Grand Traverse Commons Historic Walking Tour
Get an inside look at this architectural wonder as you learn about the purpose and theory behind the structures. Follow your guide as they explain the significance behind all the crafted beauty.
What You Will Do
- Wander through old hospital buildings full of classic beauty
- Travel through the underground tunnel system on a tour that is off limits to the rest of the public
- Head over to the renovation site to see the work in progress as this old building is transformed into a modern center
- Learn from your guide about the history of mental health in this country and the role this particular building played in that story
- A guided tour of the building
These tours require guests to be physically capable to climb up and down steep stairs and walk through low-clearance areas. Significant walking will be required.
Once tickets are purchased they can not be canceled. But may be rescheduled up to a year from purchase date.
- 3,160 Ratings
Joe was the best ever tour guide. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Tour was amazing! Really enjoyed learning about the history of this incredible place! Guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who has any interest in history!
Guide was entertaining and very knowable and because he grew up in the area he had several experiences to share as well . Thank you for the fun time
The shops were really cute.....made a couple of purchases. The tour guide has enough enthusiasm for a dozen tour guides! Fun and educational. My teenage boys really liked it, which is saying something!
Joe the guide was AWESOME !! He was very knowledgeable and made the tour great with his pictures and stories.
Great guide, very educated and engaging!
Such a cool experience and Joe did an amazing job explaining the history behind the asylum!
Joe was full of information and wonderfully animated, he kept us all captivated. I definitely would recommend this tour to friends and family. We took our 17 year old son and 19 year old daughter and they enjoyed it and found everything very interesting.
Tour guide Joe explained the inspired approach to treating mental health problems, embraced by the founding doctor, reminding us of the dark ages which had preceded it, and the causes and effects of our decent back down from this enlightened advancement.
Fun and educational. Tour guide made it even more fun.
What a special day we had. We had the pleasure of a wonderful tour guide filling in for the regular guide who had lost his voice. Amazing day, beautiful facility, super staff! It's so great to see all the changes. I have been visiting Traverse City and The Village at Grand Traverse Commons since 2001; during its sad and destitute state of disrepair. A++++ for the whole facility and tour.
The curator and his assistant we very informative and entertaining. The information was invaluable. My group will definitely come back for the twilight tour.
Tour guide (Joe) was very knowledgeable and funny. He kept our attention and gave us personal viewpoints of the facility. The "Caboose" whose name I don't remember was very entertaining also
The guide was very informative. A wealth of knowledge and humor. It was a lousy weather day, but he kept us interested to stick with him. Well worth the money for sure.
Well organized leader. Made the tour very educational
Wonderful tour guide!
The tour was very interesting. Dave was an awesome tour guide. It was really cool to be able to go into an unrenovsted building and the steam tunnel.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor! Well worth the money. You will not be disappointed!!
I enjoyed the stories that link the people with the buildings. Would love to have seen other floors just to see the improvements but just the same we had s great time.
the information was very interesting .The architect of the building was Beautiful and unique .
Very informative. Went into a lot of information about what the institution was really all about Not just that it was a cool environment in this era,but what really went on in Kirkbrides philosophy about treating mental illness and the day to day operation of such a vast undertaking of patient care. The story of the buildings and its later history was very intriguing. Dan our guide was outstanding. I am recommending this tour to all my friends and acquaintances. High marks all around. I will plan on make plans to come back for theTwilight tour asap.
Joe, the tour guide, was extremely good - he entertained along with his 'teaching'. We were very impressed with the history of treatment etc in these buildings and hope that the restoration continues and other Bridekirk (spelling?) complexes still standing will be restored as the architecture etc is incredible. I will recommend this tour to everyone going to the TC area.
Tour guide joe did a great job- very informative, funny, and personal experience with the hospital really brought it to life for us.
Our tour guide was terrific, and the tour was fascinating. I would take it again and would recommend it to others. Our guide asked for suggestions so here are other things I would be interested in seeing and learning: Seeing the old barns and farm and orchard areas. More information on patients' lives in the asylum, especially from 1955 until the hospital closed. And, again for the more recent years, more info on what brought patients to the hospital, how long different types of patients typically stayed and their condition when they left. It would also be interesting to see/hear a bit about the various types of residences (condos, senior housing or whatever) that have been created in the old asylum. This not a criticism of the wonderful tour that we were given, and I realize it is a 2-hour tour, but now that you've got me interested, there's a lot more I'd like to know!
Very informative and fun. Guide was dramatic and comedic with great stories and history.
Our tour guide, Joe, was excellent! He was very informative and made the tour so enjoyable.
I really didn't know anything about the hospital and thought the tour might be depressing, given its history, but it wasn't at all. In fact, it was fascinating! Learning about their "beauty is therapy" philosophy and what they were trying to achieve was so interesting. Our tour guide, Joe, was great--knowledgeable and well-informed, with just the right touch of humor. Walking through the buildings, especially the tunnel, was an experience I'll never forget. Honestly, this tour turned out to be one of the highlights of our weekend up north.