Petoskey Area Blog

Don’t Miss Out on a Northern Michigan Vacation

Posted on July 25, 2019

How on earth did it get to be nearly August? So many things to do, yet so little time before Labor Day! Are you feeling like this, too?

When the kids get out of school and we hit the summer solstice it seemed as if we had all the time in the world –and then BAM! – it’s August.

If you’re planning on visiting the Petoskey Area before the calendar rolls to September (and I hope you are), here are some suggestions of what to do:

  • Visit a history museum. Summer doesn’t mean we can’t keep learning. The Little Traverse Historical Museum and the Harbor Springs History Museum have terrific exhibits. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway spent his first 22 summers here? Or that Ephraim Shay, the inventor of the Shay locomotive, not only lived in Harbor Springs, but owned and operated its water works?
  • Watch a movie under the stars. Bring a blanket or chair and experience a movie on a big outdoor screen in Alanson or Petoskey. There’s just something special about doing this!
  • Dine al fresco. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or an amazing meal accompanied by a gorgeous lake view, eat outside! Fresh air makes everything taste even better.
  • Get in 18 by 4. The light begins to wane earlier, but in August, you can still get in a great round of golf before dark if you tee off by 4pm. Many courses offer discounted rates on later starts AND you might experience an awesome sunset at the 19th hole.
  • Go see the Young Americans Dinner Theatre. I can’t say enough about this incredible show. These young talents could very well be the next generation of hot performers in Chicago or New York. Enjoy a good meal, bring a friend and get ready for the goose bumps when they hit the notes just right.
  • Visit a National Historic Landmark. Now in its 144th Assembly Season, the Bay View Association offers a variety of programs throughout the season. Vesper concerts, classes, Chamber Music Concerts, and lectures continue through mid-August. The architecture here is a Victorian dream and hiking and birding are all part of this unique package.
  • Take a trip on the Inland Waterway. Bring your own boat or rent one and explore this 38-mile water trail that includes locks, lakes, rivers and the country’s shortest swing bridge (Alanson). The natural beauty is captivating.
  • Gather the kids for a day at Raven Hill Discovery Center. Located in East Jordan just a hop, skip and a jump from the Petoskey Area, Raven Hill is a hands-on science, history and arts center. Walk the trails, tour indoor and outdoor exhibits, hold a snake (but only if you want to!). This is a place for kids from 1 to 100.
  • Catch a free concert or street performance. Evenings at the Gazebo and Stroll the Streets (Boyne City), Petoskey Rocks and Concerts in the Park (Petoskey), Music on Main (Bay Harbor) and Street Musique (Harbor Springs) all offer live performances. Check the Petoskey Area calendar for times and dates
  • Ride the trolley. Jump on the Downtown Petoskey Trolley and see the town. Gawking is encouraged when you’re not the one driving or maneuvering on foot. The trolley travels through town and out to the Petoskey City Marina, Bay View, and Bay Harbor as well as to Petoskey State Park and Magnus Park where you may want to look for Petoskey Stones.

Fall and winter offer their own appeal in the Petoskey Area, but if summer breezes are what you’re hoping for, don’t wait too long. Time is slipping away as fast as the ice cream cones melt on an 85-degree day.

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About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Alanson and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has "been there -- seen that" when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.