National Cherry Festival Tips Every Visitor Should Know

Traverse City National Cherry FestivalTraverse City Cherry Festival

National Cherry Festival | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

The Cherry Festival brings over 500,000 people to Traverse City every July!  Think you shouldn't go because of the crowds?  Trust us, you don't want to miss out. 

BUT do yourself a favor and grab our tips and tricks every visitor should know before they go! It will make your trip more successful and fun for everyone.

National Cherry Festival Parking Tips

  • If you get to Traverse City early (by 9:30 a.m.) you should be able to park in the very close parking garage located on Front Street and Park.  They will have event parking which will run you around $15 but trust us, it's so worth it. 
  • See the map above for the parking location and the festival location.  Really close!
  • Street parking and most lots (that we found) are all 2 hr parking in which you HAVE to move your vehicle, not just go back and add more money.  

Don't Miss...

Don't miss touring the NASA trailer to see rocks from space (so super cool!), experience how heavy a can of soda feels on other planets and try working with small objects just how the astronauts would in space!

What Should You Bring to the Traverse City National Cherry Festival?

  • Bring your bikes!  There is a free bike valet so you can park your bike without worrying it could get stolen.
  • Lots of water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Swim attire, towels, flip flops
  • Money to rent a kayak if you enjoy water sports
  • Dry bag if you rent a kayak
  • Cash for garage parking in case they only accept cash

Things  to Do Other Than The National Cherry Festival?

  • Get there early and go to the beach!! It's literally right next to the National Cherry Festival!  Then drop your stuff back off in your vehicle and go to the free festival!
  • Play in the kids' water fountains!
  • Rent a kayak on the beach!
  • Get tickets for the beer tent. And the best part?  There's chairs set up to enjoy the air show!
  • Walk around downtown and enjoy the shops and restaurants!

While you are in Traverse City at the National Cherry Festival, you MUST get your picture in front of the World's Largest Cherry Pie! I mean, seriously! You can't miss these awesome roadside oddities!

National Cherry Festival Schedule

Don't miss a moment of the National Cherry Festival!  Here's the National Cherry Festival Schedule!

Subscribe To Receive Exciting Destinations, Day Trips and Fun Directly to Your Inbox!

Traveling Michigan NewsletterTraveling Michigan Newsletter

Sign Up to Our Newsletter to Get the 5 Free Must Have Apps to Travel in Michigan Like a Boss!

Join Us on Instagram-We Post All the Fun Stuff!

View this post on Instagram

Don't miss the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City Michigan! We had an absolutely blast this year! Plus it's free! Get there early (by 9:30 a.m.) and you will have no problem parking in the parking structure downtown.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We sat on the beach and watched the beautiful boats, sampled the cherries at the Cherry Connection, enjoyed a gyro, wandered along the marina and explored the NASA exhibit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There's plenty of shade trees to sit beneath as you enjoy your cherries, snacks and lunch from the numerous Cherry Festival vendors. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #cherries #traversecitytourism #traversecity #traversecitymi #traversecitymichigan #traversecitycherryfestival #cherryfestival #michiganfestivals #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #michiganoverboard #michigan_wanderlust #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #midwestmoment #michiganders #onlyinmichigan #michiganunsalted #puremichiganders

A post shared by Michigan Travel+Food Adventure (@travelingmichigan) on

Popular Pages You Don't Want to Miss!

So many fun things to do in Saugatuck and Charlevoix!  If you need more ideas, be sure to check the list on the left of our Traveling Michigan Home Page!

  1. Traveling Michigan Home Page
  2.  ›
  3. National-Cherry-Festival
Traveling Michigan's Famous Travel CoupleTraveling Michigan's Famous Travel Couple ;)

Love Adventures?
Join our network of Traveling Michigan Explorers! 

Be a part of this amazing community of travelers!

We'll send you the best local adventures, upcoming events, tips and inspiration right to your inbox! Sign Up Now

We hate spam! Your email is safe with us.

Voted Top Influencer for Michigan!

Listed In Top 100 Michigan Blogs & Websites for Michiganders To Follow in 2019 by FeedSpot


"This photo makes us want to visit Michigan! Job well done! We feel inspired and happy. Thank you!"

~Florida Resident

"I'm honestly surprised how much variety Michigan has to offer after seeing your photos! Or in other words, you guys are doing an excellent job promoting Michigan, seriously!"


"I just moved to Midland a month ago from out of state.  Your account has been a FABULOUS source of adventures for me.  Thanks for making such an informative account!"


I'm honestly surprised how much variety Michigan has to offer after seeing your photos! Or in other words, you guys are doing an EXCELLENT job promoting Michigan, seriously!


"You two definitely know how to trans port to the destination with your pics!"


"Seriously, Michigan is gorgeous all year round! I'm excited to see where you go, then I'll get inspired to go places!"


"Because of your photography of Michigan, I am putting Tahquamenon Falls on my Bucket List!" 


"This sounds so cool! We love adventures like this! Keep them coming and keep up the great work!


"Just love your ideas for fun things to do especially since we love to vacation in your beautiful state!"