November! Anywhere else you might think of Thanksgiving and those cozy fall vibes. In Northern Michigan, most of the time winter shows glimpses early for us, so we think of the holidays too. With the holidays comes a time to shop for those special gifts, what better place to do that shopping than in a special place like the Petoskey Area?! We boast not only unique shopping but great experiences to gift as well for the holidays: think of a wintery zipline adventure or even snow tubing with the family.
Places to Shop
Petoskey offers many quaint shops and boutiques where you will find unique keepsakes and gifts. Looking for special ways to gift Michigan’s state stone? Many shops in Downtown Petoskey offer Petoskey Stone incorporated, inspired, and artistic use of the Petoskey Stone.
NorthGoods – NorthGoods in Downtown Petoskey is from the same people that own Sturgeon River Pottery just outside of town on your way to Bay Harbor. NorthGoods features pottery, apparel, magnets, keychains, Petoskey Stone gifts, puzzles, and so so much more. They are also dog friendly so if you’re looking to browse in a store downtown with your pooch this is the spot.
Grandpa Shorters – In business since 1946, Grandpa Shorters and their other local shops offer a great selection of gifts, souvenirs, and other fun items. Unlike other stores in the downtown area, Grandpa Shorter’s offers online ordering and features a variety of gift baskets. Looking for a gift basket for a dog lover, someone who loves DIY, or even the ultimate Petoskey lover? They have something for all three. So, if you can’t make it in person, they have this option too. Their staff is very helpful in finding the perfect gift you are shopping for.
This little town is so picture-perfect and wonderful to visit, especially once the city has placed its Christmas tree in the middle of Main Street. Yes, the middle. Situated and wired inside of a manhole, getting this tree here takes the whole city coming together. From a gracious tree donor to the city electric department who helps cut and place it, and Walstrom Marine who helps with transport each year! Harbor Springs has unique shopping opportunities as well when it comes to shopping for the holidays. Plan a shopping trip around one of their downtown events: Ladies Night Out or the Annual Tree Lighting.
HANNI Gallery – This wonderful shop features local artists work, locally made jewelry, handcrafted gifts, and much more. Success is always had in finding something unique here for a present based on most tastes. There are simply beautiful items like paintings but then there are beautiful yet useful items like a handcrafted coat hook or bench. Something unique that you can buy from a unique location is truly an unforgettable gift.
American Spoon – Also in Petoskey, American Spoon foods offers so many great snacks, spreads, and goods for stocking gift baskets. Jams, sauces, baking mixes, granola, and even cocktail mixers can be found at American Spoon. And did I mention taste testing? That’s my favorite part. Yes, you will want to grab a gift for yourself too!
Tom’s Moms Cookies – This little cookie bakery (and I really mean little) is worth the stop even outside of the holiday season. Situated on South Spring Street off Main Street, Tom’s Moms Cookies offers a huge variety of thick homemade cookies – Original Chocolate Chunk, Caramel Pretzel, Chocolate Dried Cherry, and many more! It has a gingerbread-house look to it, something that could have very well come out of a children’s nursery rhyme with its pink and blue exterior. Take this opportunity to taste test and then either buy a gift card or buy one of their gift packages online.
Crooked Tree Breadworks – Not just for the bread-lover in your life! Crooked Tree Breadworks offers their Addictive Granola and, yes, it is addictive to that granola or breakfast cereal lover in your life. They have scones – savory and sweet, muffins, cookies, turnovers, and specialty seasoned nuts – think spicy almonds, curry pistachios, and my favorite orange balsamic pecans. Want a little help deciding? Breadworks offers gift boxes too (in-person and online).
Little Traverse Tile Works – This is just the spot for someone looking for a handcrafted gift. Little Traverse Tileworks offers handmade ceramic tiles and other ceramic decorations. With many designs specific to the Petoskey area, you are guaranteed to find something that reminds you or your loved one of your visit! Petoskey area spring-season lovers can pick a trillium design and Petoskey Stone lovers have designs catered to them too.
Located on Lake Charlevoix, Boyne City is just 25 minutes from Petoskey and offers shopping opportunities too! Check out these great spots to grab some gifts:
SPUDS – Unlike the shops that I have mentioned in Harbor Springs and Petoskey, SPUDS Boyne City offers a little more out-of-the-ordinary gifts and more home furnishings. There are so many fun things to look at from fun pillows to a UP North-themed gift.
Alpine Chocolat Haus – Yes, chocolate! Chocolate is a gift anyone is sure to love. Alpine Chocolat Haus Boyne City is an extension of the original located in Gaylord. A unique flavor combination that they are known for is their chocolate-covered potato chips.
Experiences to Gift
When shopping for the holidays you typically think of browsing in-store or online to find the perfect present for the person you love. To me, often the best gift you can give is an experience and a new one at that. Here are a few of my favorite experiences you could gift from our area:
A journey down the Sturgeon River – There are many ways to travel down the Sturgeon River located 10 miles from Alanson. One way recommended to do so would be to utilize Big Bear Adventures in Indian River. They offer guided adventures as well as tube floats down the river. This is not a lazy river, the fastest flowing river in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula in fact, so be prepared for an adventure! They offer tubing, rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. They even have winter rafting trips available.
Guided flyfishing on the Jordan River – Have you ever been flyfishing? Me neither, until recently. Yes, in October, I went flyfishing down the Jordan River. With a guide like True North Trout’s Brian, you can’t go wrong. I am not much of a fisherwoman, but it was an awesome experience. There is something about learning something new that is very empowering. During this guided trip you can expect to float the Jordan River in either a half-day or full-day experience. You will float in Brian’s boat and learn the ins and outs of the river, its fish, and what they eat. Along with that you will of course be guided in the basics of casting with a flyfishing rod. Gift certificates are available.
Zipline Adventure – Boyne Mountain and The Highlands both offer ziplining. So, depending on which location is preferred (Boyne Falls or Harbor Springs), you have two options for a ziplining adventure. Check out their pages to contact them for a gift certificate. This is available in warm and cold weather!
Ideas For a Foodie Gift
So many delicious food and food experiences in the Petoskey area, and so little time. Have you thought of giving a delicious local food experience? You might want to consider looking at these if you have a foodie in your life.
Gift certificates – These can be so underrated. Pick a Petoskey, Boyne City, or even Harbor Springs restaurant gift card and you’re gifting a great dining experience they might not treat themselves to regularly. Or even to a specialty foods store like American Spoon Foods or Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars where they can sample and experience all they have to offer and pick their favorites.
A Farm-to-Table Dinner – Pond Hill Farm offers a select amount of Farm to Table wine tasting dinner experiences coming up that would be an outstanding experience. They have two currently slated, one in November and one for January.
About the author
Ellen Auten is a native of the area and loves to promote the next fun thing to do in the Petoskey Area – but also loves giving out 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.