Blue skies, warm sun, a gentle breeze off the lake. Breathe easy. It’s summertime in the Petoskey Area. Time to get outside and enjoy everything that makes this Michigan’s Summer Place.

Splash into fun

One of the first things people think of when visiting here is the crystal-clear water of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, postcard-perfect Lake Charlevoix and sparkling Crooked Lake. The sandy beaches are perfect for catching some rays and watching a cotton ball of a cloud drift overhead, then splashing in for a refreshing dip.

If you’d rather be on the water than in it, there are plenty of places to rent pontoon boats or jet skis, speed boats or fishing boats. Keep it low key in a canoe, kayak or atop a stand-up paddle board.

One of the highlights of your trip is sure to be strolling the beach hunting for Petoskey stones. You’ll find these fossilized pieces of coral all along Little Traverse Bay. They’re a terrific souvenir and the time spent on the beach hunting for them will create long-time memories.

The good times roll

Bring your bike and hit the trails. Paved or mountain, it doesn’t matter – we’ve got them and there are even more trails being worked on.

For smooth touring, the Little Traverse Wheelway, the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail and the Northwestern State Trail offer either paved or crushed limestone to travel on, along with some great views and cool places to stop at like the Oden State Fish Hatchery.

Mountain bike trails are expertly maintained at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, and Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs. Both places will whisk you to the top of the trails on a chairlift that offers spectacular views before you head back down.

Ask Boyne Highlands about their terrific season pass deal. And keep in mind, there are several other awesome mountain biking trails dotted throughout the Petoskey Area.

Take a hike

Hiking trails abound. More than 100 miles of Little Traverse Nature Conservancy hiking trails alone dot our towns. Add to that places like Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs and breathtaking Avalanche Mountain Preserve trail, and you can cover a ton of ground! Lace up and take in boardwalks, overlooks and the beauty of our woods. Bring a pair of binoculars and do some bird watching while you are at it.

A golfer’s dream

The courses here are ones you’ve heard about and read about. Now, it’s time to play them. You’ll find 16 exceptional courses, all within 30 minutes of each other. Some have stunning views of the lake. Some wind their way through magnificent forests. All will have you remembering their beauty long after you’ve forgotten your score.

So much more

The list of outdoor fun goes on with chairlift rides, ATV rentals, and paintball. Segway rides and horseback rides. Fishing and ziplining. Outside is in. And nobody does outside like the Petoskey Area.

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About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all of the communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor 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. She strives to create informative content that gives potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.