Labor Day… the calendar doesn’t agree, but it sure is the end of summer as far my mental state goes. Dusk tiptoes in a little earlier, the rooster crows a little later and if the kids weren’t already back in school, they will soon be after the holiday.

While the summer begins to fade, the weather in northern Michigan doesn’t lose its luster, it merely changes and gives us a new perspective. Our resort communities shift from non-stop events to a smattering throughout September and October. The faces on our streets morph from those of happy families to couples and friends who can get away in a more peaceful time.

Here’s a bonus for those who are retired or saved their vacation days for late summer and early fall: The Petoskey Area Fall Flex Package. Travel Sunday through Thursday and save money on your lodging, plus get discounts on wineries, shops, and a whole lot more.

So, relax and take advantage of grownup time in Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Alanson, Petoskey and Boyne City.

Poke in and out of shops, boutiques and independent bookstores – unhurried and without direction.

Chat with staff at the wineries of the Petoskey Wine Region while sipping some of the finest blends that Michigan has to offer.

Those great oils and vinegars they sell at Fustini’s? Find out how to use them at one of their cooking classes.

Stroll the beach hand-in-hand or alone while seeking out the famous Petoskey Stones.

Take a self-guided walking tour and learn a little about the history that shaped these northern Michigan towns.

Do a craft at a DIY studio.

Charter a fishing boat or hire a guide to help you find the biggest catch.

Explore a new bicycle trail and maybe even put yourself on a pedal assisted bike to make the hills a little easier to get up.

Try your luck at exciting table games or slots at the Odawa Casino.

Play the best for less and without paying attention to your watch on one of the area’s many championship golf courses.

Check out the local breweries in the area.

Don’t just eat – dine. Foodies love it here!

Take a ride on the Pointer Boat out of Harbor Springs. Or rent a kayak or pontoon boat and be the captain of your own adventure.

Put on your hiking shoes and get back to nature on a beautiful trail.         

Summer may be on the way out, but the allure of the Petoskey Area continues into September and October. It’s a special time here, and I hope you can share it with us.

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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.