There is something magical about twinkly lights over the holiday season. Whatever holiday you are celebrating, twinkle lights are just magical – especially reflecting against a white blanket of snow. Sometimes it is part of the magic when you stumble upon a beautifully decorated house on your own. But what if you had the secret scoop on those hidden gems in the Petoskey Area. Some of the ones we will mention are paid experiences, others you can pay for in joy or a donation to keep it going for years to come.

1. Enchanted Trail – The Highlands

Back again this year is the Enchanted Trail at The Highlands Ski Resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan. This 1.5-mile walk along a beautifully lit path and interactive displays is a fun way to get up close and personal with the magic. This is a paid experience and you can purchase your ticket ahead of time on The Highlands website. And, of course, take a few pictures. Midway along the path you will find a yurt (round, insulated tent) to have a warm beverage. Stop by the bonfire for a s’more or two. This year the trail is free for 5 and under so bring the whole family!

Depending on the weather, you might want to consider taking The Highlands up on the option to snowshoe this little trail. See their website for dates as they are limited.

2. “Lights in the Sky” – SkyBridge Michigan

New this year at the SkyBridge Michigan they will be having a beautiful light display decorating the bridge for a “Lights in the Sky” spectacle with 150,000 lights. This feature will run from November 2023 through March of 2024. Pre-purchase your SkyBridge tickets online for a bit of savings too!

3. Walk through a Downtown 


Downtown Petoskey is a beautiful downtown to walk through with each of the Historic Gaslights decorated with an evergreen wreath, lights, and a red bow. Walk through Pennsylvania Park to see the lights that decorate the path, the Christmas tree, and the decorated gazebo.

Harbor Springs

Downtown Harbor Springs looking down Main Street you will see the Christmas tree smack dab in the middle of the street almost lining up perfectly with the church. Along with that, you will see storefronts and small trees along Main Street decorated with twinkle lights as well.

Boyne City

Wander around Downtown Boyne City on Water and S. Lake Streets to view all of the decorated storefronts and beautifully decorated trees. The city Christmas tree is in Sunset Park on the corner of S. Lake and Water Street along the waterfront.

4. A Small Town Christmas on Mill Lane

This privately run short drive down Mill Lane is located off the beaten path north of Petoskey in Pellston. This is free to view and they provide hot cocoa and cookies to visitors. They welcome donations to keep this festive display going for years to come. For directions and to see when this will begin, visit the listing on our site or their website.

5. Alanson Hillside Garden

A light display is put together on the Hillside Garden of Alanson on the highway downtown. The lights feature Christmas trees, candy canes, and other festive characters. These figures blink in time with holiday songs when tuned to the specified radio station in your car. Pull over to the parking on the side of the highway and listen along as the lights dance to different tunes. This is typically all decked out at the beginning of December.

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.