Begin your day by swinging into Crooked Tree Breadworks (2264 M-119, 231-347-9574) for scones, muffins or a tub of the house’s legendary granola–perfect snacks for packing in your beach bag. Tote your yummy haul to Petoskey State Park Beach (2475 M-119, 231-347-2311), consistently voted by locals to be the best beach around. Post beach, head into downtown Petoskey for lunch at Feast Market and Cafe (410 Howard St., 231-439-9400, feastmarketandcafe.com). Expect an inspired menu featuring spicy Thai beef wraps, roasted veggie sandwiches, three-potato salad and Israeli couscous. Live outdoor entertainment is just across the street as part of Petoskey’s Music in the Park series (Tuesdays during the day and Friday days and evenings, all summer long). If you prefer a quieter picnic place, head to Bayfront Park (101 E. Lake St.), a picturesque Petoskey landmark.
Petoskey’s historic Gaslight District houses everything from high-end clothing boutiques to gourmet food shops and bella gallerias. Don’t miss McLean and Eakin Booksellers (307 E. 8th St., 231-347-1180), a well-respected literature locale with two levels and plenty of nooks to explore. Get your fill of art by picking up a gallery map at the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce (401 E. Mitchell St., 231-347-4150, petoskey.com) that’ll lead you to art-lover hot spots like Petoskey Gallery (204 Howard St., 231-347-1112) and Gaslight Gallery (200 Howard St., 231-348-5079). Cool off with a scoop of creamy gelato or fruity mango sorbetta at American Spoon Gelato Cafe (411 E. Lake St., 231-347-1739). The smart, spacious black-and-white cafe offers delish sandwiches, soups and salads as well.
QUICK BITE: Try traditional with a gourmet twist at Chandler’s (215 1/2 Howard St., 231-347-2981), right downtown. For more casual fare, head to Papa Lou’s Pizza Pub & Grill (317 E. Lake St., 231-348-3663) for ribs, pizza and a taste of Petoskey nightlife.
YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW: The bayside city of Petoskey has long been famous for its million dollar sunsets–since 1873, in fact, when Grand Rapids Times reporter George Gage described the one he saw as such on November 25, 1873, the night the first steam locomotive arrived in the new town.