Petoskey, MI

How To Spend A Weekend In Petoskey, MI

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Petoskey is Michigan at it’s finest and you won’t be disappointed with a visit to this quaint northern Michigan town. Located four hours NW of Detroit and a short 35 miles from the famous Mackinac Bridge, on the shores of little traverse bay, Petoskey, MI is the perfect destination for your summer adventure. This is “Up North” at it’s best, but you’re still in the lower peninsula making it an easier trek from home.

This is the land of Hemingway’s youth and Petoskey stone hunts, where the most important thing you have to do is take a stroll along the waterfront or go window shopping in the Historic Gaslight District. The way of life here is a bit slower and more relaxed and you can’t help but fall in love with this little piece of paradise in northern Michigan.

Petoskey, MI


Visit Petoskey’s Gaslight District

Find unique treasures in the Gaslight District. Everything from fashion to home to gourmet foods can be browsed and purchased in this fun downtown shopping district.

petoskey, mi

Hunt for Petoskey Stones

After you are done shopping head outside and hunt for Petoskey stones at a local beach area. Petoskey state park beach is a great location for this activity, but the downtown city park may also share a few stones.

Honestly, we find it’s easier to look for them along the shoreline. The water bring out the unique pattern you find on Petoskey stone. I always looks for a “turtle” design which isn’t as defined if the stone is dry.

Head To The Farm

Pond HIll Farm is a favorite spot for outdoor activities as well as wine, beer, and cider tastings. During the summer explore the vineyards and greenhouses, there is also cornhole and human foosball. During the fall the farm is filled with pumpkins, grape harvests and family fun. The fun doesn’t stop once the snow flies there is a free sled hill with tubes available to use. Cross-country skiing, fat tire biking or snowshoeing through groomed trails. Of course, there is hot cocoa to warm you back up after the winter fun is done.

Petoskey, MI

Walk in Hemingway’s Footsteps

Ernest Hemingway fans will be thrilled to learn that the author spent a great deal of his youth in the area and had a cottage in Walloon Lake. Plaques mark Hemingway spots and a self-guided tour map is available through the Petoskey CVB.


Stop at McLean and Eakin

At McLean and Eakin, one of the top 5 bookstores in the United States, you’ll find a beach read or three. I love browsing the Staff Recommends shelf and finding new authors and books to read. I wrote more about McLean and Eakin here.
Petoskey, mi

Chautauqua Community Self-Guided Tour

Take a self-guided tour of the historic Bay View Association, a Chautauqua community, is on the National Historic Register. Stroll around the neighborhood and learn more about this historic destination.

Pick Lavender

Lavender Hill Farm is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to pick lavender and enjoy the lavender fields. This is the largest lavender farm in Michigan, we are home to 30 varieties of lavender, Italian honeybees, and a restored century old barn where live music performances, weddings, lunches, and private events are held.
Petoskey, MI

Visit Oldest Catholic Church

Stop by one of the few remaining Indian Missions in the state. St. Francis Solanus is the oldest and first Catholic church in Petoskey. Travel Inspired Living has a great post about the church here.

See One-Of-A-Kind Mushroom Homes

For unique architecture and history head over to Charlevoix, a short jaunt away, and take a self-guided tour of the Early Young Homes (aka Mushroom Homes and/or Hobbit Houses). These unique dwellings are definitely a one of a kind addition to the northern Michigan landscape.

More Outdoor Activities

During the winter months there is cross-country skiing and nearby ski resorts, but the summer season really offers some of my favorite things. From finding the perfect place for a picnic at bayfront park to taking a stroll from the historic gaslight district through the pedestrian tunnel and over to little traverse wheelway, both a foot and bike path, for a stroll along the bay.


In the evening you can head to the International Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City. This is one of the few designated International Dark Sky Park in the state and offers incredible views of the night sky.

Live Entertainment

Additionally, there is always live entertainment happening 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. Local bars often offer live music as well.


Maple Wine

Maple Moon Sugarbush & Winery

Here you’ll find the only winery in the entire United States that makes Maple wine. Each year Maple Moon Sugarbush & Winery taps 100s of Maple trees to make maple syrup and their specialty maple wine.

Petoskey, mi

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

Stop by Kilwins of Petoskey and try their hand-crafted fudge and homemade ice cream.

Petsokey, MI

For Lunch and Dinner

There are many local restaurants to eat in the area. My favorites include Barrel Back in Walloon Lake, Cafe Sante in Boyne City, City Park Grille and Palette Bistro in downtown Petoskey, and Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs. Fun fact, if you are here during the season for morel mushrooms many of the local restaurants will have morels as part of their menu.


Where to stay in Petoskey

Stafford’s Bay View Inn

If you’re traveling without littles check-in to Stafford’s Bay View Inn, a lovely inn with incredible rooms and views of the bay. Located just a short jaunt from the Gaslight District in downtown Petoskey it’s a great place to call home during your stay.


Boyne Mountain Resort

If you have young children in tow you’ll want to stay at the very family friendly Boyne Mountain just south of Petoskey. Here, you’ll find family suites, activities like zip lining, hiking, mountain biking, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, on-site restaurants, and a spa. The resort is great in both winter and summer months. Once you’ll arrive you might think there is no reason to leave but try to pull yourself away from the resort so you can explore all there is to see and do in the region.

You will easily fill a weekend with fun and adventure in the Petoskey area. For more information visit the Petoskey Area Visitors website.

More About Petoskey

Petoskey, MI

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