Get into the Up North holiday spirit! From festive Northern Michigan events to gift and sip stops, here are our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in Petoskey, Charlevoix, Boyne City and Harbor Springs.

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Ultimate Petoskey Holiday Guide

Twinkling lights shine throughout the historic Gaslight District, home to dozens of shops. Be sure to stop at the greenery-studded gazebo in neighboring Pennsylvania Park for photos.

Shop Local in Petoskey

Mitchell, Lake and Howard streets bustle with shoppers. Stop at American Spoon for holiday baking supplies (and find show-stopping recipes online for fudge tarts and jam-filled hand pies). The Rocking Horse Toy Company has been a go-to spot for parents for more than 40 years.

Merry Sips in Petoskey

For your friend who loves craft spirits and Northern Michigan, High Five Spirits has two fab options: Mackinac Island rum (four variations— barrel-aged, vanilla cinnamon, banana, coconut) and Petoskey Stone gin. The bottles are pretty darn cool; put a bow on it and under the tree it goes.

Santa’s Secret Gifts

The work of Petoskey-based artist Kevin Barton is instantly recognizable—heavily textured, brightly colored paintings inspired by the North. His pieces showcase beloved destinations in Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Leelanau, Mackinac Island, Petoskey and Traverse City, from downtown scenes to local farms and shops. A Barton painting always makes for an unforgettable gift.

Explore Petoskey’s Winter Wonderland

Reserve one of the six rustic cabins at Wilderness State Park and spend a long weekend exploring the area. In winter, the cabins are only accessible by foot, snowshoes, cross-country skis and snowmobiles, so plan for a fun adventure. (Did you know the DNR sells gift cards that can be used for rentals and overnight stays? Purchase online, over the phone or in person at a Michigan state park or harbor.) michigan.gov/dnr

Petoskey Holiday Events

Nov. 18 | Ladies Opening Night
Dec. 2 | Holiday Open House & Tree Lighting

Photo by Dave Weidner

2022 Harbor Springs Holiday Guide

Celebrate the season in this harborside hamlet on Little Traverse Bay, where the glow from the city’s Christmas tree has welcomed visitors and downtown shoppers since 1915.

Shop Local in Harbor Springs

One of our favorite gifts to receive? Tom’s Mom’s Cookies. The beloved bakery makes some 3,500 dozen cookies each holiday season, mailing them out in colorful tins. For something extra special, Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls always delights. And browsing one-of-a-kind artwork at Hanni Gallery is a fab way to spend an hour.

Merry Sips in Harbor Springs

Go wine tasting at Pond Hill Farm and pick out a few bottles for gift-giving and holiday dinners. The farm also sells Christmas trees and wreaths so you can cross décor off your list, too.

Santa’s Secret Stop & Gift

A brilliant, starry ceiling twinkles above moviegoers at the Lyric Theatre. See a show between stops at your favorite shops, and grab a theater gift card for that hard-to-shop-for friend.

Explore the Winter Wonderland of Harbor Springs

Explore 6.5 miles of trails (3.5 are groomed for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing) at Goodhart Farms Nature Preserve, about 20 minutes north of downtown. The property is a mix of meadows, forest, old orchards and pine plantations. Scenic rolling fields offer Lake Michigan views.

Harbor Springs Holiday Events

Nov. 12 | Ladies Night Out
Nov. 26 | Christmas Tree Lighting
Dec. 3 | Merchants Holiday Open House

Downtown Harbor Springs

Photo by Angela Brown

2022 Charlevoix Holiday Guide

Charlevoix shines during the holiday season with festively decorated galleries, boutiques and restaurants. The city’s bright red lighthouse is the icing on top (and a beautiful photo op).

Shop Local in Charlevoix this Holiday Season

Browse boutiques on Bridge Street, and look for a sign to the tucked-away Van Pelt Alley. The Lake House has gifts for all ages, from home décor to pet items; find old-fashioned candies at The Taffy Barrel (perfect for stockings); and browse local art at Charlevoix Circle of Arts’ gift shop.

Mery Sips in Charlevoix

For a truly memorable wine tasting experience, visit 1918 Cellars at Castle Farms. Located in a historic wing of the castle, the space has barn-wood ceilings and a herringbone-pattern floor with tiles dating back to the original 1918 construction. It’s especially cozy come winter.

Santa’s Secret Stop in Charlevoix

Charlevoix’s popular Mushroom House Tours continue daily through the end of November. Spend the morning shopping, grab lunch downtown and then meet up with guide Edith Pair, who has extensively researched the famous Earl Young homes and provided tours for more than 10 years.

Explore Charlevoix’s Winter Wonderland

Mt. McSauba has it all: downhill skiing, snowboarding/ terrain park, groomed cross-country trails, 80 acres of ungroomed trails, a sledding hill, skating rink and more.

Holiday Events in Charlevoix

Nov. 25 | Holiday Parade
Dec. 3 | Holiday Merchant Open House
Dec. 11 | Santa’s Workshop at Castle Farms

Ultimate Boyne City Holiday Guide

Winter is a celebration in this small town set on the shore of Lake Charlevoix with Boyne Mountain’s ski hills just 10 minutes away in friendly Boyne Falls.

Shop Local in Boyne City

Walk Water Street with stops at Inspired Living (organic home goods, children’s games) and Provisions Wine Market & Deli (hostess gifts, holiday wines). And Lavender Hill Farm’s online shop is your source for local lavender spa packages, home accessories and culinary goodies.

Mery Sips in Boyne City

Muskrat Distilling serves pre-prohibition era cocktails with a modern twist, and because the distillery doesn’t distribute, you can only get bottles of its aged rum, vodka, gin and bourbon at the tasting room. This is the distinctly Boyne gift you’ve been searching for.

Santa’s Secret Stop

Boyne Mountain Resort’s Chalet Edelweiss opened last February after undergoing an extensive renovation. The 35-room luxe retreat has an on-site Nordic sauna, rainfall showerheads and curated nosh boxes that include a bottle of Chalet Edelweiss Claret. A weekend here is the perfect gift to yourself.

Explore Boyne City’s Winter Wonderland

We love the 300-plus acre Avalanche Mountain Preserve for its close proximity to downtown and the many types of recreational activities to enjoy here. Ski, snowmobile, snowshoe … whatever you choose, just get out there.

Boyne City Holiday Events

Nov. 19 | Earlier Than the Bird Holiday Sales
Nov. 25 | Holly Jolly Boyne Tree Lighting, Santa Parade & Shopping
Dec. 3 | 43rd Annual Holiday Hobby Craft Show

Photo by Kim Mettler

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner