You’ve heard of the Tunnel of Trees… but the best part (or maybe second best) is the places you can stop along the way. As you navigate this Michigan wonder of the Tunnel of Trees through Harbor Springs, Good Hart, and Cross Village be sure to check out a couple of these great places.
Downtown Harbor Springs
Harbor Springs is a picture-perfect quaint small town. Or as I call it, “my hometown”! There are many little shops to visit and spots to find unique keepsakes like at HANNI Gallery – for unique handmade jewelry and other gifts. And for how small the town is (just 4 blocks) there are quite a few places to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. No matter the route you take your path should cross through Downtown Harbor Springs. Some can’t-miss places to find a meal or a snack here are:
- Gurney’s Bottle Shop – there is a deli inside where you can get a huge sandwich on homemade bread, don’t forget the deli sauce!
- Small Batch at the Cupola for breakfast or brunch – think freshly made, amazing, and unique tastes. The location of the restaurant is a little difficult to find but is well worth the visit for its atmosphere and most especially the food. I love the ‘Thighmaster’ sandwich with crispy chicken thigh, slaw, and sriracha aioli, on grilled brioche, and comes with fries. It sounds messy and it is, but it is beyond words.
- Tom’s Mom’s Cookies – Famous for, you guessed it, cookies! But not just an ordinary cookie, these thick cookies have huge chunks of chocolate in their classic chocolate chunk. So good!
- Turkey’s Café and Pizzeria – Your fix for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Harbor Springs. In business since 1975, Turkey’s is your spot for pizza, breakfast, and other lunch and dinner favorites. My personal favorite is Turk’s Turkey Day Sandwich with turkey, grilled homemade whole wheat bread, cranberry relish, cream cheese, and lettuce. The great thing about their turkey is that it is baked fresh in-house!
- The New York – This Harbor Springs classic stop was established in 1904 and is guaranteed an amazing dinner.
- Johan’s Pastry Shop – Looking for a donut, bagel with flavored cream cheese, or even a specialty coffee? Johan’s is your stop. One of the best places to get a bagel! You might be surprised as their bagels usually have no hole in the middle like the classic.
Spots for viewing history:
- Harbor Springs History Museum – 349 E Main St, Harbor Springs – The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society welcomes visitors to history’s home in Harbor Springs. The Museum is located in the former city hall building and features interactive exhibits for all ages.
- Ephraim Shay House – 396 E Main St, Harbor Springs – The Ephraim Shay House was built by the creator of the Shay geared locomotive, Ephraim Shay, in 1892. This is also known as the ‘Shay Hexagon House’, The building is now under the ownership of the Harbor Springs Historical Society as of 2016. Although it is currently closed for restoration, this home’s unique architecture is specific to the works of Ephraim Shay and is beautiful from the outside. Follow more about this historic site’s restoration, here. Make sure to take a look at a recently restored Aha, a historic steel yacht in Shay Park just next to it.
- Andrew J. Blackbird Museum – 368 N Main St, Harbor Springs – An influential leader for the Odawa during the 1800s, this museum is named after Andrew J. Blackbird and hosts a state historic marker on its grounds.
Pond Hill Farm
So many great things and times to be had at Pond Hill Farm in the fall! Just enjoying a walk around the farm or down their trails is free of charge. During their fall festivities, you can try out pumpkin bowling, and pumpkin smashing, grab a bite to eat, browse their market, and pick out some goodies. Don’t forget to browse their pumpkins and pick out your favorite! Check out their events, here.
Heading north from Harbor Springs you will drive through a blink of a village. You’ll notice the Good Hart General Store and its barn red exterior. Be sure to stop into the general store and try one of their famous pot pies, and baked goods, grab a sandwich, or pick out a special keepsake.
- King House – 144 N Lamkin Rd. – This is one of the last of the original Odawa hand-hewn log homes on Lamkin Road in Good Hart, Michigan. Although, according to their website it is not open after Sept 3rd this year for inside viewing, the historic site is viewable on the exterior.
- St. Ignatius Church and Middle Village Beach – 101 N Lamkin Rd, Good Hart – The present church, although not the original, was constructed in 1889. Just near hear, behind the church, is Middle Village Park which is a great hidden gem of a beach but just off this pathway to the beach is a sacred area to the local Odawa people, a burial ground.
The entire Petoskey and Harbor Springs area has a rich history woven throughout it but it is especially true for Cross Village. Since its early settlement, it has been home to many different people. Originally called Waganakisi by the Odawa Indians that settled the land and their descendants still inhabit the Petoskey area to this day.
- Legs Inn – This Polish and American cuisine restaurant is a must-stop on a trip you make to the area. It is truly a great experience from the food and atmosphere, to the architecture of the building. Check in advance if they are still open for the season. This year, 2023, they close for the season on October 22nd (Closed on Tuesdays).
- Petoskey Brewing’s second location – Just as good as the first located closer to the Petoskey State Park on M 119, Petoskey Brewing is a great stop for lunch or dinner. Try one of their burgers, they are made with local beef and are smash-burger-style. Great stop for the microbrew lover and the whole family will enjoy their meal.
- Peninsulas – Gift Shop – Looking for a keepsake to remember your special trip? Peninsulas is a great stop to check out! Great souvenirs, apparel, and more!
And don’t forget that when you pull over to enjoy the view or the beautiful color make sure you are doing so in a space where you have ample space to do so. M 119 gets very narrow as it winds along the bluffs that overlook Lake Michigan.
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.