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Visiting Petoskey and Bay Harbor

By August 4, 2016Adventures

Last Friday, we left the Petoskey KOA campground and decided to explore the area. The quaint resort area is full of charm and beauty that instantly welcomes you. When driving through the town, I loved the architecture of the large historic homes along the Bay and even saw a couple Bed & Breakfast Inns that would be fun to check out in the future.

Just a couple blocks inland from Highway 31 features homes that have been converted into University Halls and student housing buildings. These are quite a sight to see and how I would have loved to go to college in such a fun town as Petoskey.

GLB_201607291219_0030Our first stop in town was the local Chamber of Commerce which has been in business since 1920. The staff was super friendly and helpful providing recommendations along with a visitor’s guide and a map of the area.

The 51st annual sidewalk sales was in progress so the streets were full of local vendors,  merchandise and crowds of people. We decided to walk down to view Little Traverse Bay and explore the pier before checking out the boutiques.

GLB_201607291213_0029A tunnel provides safe passage to the water with stairs and a ramp available which the dogs appreciated traveling in their Dogger.

GLB_201607291241_0041The pier was lovely to walk and it was a beautiful day. There was a well maintained building offering public restrooms and drinking fountains as well.

GLB_201607291234_0034The water was beautiful and inviting. There were a lot of sailboats to admire and I almost wished we could go out on the water.

2016-07-29 12.39.26The docks offered red picnic tables where you could sit and relax. Interesting statues and an historic boat were not to be missed.

GLB_201607291242_0042GLB_201607291243_0043The Chamber of Commerce told me there is also a waterfall in the area however we did not seem to walk far enough to discover it.

After enjoying the Bay, we strolled the downtown streets and sidewalk sales. The historic town offers a lot of appealing boutiques and there was much to see. The stores hosted antiques, jewelry, books, art, clothing & more. V2V Boutique, Emma, and Harbor Wear showcased unique and fun attire & accessories. Lake Life offered fun souvenir shirts and sweatshirts–I regret not adding to my collection. There was an upscale consignment shop called A Penny Saved. 

We saw this beautiful church along the way.

GLB_201607291206_0027There were several restaurants in the area and many with lovely outdoor seating to enjoy the view. I hope to try some of these places in a future visit. The Simply Sweet bakery offered appealing treats. Before leaving town, we stopped by North Perk Coffee and ordered a frozen lemonade. This hit the spot on a warm day.

As we headed out of town, we passed a unique looking store called Sturgeon River Pottery & Wild Bird Supply. It looked interesting enough to turn around and visit so we did just that.

GLB_201607290229_0048I am sure glad we stopped as it was my favorite store in Petoskey. This store sells beautiful handmade pottery, tiles along with charming bird feeders and yard decor. I even saw a few of tiles by the Mohrs from The Painted Garden.  I met a nice gentlemen in the store who used to live in Fowlerville and moved to Petoskey sixteen years ago. He recommended we check out Camp Petosega for a future visit.

GLB_201607290229_0046I was able to visit the shop area where the artists work and watched tiles being glazed. I saw a unique Michigan shaped stepping stone that I wish I had purchased. I did walk away with a Mitten treasure to bring home–two handmade mugs which I love.

2016-08-03 14.38.40We decided to adventure to Bay Harbor which was just a few miles away. This is an upscale resort area and offers unique architecture, high end boutiques and beautiful hotels right downtown.

I explored Cheekade Meekade boutique which had a little bit of everything. I purchased cute patterned biodegradable pet waste bags for the furkids.

GLB_201607290249_0055I was excited to check out the 17th annual Bay Harbor Fine Art & Fine Craft Fair along the water.

GLB_201607290251_0056I soon discovered that the fair did not start until that evening, however quite a few vendors were setting up that afternoon. I browsed the selections and spoke to a few of the artists. I then admired the boats & view.


GLB_201607290253_0059We decided it was time to drive back to the campground, however first we could not miss Petoskey State Park. Luckily, we have a state park recreational pass which is required for entry. We drove through the campground area which was filled with trees and quite pretty. We did notice that the campsites here were also small and close together.

We also checked out the beach. Tucker enjoyed the fresh warm summer air.GLB_201607290236_0051I enjoyed the hot sand on my toes and views of the water.

GLB_201607290403_0066We climbed the dunes and admired the scenery.

GLB_201607290404_0067Then Garrin stopped at the local beach shop for an ice cream cone. I met a nice state park ranger who explained the dogs were only allowed in the campground area and unfortunately they did not have a pet friendly beach section. We decided it was time to go back to our Petoskey KOA campsite which you can read all about here.

I love traveling up north in the Mitten and Petoskey & Bay Harbor did not disappoint. I found myself dreaming of owning a house along Little Traverse Bay. A telltale sign that the town is welcoming, full of fun and somewhere I’d love to call home. I will look forward to a future visit and seeing more of the area.

Liz Ball

About Liz Ball

Liz Ball is a freelance writer focusing on Michigan travel and local events in her community.