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Your guide to Petoskey
All About Petoskey
Petoskey is a coastal community near the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula that offers unrivaled views of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay and well-preserved Victorian buildings. The small town concentrates its specialty shops, restaurants, and art galleries along the lakefront. Bayfront Park, on the shore of the bay, offers shade under the green trees, and a waterfall that makes a nice spot for a picnic.
Beautiful scenery and an abundance of multi-use trails draw birders, hikers, and mountain bikers to the area. Petoskey State Park has an excellent connecting trail system, and its Old Baldy and Portage Loop is a short and easy favorite with scenic views of the lake. Once the winter snows begin to fall, you can head to one of the three ski areas nearby for downhill skiing or snowboarding. Nordic skiing is also popular, and you’ll find numerous groomed trails for cross-country and snowshoeing in town and outside the city limits.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Petoskey
This part of northern Michigan sees dramatic shifts in weather conditions from season to season, with hot summers, colorful shoulder seasons, and frigid winters. From June to August, you’ll find mild weather, with a tinge of humidity, and clear sunny days, making it the best time to indulge in outdoor recreation or rent a boat to spend time on the lake. If you schedule your visit between July and August, you can take in the Petoskey Antique Show at the fairgrounds. The foliage on the trees takes on bright autumnal colors starting in late September, and you’ll want to have sweaters and warm coats with you. While the temperatures in November and December descend below the freezing point, Petoskey comes alive during this time with holiday programs. As winter progresses, the snow cover builds, and it won’t disperse until April or even early May.
Top things to do in Petoskey
Historic Gaslight District
The Historic Gaslight District features remodeled buildings transformed into shops, restaurants, and specialty stores. If you are looking for souvenirs of your Petoskey trip, several stores in this area offer crafty decorative items. You’ll also find a series of art galleries filled with paintings and photographs made by local artists. The streets are lined with the gaslights, which cast a warm glow on the restaurant patios in the warmer months.
Petoskey State Park
Miles of trails through stands of white pine thread through Petoskey State Park, which hugs the shores of Little Traverse Bay. During the warmer months, you can take relaxing swims in the Lake Michigan waters or hunt along the sandy beach for Charlevoix or Petoskey stones — fossilized prehistoric coral — to keep as souvenirs.
Bear River Valley Recreation Area
The Bear River flows north through the center of Petoskey into Lake Michigan, running in a narrow valley lined with lush green grasses and trees. Adrenaline seekers come to the Bear River Valley Recreational Area to raft or kayak down a whitewater stream that descends 75 feet in a series of turns and steep slopes. You can also bike or wander along the paved trail that follows the river’s twists and turns.