Petoskey: Best Things to Do

Petoskey Off The Beaten Path:  Everyone can visit the downtown area, but did you know you can white water raft, tour a chocolate factory or see a historic gas light district?  

We planned this adventure to Petoskey to revolved around new, maybe more obscure things to do.  I was giddy to discover we could embark on a FREE chocolate tour!! HECK YEAH!

 Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen Chocolate Tour

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen, 1050 Bay View Road, Petoskey, MI 49770

We had a blast touring the Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen!  Did you know they train new franchise owners?  A tour of the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen is a "must see" on your next visit to Petoskey. Tours run Monday-Friday from 10:00am–7:30pm on the half hour and include a comprehensive review of how they make their delicious Tuttles, Truffles, Chocolates, Caramel, Corns, Brittles, and other confections.

Of course, there are free samples at the end of each tour!

Gaslight District

Mitchell Road, Petoskey.

Wonderful town to explore and enjoy. Endless shops to pop into just to see new and exciting things. A very short walk to the lakefront and marina. 

Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery

4454 Atkins Rd  Petoskey, MI 49770

So Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery herald themselves as America's First Maple Winery! 

They explain it as: Maple Moon ferments the sugars in the maple syrup instead of fermenting the sugars found in grapes or other fruits.  The base wine is DRY (with zero residual sugar).  So these wines range from dry to sweet.  What makes them sweet?  Well.. more maple syrup is added after fermentation if a sweeter wine is desired.  Maple Moon does not use cane sugar or any other sweeteners. 

However,  they do have some traditionally fermented wines for those not brave enough to try a maple wine. So check this place out!

Store and Tasting Room Hours   

September - October: Mon. - Thur. 12-5, Fri & Sat. 11-7, Open Labor Day 12-5.  Visit their website for additional hours thorughout the year.

Try their Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup! Yum!! 

Free Tour!  See how the sap is formed and transformed into the gooey, delicious amazingness!  Tours available at  4:00 P.M. every Saturday. No reservation needed.

Sturgeon River Pottery

3031 Charlevoix Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770

Karen and Steve Andrews founded Sturgeon River Pottery in 1980 in Wolverine, Michigan, approximately 25 miles east of Petoskey. Karen and Steve began with their first studio on the banks of the Sturgeon River but it wasn’t long before Karen and Steve opened the first Sturgeon River Pottery store on Main Street in Wolverine. Originally a gas station, the building served as studio, gallery, and workshop.

After a couple more moves, the Pottery shop found it's final spot in 1984 in Petoskey. 

Sturgeon River Pottery has over 4 acres of garden decor, pottery, petoskey stones, wild bird feeding supplies, Adirondack furniture and other treasures so it's no surprise why it is a favorite to travelers.  

Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery 

3720 Atkins Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770

Visit Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery for a stunning view of 22 acres of rolling hills and countryside on their 60-foot deck.  It's the perfect setting to sample a plethora of wine. Falling in between a dry Chardonnay and a sweet Late Harvest Riesling is the Petoskey White, something special created here at the vineyard and winery. Family-owned and -operated

Bear River Valley Recreation Area

Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery on Atkins Road. A stunning view of 22 acres of rolling hills and countryside on the 60-foot deck is the perfect setting to sample a plethora of wine.

Bear River Valley Recreational Area- 302 Ione St, Petoskey, MI 49770, This scenic, 1.5-mile stretch along river banks features trails, boardwalks & whitewater rafting.  Come experience one of Petoskey's best kept secrets - one of the Midwest's best whitewater recreation areas right in the heart of Petoskey.

In 2010, the City of Petoskey undertook over $2 million dollars of improvements in the Bear River Valley Recreation Area including a .25-mile whitewater boating area in the Bear River.

This improved whitewater course flows through an area that was once home to multiple dams and various industries - the Bear River has more fall than any river in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Today, you will find a river that has been beautifully restored, with walking paths and lookouts that will keep even experienced whitewater kayaks entertained and coming back for more.

The Bear River Valley also features steep bluffs, unpaved trails, concrete path, boardwalks, whitewater rapids, and forest areas all in the heart of the City of Petoskey.

  • Unpaved walking trails
  • Concrete Bike/Walking Trail
  • Boardwalks
  • Footbridge
  • Little Traverse Historical Society Bear River Heritage Center
  • Several parking areas & access points
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Restrooms
  • Pet Waste Stations
  • Shelter/Picnic Areas

Those Famous Petoskey Stones!

I just ADORE Petoskey stones! I'm always envious when someone finds a gorgeous stone and turns it into a pendant or a pretty decoration in their homes.  If you want to find one for yourself, here are a few suggestions!!

Petoskey Pierhead Lighthouse

Stunning views!

Where to Eat in Petoskey

Julienne Tomatoes

421 Howard St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Stunning Farm to Table eating with from-scratch meals. This local favorite is famous for their fresh baked goods, homemade soups and savory sandwiches. If you want fresh food, stop here for a tasty breakfast or lunch. Try their grilled ham and brie, a chocolate meteor torte or the spinach pie. Julienne Tomatoes supports 20 Michigan companies and 15 local farms.  Very cool.

American Spoon

411 East Lake Street, Petoskey, MI

Super cute store and cafe with wonderful gelato! What else can you ask for?! The American Spoon is famous for their fruit preserves and true taste Northern Michigan. Their yummy fruit products are still prepared in small batches in copper kettles with wooden paddles. Try their sour cherry spoon fruit and apple cider grilling sauce!

Their website is amazing with wonderful recipes, check it out!  I am so inspired to cook and back delicious seasonal treats for my family!.  Plus, read about their family and how the business got started.  Truly inspirational.  

Petoskey Cheese

440 E Mitchell St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Home to some of the best cheese in the North, Petoskey Cheese stocks over 60 domestic and international cheeses, which 22-year-old owner Katie Potts seasonally curates. Stop by to pick up a few of your favorites and try something new. 

Symons General Store

401 E Lake St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Since 1956, this family-owned specialty grocery store has been a destination for wine lovers and foodies. The wine cellar downstairs is home to 400 carefully selected bottles, and upstairs you’ll find Michigan products along with gourmet items from around the world. You can also grab a sandwich and soup from the deli. The store is located near the corner of East Lake and Howard Streets

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