10 Reasons to Love the Little Traverse Region

1. Dutch Oven Shops: This unique pairing in the charming town of Alanson boasts a yummy bakery (think: awesome cinnamon bread, buttery tea biscuits, decadent cookies) attached to a yarn shop. (231-548-2231, dutchoven.com)

2. Bear River: By kayak or canoe, Bear River is smooth cruising through pristine Petoskey wilderness. The leisurely current and gentle turns are ideal for beginners. Your vessel awaits you at Bear River Canoe Livery. (231-347-9038)

3. Blissfest: Dance under the stars to folk, jazz, bluegrass and blues at this annual three-day outdoor music festival near Cross Village. The family-friendly event also features camping, workshops and children’s activities. (blissfest.org)

4. Charlotte Ross Lee Concerts in the Park: These outdoor performances cap off sublime summer days in Petoskey. Concerts held in downtown’s Pennsylvania Park and on the waterfront; series runs from June through August. (231-347-4150, petoskey.com)

5. Bay View culture: Plays and concerts feel especially rich among the elegant Victorian homes of this community, founded in 1875 as a Methodist revival camp. Contact the Bay View Association for event listings. (231-347-6225)

6. Festival on the Bay: The Petoskey waterfront sets the stage for arts and crafts, fantastic food, lively entertainment and a stunning "sunset celebration" finale at this annual fete, the third weekend in August. (231-347-4150, petoskey.com)

7. Harbor Springs art galleries: Prismatic glass vases, life-sized sculptures and serene watercolor landscapes are some of the pieces you’ll find on display in the shops of Harbor Springs. (231-526-7999, harborspringschamber.com)

8. Petoskey State Park: Unfurl a blanket on the 2-mile sandy beachfront for an afternoon of sun, or pitch your tent for the weekend at one of 168 campsites. The 304-acre park also has trails and cabins. (231-347-2311)

9. Crooked Tree Arts Center: An ornate Victorian church transformed into a cultural hub with visual art exhibits, galleries, classes and performing artists. (231-347-4337, crookedtree.org)

10. North Wings: Get up close and personal with owls, eagles, hawks and other rehabilitating raptors at the 40-acre SEE-North Center for Outdoor Studies in Harbor Springs. For hours, call the Environmental Education Center in Petoskey. (231-348-9700, seenorth.org)

Emily Bingham is assistant editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.[email protected]

Note: This article was first published in April 2006 and was updated for the web February 2008.

Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    We went to the Crooked Tree Arts Center in 2007 and were very surprised at the variety of art and photography. We found several pieces that we wanted to take home. We only bought one and have been regretting it ever since.