Spend a day (or a whole weekend) exploring the Petoskey region, and top off your summer adventures with a cold drink at a hip brewery, winery or distillery. The Petoskey-Straits region has your pour waiting.

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Hit the Petoskey Wine Trail

The Petoskey Wine Region is home to 14 distinct wineries with tasting rooms as unique as the grape varieties being grown in the northern vineyards stretching from Ellsworth to Harbor Springs. Here’s a peek at just three of the destinations you’ll find on a trip to Michigan’s newest wine region (and trust us, the other 11 are must-visits, too).

1. Visit Castle Farms in Charlevoix
Built in 1918, Castle Farms in Charlevoix is modeled after the stone barns and castles found in Normandy, France. The 1918 Cellars Wine Tasting Room is set in the Queen’s Tavern with indoor and outdoor seating.

2. Hang out in a Treehouse at Boyne Valley Vineyards
Boyne Valley Vineyards, tucked on US-31 between Petoskey and Walloon Lake, is constructing an elevated tree house tasting deck overlooking the vineyard and surrounded by maple trees. It’s set to open to guests in late spring 2021.

3. Drink Wine at Rudbeckia Farm
Rudbeckia Farm and Winery in Petoskey (also home to Burnt Marshmallow Brewstillery) is set on 150 acres, all open for guests to explore with bevvies in hand—take a hilltop hike for views of Walloon Lake and Lake Michigan. The family-friendly tasting room also has bocce, corn hole, open fields for kite flying, snacks for kids and more.

Kick Back with A Petoskey Region Craft Beer

Things to do in Northern Michigan Labor Day Weekend

After a day in the sun and surf, swing by these local hangouts.

Our Favorite Breweries in Petoskey
Petoskey, find memorable craft brews, kicked up bar-food and entertainment at both Petoskey Brewing Company and Beards Brewing. Downtown, relax in The Back Lot Beer Garden, which has plenty of outdoor seating and on-site food trucks, or grab a beer and a bite at one of several beloved pubs: Mitchell Street Pub, Noggin Room Pub, Tap 30 or POUR Public House. You can even belly up to the same bar Ernest Hemingway once frequented at City Park Grill.

Boyne City, Mackinaw City & St. Ignace Breweries
In downtown Boyne City, Stiggs Brewery and Boyne City Tap Room offer a buzzy nightlife and great food. Farther north in Mackinaw City, Bière de Mac Brew Works has a hearty food menu and a mission to make all 150-plus different styles of beer that have been classified by the Brewers Association. On tap at Rusted Spoke Brewing Co., also in Mackinaw City, are a handful of house brews and a cool bar menu with smoked wings, flatbread pizzas and BBQ tater tot nachos. Of course, to get that authentic Up North, laid-back bar experience, just head over the Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace, where you can soak it up at The Driftwood Restaurant & Sports Bar.

Must-Visit Mackinac Island Breweries
For another classic Up North experience, hop the ferry to Mackinac Island where Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery, opened in June 2020, joins long-time, beloved island watering holes including Pink Pony, Mustang Lounge, Yankee Rebel Tavern and Horn’s Gaslight Bar.

Sip Spirits in the Petoskey Region

Mammoth Distilling opened a new tasting room in Bay Harbor in July 2020 offering tastings, cocktails and bottle sales. Mammoth also has locations in Traverse City, Bellaire, Central Lake and downstate in Adrian. High Five Spirits, creator of Gypsy Vodka, in downtown Petoskey is another worthy pit stop—its canned cocktails are great for shoreside picnics, as many beaches don’t allow glass bottles.

Find this article and more in the 2021 issue of the Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. If you’re not subscribed to Traverse Magazine, you can download the Vacation Guide for free.

Photo(s) by Rachel Haggerty