Head to Walloon Lake and downtown Petoskey for perfect late-autumn adventures. From fly fishing on a nearly empty river (thanks to deer hunting season) to starting your holiday shopping early, you’re not going to want to miss these recommendations, off-season lodging deals and post-activity cocktails.

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Walloon Lake Fly Fishing Adventure Getaway

The Lodging Package: Hotel Walloon
You’ll be greeted with a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board for two—and it just keeps getting better. There’s the heated outdoor spa that overlooks Walloon Lake. The roaring fire in the Hearth Room where complimentary breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening hors-d’oeuvres and desserts are served. The private beach and patio that’s pretty in every season.

Package available: Nov. 15–30. Explore the deals on the Hotel Wallon website.

Hotel Walloon on the water

Photo by Hotel Walloon

The Activity: On the Water with True North Trout
Fly fishing guide Brian Kozminski, aka Koz, says that the annual deer season opener is the best day to fish— “nobody else is in the river.” Koz offers expeditions into late November, weather dependent, including walk-in wade trips and half-day or full-day float trips (no experience needed). Make reservations at least two weeks in advance.

The Afterglow: Craft Cocktails at Muskrat Distilling
At this newly opened distillery in downtown Boyne City pre-prohibition vibes mix with modern touches. A year-long renovation restored the building’s origin- photo by Kim Mettler al 1890s maple floors, brick walls and tin ceiling. But as the sun goes down there’s a decidedly funky flare when a sea of pink neon bathes the room in a glowing warmth.

Petoskey Holiday Shopping Getaway

The Lodging Package: Perry Hotel
The 122-year-old hotel sits in the middle of downtown within walking distance of Petoskey’s shops and restaurants. For a luxury experience, book a Bayside Queen Superior room. Amenities include a private balcony overlooking Little Traverse Bay and its stunning sunsets, antique décor and a large fireplace.

The Holiday Shopping package offers $40 in Stafford’s Dining Dollars and $40 in Downtown Petoskey Merchant Money; available Nov. 1–Dec. 31. Learn more about this package on the Perry Hotel website.

The Activity: Shopping, of Course
With its art galleries, fabulous toy stores, the home-cook mecca that is Cutler’s and iconic Grandpa Shorter’s, you’ll get all of your holiday shopping done within a few blocks of your room. Then walk back for dinner at Perry Hotel’s on-site Noggin Room Pub, where comfort food classics like cheese curds and French onion soup reign supreme.

The Afterglow: Have a Beer with the Maker
Beards Brewery in Petoskey opened its “Root Cellar” this summer, located in the basement of the pub. “Beards Root Cellar is about going back to our experimental, laid-back, craft beer roots,” explains Co-Founder Peter Manthei. “It’s the place where you can grab a beer and lounge where the beer is being brewed.”Enter behind the pub on Bay Street.

Photo(s) by Kim Mettler