Four hours north of the Motor City is a quiet, quaint community on the shores of Little Traverse Bay.
Driving north to Petoskey you’ll travel along secondary roads, pass through small towns, and spend a fair amount of time oohing and ahhhing over the scenery and stopping for treats at roadside stands.
When you arrive in Petoskey stop at the visitors center, located in the Gaslight District, to grab a map of the area and get ready to have a fabulous visit.
There are so many great Petoskey area attractions that are free or low cost (I’m only sharing the free ones here).
Between the attractions and activities, there is never a dull moment.
To prove that vacations don’t have to cost a fortune I’m sharing 25 free and fun things to do in Petoskey.
BEST FREE THINGS TO DO IN PETOSKEY MI
1. Hunt for the famous Petoskey Stone.
2. Take a self-guided tour of the historic Bay View Association – the whole community is on the National Historic Register.
3. Say “Hi” to the bucks and does at Deer Park in Harbor Springs.
4. Download a free app (search LTC Explorer) and tour the acres and acres of Little Traverse Conservancy properties within each of our towns.
5. Window shop in Petoskey’s Gaslight District and the downtowns of Boyne City, Bay Harbor and Harbor Springs.
6. Visit the International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City.
7. Grab a brochure and explore (Ernest) Hemingway haunts on your own.
8. Visit the famous National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods in Indian River.
9. Take advantage of some beautiful beaches (non-state park) that do not have admission fees.
10. Catch a free outdoor movie in Harbor Springs or Petoskey (seasonally).
11. Skateboard parks in both Petoskey and Harbor Springs are free to the public.
12. Tour Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey.
13. Take a tour of Maple Moon Family Sugary in Petoskey.
14. Enjoy live entertainment in the downtowns of Harbor Springs (Street Musique on Thursdays), Petoskey (Petoskey Rocks on Fridays) and Boyne City (Stroll the Streets on Friday) throughout the summer.
15. Hunt for morels and other mushrooms.
16. Ride the 23-mile long Little Traverse Wheelway (Charlevoix to Harbor Springs) or any of the other bike trails within the region.
17. Climb the 462 steps to the top of Avalanche Preserve in Boyne City for awesome views.
18. Bring your own kayak for a rush on Petoskey’s mile-long whitewater trail –class one to class 3.
19. How about a self-guided tour of the Earl Young Homes in Charlevoix.
20. Learn the history of Boyne City at their history museum.
21. Bring the whole family to Oden (just NE of Petoskey) to the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center.
22. Kids (16 and under) fish for free all over Michigan and there are lots of great spots to do that in our area.
23. Take in an outdoor concert in Petoskey (Concerts in the Park) and Boyne City (Evenings at the Gazebo) during the summer.
24. Learn about Native American history at the Andrew Blackbird Museum in Harbor Springs.
25. Drive the beautiful Tunnel of Trees scenic route from Harbor Springs to Cross Village (lovely in any season).
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