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).
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.
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.
Regionally-grown, fresh-picked produce awaits at these area farmers markets. Stroll these village streets to find ingredients for your next meal and chat with locals.
- Boyne City: Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, June through October
- Harbor Springs: Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, mid-June through mid-October
- Petoskey: Fridays 8:30 to 1 p.m., mid-June through late-September
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.
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.
Take a dip in Lake Michigan and then hunt for Petoskey stones on 1,000 feet of sandy shoreline in Magnus City Park Beach. Located along Little Traverse Bay, the 21-acre park is within walking distance of downtown Petoskey’s boutiques and eateries. Stop by for a day trip, or stay awhile at the park’s campground, which has 76-sites for tents, towable recreational vehicles and motor homes. Here are more Petoskey beaches to check out during your visit.
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.
Wake early for peaceful paddling in the protected inlet of Little Traverse Bay. Explore the shoreline from downtown Harbor Springs all the way to the historic lighthouse at the end of the exclusive Harbor Point peninsula. Rentals, lessons and guided tours available through The Outfitter. For a faster-paced water experience, check out Bear River Valley Recreation Center in Petoskey for a whitewater ride. The Center’s $2.4 million facelift returned a spectacular stretch of the Bear River to its natural wild state—dams were removed, industrial areas were cleaned, and the result is one of Michigan’s few true whitewater experiences, with challenging drops and rapids to thrill experienced paddlers. Bonus: You won’t have to travel far to find it; the park is just steps from downtown Petoskey. Find the park’s main entrances off Lake and West Sheridan Streets.
Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center
Find informative guided hatchery tours, weekly nature programs, self-guided hiking/nature trails, interpretive exhibits and interactive displays at the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center in Oden. Birders will love it here in the summer and may even see an osprey or bald eagle. In the fall, a wide variety of waterfowl and songbirds can be found. While you can’t drop a line here, kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing fish swim in the river through the glass of a stream viewing chamber. Special programs for families and group tours are available by appointment. Admission and programs are free, but bring your quarters to buy fish friendly food.