Seven Attractions Not to Miss Near Petoskey

From a nationally recognized dark sky park outside Mackinaw City to a real-deal soda shop, put these attractions on your list for you next visit to Petoskey and beyond.

Lavender Hill Farms

With its rolling terrain and more than 8,000 lavender plants, this pesticide-free Boyne City farm is like something out of the French Provençal countryside. Stop by for a stroll through the fragrant fields, or to shop the lavender products (soaps, sachets, jellies and more). 231.582.3784,

Dutch Oven Bakery

Folks have flocked to this cozy Alanson shop since the 1930s to get their sugar fix: cakes, traditional pastries, pies and lofty loaves of legendary cinnamon bread are just the start. Stick around for lunch in the cafe, and peruse treasures in the adjacent yarn shop. 7611 U.S. 31, Alanson, 231.548.2231,

Headlands International Dark Sky Park

There’s no camping at this Mackinaw City property, but as an official “Dark Sky Park“, it’s open for incredible stargazing, way into the wee hours of the morning. A perfect spot to catch the Perseids meteor shower, August 10 through 13.

Room for a View

For a great photo-op, there’s a little-known overlook in downtown Harbor Springs offering a knockout vista over Little Traverse Bay. To find it, head to the corner of Spring and Bluff Streets, where a wooden stairway tucked among trees leads up to the viewing platform. Pack a camera.

Mary Ellen’s Place

Sidle up to the counter on old-fashioned swivel stools at this real-deal soda shop, housed in a historic Harbor Springs newsstand dating back to 1928. Burgers, fries, and hand-dipped malts are a nostalgic treat for the whole family. 145 E. Main, Harbor Springs, 231.526.5591,

Crooked Tree Breadworks

Stone-hearth baked breads, sweet and savory scones, legendary granola, and other delights have gained this artisan bakery a serious reputation. Our current obsession: the Pepper-Parmesan loaf for knockout BLTs. 2264 M-119, 231.347.9574,

Cruise M-119

This 20-mile two-lane between Harbor Springs and Cross Village is one of the state’s most spectacular drives. Highlights include exploring Good Hart’s historic general store, driving under the canopy-like “Tunnel of Trees,” and finishing with kielbasa and pierogi on the patio at Cross Village’s storied Polish restaurant, Legs Inn.

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For more summer vacation ideas in Northern Michigan, grab the 2013 MyNorth Vacation Guide!

Your Guide to Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Leelanau, Benzie & More

From the same people who produce Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, this is a colorful, easy-to-use guide to Northern Michigan vacation ideas from Ludington to Traverse City, from Charlevoix to Mackinac Island and everything in between. It is filled with ideas, tips and hundreds of websites that connect you to fun, food, activities, lodging and recreation in every part of Northern Michigan.

  • More than 140, full color pages with stunning photography and travel stories
  • Maps of each region
  • Hundreds of resources

Be sure to also check out our free online area-specific vacation guides!

Traverse City

Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Traverse City, Acme, Fife Lake, Interlochen, Kingsley, and Williamsburg


Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Mackinac Island, and Boyne Country

Charlevoix & Chain of Lakes

Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Charlevoix, Alden, Beaver Island, Bellaire, Central Lake, Easst Jordon, Elk Rapids, and Torch Lake


Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Cedar, Empire, Glen Arbor, Lake Leelanau, Leland, Maple City, Northport, Peshawbestown, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Suttons Bay, and Omena

Benzie & West Shore

Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Benzie, Manistee, West Shore, Beulah, Benzonia, Crystal Lake, Frankfort, Ludington, Onekama, and Pentwater

Article Comments

  • Larry Smith

    Also don’t miss the Antiques Art & Collectibles store in Historic Downtown Pellston. Offering five floors of beautiful retro, vintage and Victorian treasures, including the famous Bargain Attic and Summer Fun Antique Courtyard, it’s the largest single-vendor antique store in the North.

    Visit Pellston, featuring the Depot Museum, Farmer’s Market, and Maple River Trail! Find out more and check out our HD weather cam at