Three-Day Spring Itinerary

With two days you could focus and explore one of our area communities but with THREE… you could explore several. Yes, we are home to one of the best northern Michigan regions to experience summertime in Northern Michigan but what about the season just before? ‘What is there to do?’, you may ask. SO MUCH! There is biking, hiking, golf, restaurants, farm-to-table experiences, breweries, wineries, and more.

Itinerary Overview

  1. DAY 1
    1. Rent Bikes
    2. Bike into Harbor Springs
    3. Gurney’s Bottle Shop Deli – Lunch
    4. Dinner and Drinks
  2. DAY 2
    1. Small Batch at the Cupola, Harbor Springs – breakfast
    2. Visit the Petoskey State Park
    3. Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen, Boyne City – Lunch
    4. SkyBridge Michigan, Boyne Mountain Resort
    5. Pier Restaurant, Harbor Springs – Dinner
  3. DAY 3
    1. Sam’s Graces Cafe – Breakfast/Brunch
    2. Shopping/Bayfront Park, Petoskey
    3. Julienne Tomatoes – Lunch
    4. Hiking & Looking for Morels
    5. Northwood Family Restaurant – Dinner

Where to Stay?

Depending on what you’re looking for in accommodation you’ll want to pick a great base location to explore every area. Check out our lodging page on our website for a full list, and check out the map view to pick something in a location you prefer.

For this itinerary we wanted to highlight a lodging option that is along the Little Traverse Wheelway as that is such a great place to take advantage of springlike conditions. The Best Western of Harbor Springs is a hotel with great amenities and it is in a convenient spot in relation to Harbor Springs and Petoskey.



To start your trip we recommend renting some bikes for the whole group (unless you brought your own). There are several area spots to rent from but we recommend Bahnhof in Bay View. Once you have rented your bikes and settled into your hotel, let’s get this party started!


If you’re not absolutely starving and the weather is nice enough, let’s bike into Harbor Springs for some lunch by biking the Little Traverse Wheelway into town. There is nothing better than that northern Michigan air in springtime as nature starts to wake back up from being covered in a blanket of snow. Notable spots you'll see along the way: Harbor Springs Airport, Polish Kitchen (alternative lunch spot if you’re starved), Nature Preserves, Wequetonsing Golf Course, and City & Little Traverse Bay Lake Views coming down Main Street in Harbor Springs.


Now that you have worked up a major appetite, let’s get some lunch at Gurney’s Bottle Shop’s Deli. It sounds odd in a liquor store… but trust us! This is a Harbor Springs staple for the locals and visitors alike. Don’t forget the pickle! And they are cash only. Take your sandwich down to the water to eat at a picnic table.


  • The Trainwreck
  • Their dill pickle spear on the side!
  • Freshly baked, thick-cut bread


After traveling to the area you won’t want to pile too much into one day – have a cocktail and relax a bit. Pierson’s Grille & Spirits is a great spot for a cocktail and dinner if you’d like as well. Have one of their signature cocktails like State Street Punch which features Petoskey-distilled Gypsy Vodka, lemoncello, strawberries, simple syrup, lime juice & soda. Grab some dinner or some light snacks off their appetizer menu before you bike back to the hotel. Sushi lovers have several options at Pierson’s. Or go for a few appetizers for a light dinner.

Another cocktail spot option on the waterfront in Harbor Springs is Pier Restaurant’s Dudley’s Deck.

Bringing the Kids?

Just next door to the Best Western is Northern Lights Recreation that is equipped with a restaurant called the Sassy Loon, a bowling alley, laser tag, and many arcade games (with redeemable tickets/points for prizes). So here you can grab some dinner and play games as a family! Such a fun little spot to add to a trip to the area.



In Harbor Springs where State Street bends as you go up to the bluff, you will find Small Batch at the Cupola. Small dining room but big flavor and those who have a big appetite. You will not be disappointed no matter what you get. A menu highlight is their Benedicts Garden – rosemary ham, poached eggs, on a ciabatta with Florentine sauce and served with roasted vegetables and crispy kale. But their menu changes from time to time so don’t be afraid to taste things outside your comfort zone. So many great flavors!

  • Benedicts Garden: eggs benedict with a slight twist – rosemary ham, poached eggs, ciabatta toast, Florentine sauce, and veggies
  • Lox Smith: potato pancakes, herb boursin cheese scramble eggs, smoked salmon, on mixed greens
  • Brunch Recommend: Thigh Master – crispy chicken thigh sandwich with a sriracha aioli that brings it all together


Just down the road a couple of miles is Petoskey State Park! If you still have your bikes for the weekend this is an easy little bike ride along the Little Traverse Wheelway for some amazing views. The Petoskey State Park is home to hiking trails, sandy dunes, a long sandy beach, great Petoskey Stone Hunting – especially in the springtime! For more about the regulations and tips for Petoskey Stone Hunting check out this page.


You had to of worked up an appetite by now and I’m sure you’re dying to explore more of our area. After you bike home and have gotten ready, jump in the car and drive over to Boyne City for some lunch or early dinner! Just a 35-minute drive, Boyne City has many great things to discover, and it is quite a beautiful drive as you pass through Walloon Lake.

Now, lunch – check out Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen in Boyne City for a great BBQ lunch and a brew. Stiggs is a unique brewery located in a building that was originally built in 1899 as a part of the White Timber Logging Company. This may be why we see that friendly beer-drinking lumberjack of a man as part of the Stiggs logo. Although not just BBQ and smoked items, there are some great smoked items we MUST mention: Stiggs Smoked Brisket Platter and the Brisket Melt.

Vegan menu highlight: Sweet Potato Chili


Towards Boyne Falls you will find Boyne Mountain Resort, home of SkyBridge Michigan. This year-round attraction is labeled as the world’s longest timber-tower suspension bridge. Opening in October of 2022 this bridge is a different activity you will want to say you have done at least once. You ride to the peak of the hill via the Hemlock Chairlift (included with admission) from there you walk a short distance to the entrance of the SkyBridge. With a slight sway as you walk, you will witness beautiful sites of the valley/ski slopes below and the tree-filled horizon. In the middle of the bridge there is a see-through section that might just make your stomach drop a bit to look below.

Don’t Miss: The food truck once you get to the other side that has a special SkyBridge brew, cocktails, and Polish food.

Not done having fun here? Check out all the other fun things to do at Boyne Mountain Resort.


Head back towards your accommodation and plan for a dinner in the Harbor Springs area. Tonight, we recommend The Pier Restaurant along the waterfront of Little Traverse Bay. Walk along the beach in Zorn Park after dinner. Great views of the historic Boathouse that was once Walstrom Marine and Harbor Point.


Downtown Petoskey there are several places that stay open a bit later for a drink to cap your night. High Five Spirits, makers of Gypsy Vodka, Petoskey Stone Gin, and other spirits, have a tasting room downtown with a menu of specialty cocktails and offer free tiny samples of their product. Malted Vinyl, a new (and first-ever) listening lounge downtown, offers cocktails and draft beer/cider. This is just around the corner from High Five so it’s great little spot to make this night a double-feature kind of night.



Sam’s Graces in Petoskey offers a variety of brunch options from favorites like pancakes and eggs benedict but also more lunch-leaning items like grilled cheese & soup and Greek salad. Be sure to check out their woodfired pizzas too!


After breakfast take a walk downtown and do a little shopping. Maybe if it’s nice you can venture to Bayfront Park and explore a bit – there is a tunnel that gives you access to Bayfront Park from downtown Petoskey helping avoid highway traffic. In Bayfront Park you can enjoy sightseeing, Petoskey Stone hunting, a playground, and more.


Lunchtime! We hope you worked up an appetite for this next place. Julienne Tomatoes in downtown Petoskey has a great variety of yummy sandwiches, salads, and daily soup selections. Unique to the restaurant is the variety of quiche-by-the-slice options available for breakfast and lunch – crustless options too. They often offer dairy-free, vegetarian, and gluten-free soups for all those with dietary restrictions in those categories.


Petoskey area is home to many miles of hiking trails for every skill level. Some trails even have paved pathways like those along the Bear River Valley Recreation Area and at Offield Family Viewlands. Little Traverse Conservancy has quite the list of area trails that are great to explore and enjoy.

Want to look for a morel mushroom or two? We recommend checking out this website before your hike so that you know what kind of conditions and environment, they tend to thrive in. Make sure you make note of the morel mushroom’s relatives so that you know you are picking (and potentially eating) the correct mushroom. Some look-alikes can make you ill so make sure to consult a professional or make absolutely certain.


You've made your way through so much of the area we wanted to show off a restaurant just before Alanson as you are heading north. Northwood Family Restaurant is a great place off the beaten path with so many great options for dinner - and at a great price.