Petoskey Michigan: 14 Awesome Things to Do (Beaches, Biking, Wine, Chocolate Tours, Famous Stones)

Petoskey Michigan | Photography and Writing by Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

What's our favorite things to do in this stunning Lake Michigan town?  Well, for us, we LOVE visiting Bayfront Park and marina, tour the Kilwin's chocolate factory, explore the historic gas light district, walk the pier, go wine tasting and wander the trails at Bear Recreational Area.     

So if you need ideas of what to do in Petoskey, we've got 14 awesome ideas!!

Your Map of 14 Awesome Things to Do in Petoskey Michigan 

We created this Petoskey Michigan Interactive Map to help you find your specific stops and aid in planning your trip. 

Helpful Map Tips:

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header. 
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing. 

*Click this link to see this Petoskey Map in Google Maps so you have a live version as you travel.

Are you ready?  Let's GO!  Be sure to use the map above to reference all our stops!

Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is home to the famous red clock, beautiful pier and lighthouse, Petoskey City Marina, beautiful waterfalls and the Bear Recreational Area. We love spending at least two hours here to just enjoy the incredible view!  

There are restrooms near the spot shown above (also marked on map).

Parking is free at Bayfront Park but very limited in the summer months.

See the map above to locate each spot!

We just love wandering the pier and dipping our toes in the warm water!! What a great day! Be sure to bring sunscreen, flip flops, a sun hat and towels!  

Find Petoskey Stones!

Are you wondering where to find Petoskey Stones?  How to find them?  How to polish Petoskey Stones?  We have some fun tips!

Petoskey Pierhead Lighthouse

Located in Bayfront Park and very close to the marina, walking the pier is a wonderful way to enjoy your summer day!  (Did you see I rhymed?)

Petoskey City Marina (at Bayfront Park)

Wandering the marina at Bayfront Park is one of my favorite things to do!  

There's plenty of benches to sit and relax while you enjoy picking out your favorite boat!

Little Traverse Historical Museum

100 Depot St, Petoskey, MI 49770

The Little Traverse Historical Museum is located right behind the marina near the parking lot.  It holds a large collection of historical materials that have been donated by members and patrons.

The Petoskey Waterfall!

This lovely waterfall is located off Bayfront Drive, close to Bayfront Park.

It's worth the stop!!

Bear River Valley Recreation Area

Bear River Valley Recreational Area- 302 Lone St, Petoskey, MI

This scenic, 1.5-mile stretch along river banks features trails, boardwalks & whitewater rafting. Right in the heart of Petoskey you can experience Class I to IV rapids! Be sure to wear a helmet, life jacket and be aware of your capabilities.

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.

Did you know the Bear River has more fall than any river in the lower peninsula of Michigan? 

The Bear River Valley also features steep bluffs, unpaved trails, a concrete path, boardwalks, whitewater rapids, and forest areas.  It's a great place to explore!!

Little Traverse Bay Ferry

101 E Lake St A" Dock, Petoskey, MI 49770

Hop aboard the Little Traverse Bay Ferry to enjoy a trip to Harbor Springs or Bay Harbor! Brand new in late summer of 2020, this ferry is very popular so you will need to book well in advance!

Little Traverse Wheelway

Little Traverse Wheelway is one of the most beautiful paved paths in Michigan!  It is 23 miles long and perfect for bike riding, skating, walking or jogging.  The scenery is FANTASTIC!!   

The path links Charlevoix (find the mushroom houses!), Petoskey and Harbor Springs.

The majority of the trail follows Little Traverse Bay and boasts spectacular open views of the water. Just north of Charlevoix is a half mile stretch of beautiful boardwalks that passes through wetlands. 

During the fall, middle of the week or early mornings (less tourists) you can easily park at Petoskey's Bayfront Park and ride either direction. 

This lovely paved trail is a great way to explore Petoskey, Charlevoix and Harbor Springs! 

Fantastic water views, restrooms and great exercise!  

 Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen Chocolate Tour

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

We had an absolute blast touring the Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen! I mean, seeing how chocolate is made is ALWAYS on my YES! list.

Did you know Kilwins in Petoskey trains new franchise owners? How cool is that?  You can watch instructors teach the new owners how to make popcorn and other treats if you happen to visit during a training session.

Chis is trying to figure out how to make his own chocolate factory!  lol!

tour of the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen is a "must see" on your next visit to Petoskey. Tours run Monday-Friday from 10:00 am–7:30 pm on the half hour (check their website to verify as this may change) and include a comprehensive review of how they make their delicious Turtles, Truffles, Chocolates, Caramel, Corns, Brittle's, and other yummy treats.

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

Gaslight District

Howard Street, Petoskey, MI 49770

Wonderful area to explore and enjoy. Endless shops to pop into just to see new and exciting things. We love wandering the area and dining in the numerous quaint restaurants!

Stay at the Inn at Bay Harbor and Spa

If you are crave a luxury hotel and spa that is located right on Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay, you will absolutely love the Inn at Bay Harbor.  

Things to do at The Inn of Bay Harbor:

  • Enjoy pampering at the Spa (Chris and I love the couples massages!)
  • Dine at the Vintage Chophouse with views of Little Traverse Bay
  • Rent Ebikes (or free cruisers for hotel guests) to explore the area
  • Wander along the rocky shoreline in search of fossils
  • Relax in a hammock or take a dip in the outdoor pool to the sounds of crashing waves

Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery

4454 Atkins Rd  Petoskey, MI 49770

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. 

They also have a great outside area to enjoy a glass of wine! Plus, the view is fantastic!

We arrived just as they were opening as we were really excited to try their wines!

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.

Tour the Nearby Tunnel of Trees in Harbor Springs

The incredibly scenic Michigan Tunnel of Trees is located just a short distance north of Petoskey.  It's a lovely drive during any season, not just the fall. The Michigan Tunnel of Trees is rated as one of the most beautiful drives in America, so you gotta check it out!

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 and after a couple of moves, the Pottery shop found it's final spot in Petoskey in 1984.

Sturgeon River Pottery has over 4 acres of garden decor, pottery, Petoskey stones, wild bird feeding supplies and lots more, so check it out!

Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery 

3720 Atkins Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770

We really enjoyed our stop at Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery.  We met the owners and they were so friendly! They patiently took the time to teach us more about the grape process and answer all of our questions.  

We were in awe of the stunning view of their 22 acres of rolling hills and countryside as we stood on their 60-foot deck.  It's the perfect setting to sample a great variety of wine. Petoskey Farms is family-owned and operated, which we love.

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.  Here are a few suggestions on Where to Find Petoskey Stones!

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!

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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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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