselves are so cute and really, really comfortable.

Oviatt House Bed and Breakfast Traverse City B&B

Oviatt House Bed and Breakfast Traverse City

Oviatt House Bed and Breakfast Traverse City

My fiance and I are not quite as cutesy as Lily and Marshall, so I was worried whether a Traverse City B&B would be a good fit for us. I also had a stereotype in mind that B&Bs are for the older crowd, so I hoped we wouldn’t stand out like sore thumbs as the youngest.

I was pleasantly surprised, and at the time we stayed, the place was full of young, 20something couples. I also think it’d be a great option for solo travelers who want the personalized help and advice from a city local.

Have you ever stayed in a Traverse City B&B? Or a Bed and Breakfast in general? Would you recommend it? Any tips?


A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


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