As Memorial Day rolls past (hopefully remembering why the holiday exists), children everywhere are struggling to concentrate on school. And kids aren’t the only one with their heads in the clouds. There are days that I’m sure the only way to pay attention to work is to close the blinds. And if I think hard enough, I can actually smell sunscreen, taste watermelon and see Petoskey Stones at every turn.

Spring is an amazing time, but summer – summer is when I wish days would never end. The days are longer and there’s so much to do! I’m not talking about the huge festivals that everybody hears about. I mean the wonderful little community events that make small town living and vacations so darned appealing.

June is the kickoff month for a lot of these fun-filled affairs that happen (generally) on a weekly basis during the summer:

*Tuesday Bike Nights & Car Cruise-Ins – bring your car, your bike, your buddy or just yourself and check out some cool machines.

*Food & Wine on the Patio – A beautiful view, sip some wine and get a snack or dinner of hot and fresh, wood-fired pizza.

*Street Musique in Harbor Springs, Music on Main in Bay Harbor, and Stroll the Streets in Boyne City – Hum along, tap your toes or put on your dancing shoes. Singers and other performers entertain in streets in the downtowns of these communities. Get dinner or browse the shops while you’re at it.

*Summer Sunset Vespers Concerts – a longstanding tradition in the Bay View Association, these concerts are the perfect way to end the week. Arrive early to relish in the beauty of the association grounds. Enjoy the famous Sunday brunch earlier in the day at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, or get a pizza or freshly caught whitefish at the Terrace Inn & 1911 Restaurant.

*The Series at Lavender Hill Farm – Take in a concert here and check out the other events like Yoga in Bloom, Monday Movie Nights and Lunch in Lavender. The lavender fields are in glorious bloom, approximately the third week of June through mid-July.  

*Boyne City Farmers Market, Old Town Emmet Farm Market in Petoskey, Petoskey Farmers Market and the Harbor Springs Farmers Market –There’s something relaxing about strolling through these vendors, reusable bag on my arm. Gather the freshest berries, eggs, veggies and more. And most of the markets have live music, too.

*Concerts in the Park in Petoskey, Evenings at the Gazebo in Boyne City – bring a blanket or chair and cop a squat at these outdoor concerts in the lovely downtown park. Personally, I’ve gone from a blanket to a lawn chair since getting off the ground isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be!

*Fast Pitch Softball Tournaments – I admit, I’m not a huge sports fan. But I love going to the games at Ed White Field in Petoskey. Bag of popcorn or a Bomb Pop in hand, I climb to the top of the bleachers and get lost in the cheers of the crowd and the calming site of the Little Traverse Bay.

If you’re as ready to relax and enjoy summer as much as I am, visit Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Alanson and Boyne City. Need some help in planning? Order your FREE Petoskey Area Vacation Guide. Maybe I’ll see you at the farmers market. Or concert. Or ballfield…

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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.