Traverse Bay may refer to either of two bays off Lake Michigan in the U.S. state of Michigan: Grand Traverse Bay in Leelanau County, Michigan and Little Traverse Bay in Emmet County, Michigan. Or those two bays may be considered to be arms of a larger Traverse Bay that extends out further and includes some of the lake area of Charlevoix County between them as well. It may be used as a term more frequently to refer to places around Charlevoix, Michigan, which is located on the shore between Grand Traverse and Little Traverse bays.
One usage of the "Traverse Bay" term was as a planned railroad terminus. The Amboy, Lansing and Traverse Bay Railroad, incorporated in 1857, was planned to run from "Amboy by Hillsdale and Lansing, and from Grand Rapids to some point on or near Traverse Bay." That railroad eventually became part of the Michigan Central Railroad whose network in fact extended to the Traverse Bay area at East Jordan, by 1918. (East Jordan is located at the head of the south arm of Lake Charlevoix, which connects to Lake Michigan at Charlevoix.)