Chances are if you’ve looked on Pinterest or Googled “Things to Do in Petoskey, Michigan” you’ll be flooded with photos of Petoskey stones – and that’s exactly why we stopped in Petoskey last year on our way around Lake Michigan! We’re nuts about rocks, caves and anything outdoorsy. And the great beach at Petoskey State Park was a huge bonus! (pssst – they have 180 campsites there!) But there is SO much more to do in the area – some of them are downright weird, tasty, fun and quite educational!
So where exactly is Petoskey, Michigan? It’s in the Northwest corner along Lake Michigan. Last year we did a loop from Iowa all the way around Lake Michigan starting in Chicago, chilling in the UP for a week or so (check out our posts on The Secret of Miner’s Beach and the 2 MUST SEE Cruise Tours in Munising) then swinging our way down to Petoskey and along the lake further south. It’s an easy drive with plenty to do!
1.- Ernest Hemingway spent 22 beautiful summers in the surrounding areas and every year in October there is a Hemingway Weekend packed full of tours, exhibits and celebration. Make sure to take a walking tour surrounding popular stops in Hemingway’s life – this area is where he first launched his professional writing career!
2.- Beaches & Petoskey Stones – Ok – I had to include this one JUST in case you didn’t know how gorgeous the area is! Beautiful white sandy beaches with soft rolling waves – we had a great time last year in the water! There are specific times of year that makes it easier to find the Petoskey Stones (AKA Hexagonaria percarinata) along the shoreline but during mid-summer we were able to find several small handfuls of these special fossils on the shelf line right off the shore. 3 places to check are Magnus City Park Beach, Petoskey State Park, and Zoll Street Beach.
3. Original name- Petoskey was originally called Bear River in the mid-1800’s.
4. Elvyn Lea Lodge – Situated on 44 acres of wooded trails near Walloon Lake the Elvyn Lea Lodge is a getaway for nature lovers of all kinds. This cozy rustic lodge makes a great home base for your excursions throughout your stay. Tt offers rooms for individual travelers and it’s available to be reserved in its entirety by groups, making it a wonderful destination for retreats, workshops, or family reunions.
5. The National Shrine of Cross in the Woods & Doll Museum – The Doll Museum houses 525 dolls (and 20 mannequins) representing the Dioscesan clergy and OVER 200 religious orders of priests, sisters, and borthers of North and South America.
6. Headlands International Dark Sky Park – Less than an hour away is one of the country’s only dark sky parks (there are 20!) – the perfect place for viewing the skies at night! In fact if you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights (March & September are the best times)!
7. Duffy’s Garage and Grille – A unique hotspot located in Petoskey, this restaurant has some serious burgers, pizza, and oven grinders on its menu.
8. Roast & Toast – This artful cafe has amazing menu choices and even allows you to purchase their coffee blends online!
9. Symons General Store – No trip to Petoskey is complete with stopping in at Symons General Store for a peek into their stunning wine cellar! Or if your wine isn’t your think the home cooked food will make up for that!
10. McLean & Eakin Bookstore – If bookstores are your think then add McLean & Eakin to your list. Don’t forget to check the calendar to see if any of your favorite authors will be in!
11. Almost every natural landform in northern Lower Michigan is the result of glaciation during the Ice Age.
Interested in finding more places to eat and things to do in Petoskey? Visit the Petoskey Area Visitor Center and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram here!
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