You won’t want to miss these fun things to do in Boyne Falls, Boyne City, Alanson, and Petoskey.

It’s no secret that there is not a shortage of things to see and do in the Petoskey Area communities in the summer months. Why miss out on any of it? Take a look at five fun and new things to do in the area below.

1. SkyBridge Michigan – Summer Edition

The world’s longest timber-tower suspension bridge, SkyBridge Michigan, opened in October of 2022 at Boyne Mountain Resort attracting guests to check out this attraction some have already named “Michigan’s second bridge”. Nothing can really come close to the Mighty Mac, however, it is definitely worth checking out while you are in the area. Once the snow has come and gone and the crowds have started to subside for the ski season, this is the perfect time to experience SkyBridge Michigan in all of northern Michigan’s summer glory.

The experience is quite something from the chairlift ride on the Hemlock lift to your time at the summit with panoramic views from the bridge.

Make a trip of it and plan other fun things to do at Boyne Mountain’s Adventure Center like zipline adventures, biking, hiking, and more!

2. Boyne City on a Friday Night – Stroll the Streets

A band performing on the streets of Downtown Boyne City, Lake Charlevoix in the background.

Boyne City Main Street has been putting on an event that brings their downtown to life for several years now called Stroll the Streets. During this event families, friends, and visitors alike can enjoy live music from area bands and musicians on the street corners throughout Boyne City’s downtown. Most Fridays you can expect as many as a dozen live performers from 6 PM – 9 PM. It’s a wonderful time to eat out at a Boyne City restaurant’s outdoor dining (if you’re lucky to grab a table) and listen to live music while you eat. Even if you don’t get a table right away you are sure to have some entertainment while you wait.

End your night watching the sunset over Lake Charlevoix as the day cools to night. Stroll the Streets begins on June 7th, 2024 and runs every Friday through Labor Day in September.

Insider Tip: Keep an eye on Boyne City Main Street’s Facebook Page for a list of performers and a map of where to find them.

3. Inland Waterway

aerial image of Crooked River, green marshes

Boats on the Crooked River part of the Inland Waterway of Michigan near Petoskey, Michigan.

Alanson is situated along the Inland Waterway, a 38-mile connected web of rivers and lakes. Many of which are navigable by small watercraft! There are many ways to enjoy this journey but we might recommend renting a small boat such as a pontoon or other smaller motorized watercraft. Another way you could enjoy the Crooked River for a shorter distance is via kayak or canoe.

One route you could take if you rent a boat on Crooked Lake just outside of Alanson is to travel on the Crooked River to Burt Lake to enjoy a day at the sandbar with friends and family.

Crooked River, which meanders through Alanson is also no-wake so it can be quite peaceful and a great way to enjoy a beautiful day.

4. Go Beach-Hopping – Lake Charlevoix, Petoskey State Park, Cross Village

Sturgeon Bay Beach, Wilderness State Park

Inland lakes and the Lake Michigan shoreline beaches of the area are such a sweet way to spend the day. Or even if you want to sprinkle them throughout your trip to the area there are so many to explore!

Boyne City’s Young State Park on beautiful Lake Charlevoix is a great sandy beach! This popular beach has a picnic area, playground, access to over 6 miles of trails and more. At Young State Park, you can also access the non-motorized Charlevoix to Boyne City Trail.

Although there are quite a few options for Lake Michigan beaches in the area, Petoskey State Park is by far the most popular. What I love best about this beach is how much sandy lakeshore access there is. This lets you pretty much always have your own little spot, even when the season is at its busiest. Growing up here climbing the dunes (in designated areas of course) was a favorite. Everything always seems so much grander when you’re smaller than your surroundings too. They also have a small playground area, bathhouse, concession items, and kayaks/paddle boards for rent.

Looking for another dune-centric beach on Lake Michigan? Check out Sturgeon Bay Beach! It is north of Cross Village and at the southern border of Wilderness State Park – 10,000-plus acres of wilderness, trails, and lakeshore.  A bit off the beaten path so it will take a little more out of your day. Well worth the trip for the sandy beach and a day in the sun you are looking for.

Don’t stop at these recommendations, view more beaches on our website.

5. Gypsy Vodka’s new tasting room – Gypsy Distillery

The Petoskey original, Gypsy Vodka, has more recently expanded its operations to a location that was previously occupied by an Equestrian Center. Officially named Gypsy Distillery this location is equipped with a bar, cocktail garden with yard games, and two food vendors. The facility has many options for seating, lounging, and large projection screens for viewing the big game.

Within their High Five Spirits brand, they have several different spirits. You’ll want to taste the iconic Gypsy Vodka made in Michigan using Artesian Spring Water and Corn, Petoskey Stone Gin, (and my personal favorite) – distilled with locally sourced junipers and lavender, Mackinac Island Rum – in four variations, and seasonal/limited releases like Apple Pie Gypsy Vodka, Petoskey Stone Fossilized Gin, Gypsy Whiskey, and Lakeside Blended Rye Whiskey.

Located just south of Bay Harbor, Gypsy Distillery, is a destination in itself and it could easily be planned into an area wine tour to experience one of Petoskey Area’s locally produced spirits. Don’t forget to check out their food vendors at the distillery: Libe Lula – Mexican-inspired cuisine and Fresh Coast Sliders – choose from classic, chicken, pulled pork, a turkey reuben, a black bean burger and more as slider options.

The Petoskey Area is full of fun things to do in the summer whether you’re in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne City, Bay Harbor, Alanson, or anywhere in between. Find lodging on our website to pick a base to come back to while you hit all of these awesome spots on your summer bucket list!


About the author

Ellen Auten is a native of the area, a lover of hiking, snowboarding, foraging, and a great meal. She enjoys promoting the next fun thing to do in the Petoskey Area – but also likes to recommend local favorites and learning opportunities for all. She hopes to help in your planning process for your next trip to the Petoskey Area of northern Lower Michigan.