Dine & DrinkFamily Friendly FunOutdoor ActivitiesThings To Do

100 Things To Do In Northern Michigan This Summer

By May 29, 2014 No Comments

The Colors of Summer

Northern Michigan hosts an array of activities and events year ’round. Here is a list of 100 Things Do This Summer In Northern Michigan!

1. Take a walking tour of historic architecture in Petoskey.

2. Petoskey is home to Kilwin’s quality confections – take home a delicious treat or schedule a tour of the kitchen (1 mile from downtown Petoskey).

3. Wine and dine at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in downtown Harbor Springs.

4. Grab a drink in the Noggin Room Pub, you may even try to complete an around the world tour of over 30 brews and add your name to the “Hall of Foam.”

5. Bicycle along the shore of Little Traverse Bay on the Little Traverse Wheelway, a 26 mile paved bike trail from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix. Bike rentals are nearby.

6. Hike the picturesque sand dunes at Petoskey State Park (located off of M-119).

7. Voted Northern Michigan’s Best Brunch, Stafford’s Bay View Inn serves brunch every Sunday from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm (May – October).

8. Browse the boutique shops of Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District.

9. Enjoy a scenic chair lift ride or zip line adventure at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs.

10. Browse through our collection of area hotel history and Michigan artists at Stafford’s Gallery of Art and History – located behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel.

Top left: Sunday Brunch; Bottom left: Concerts in the park; Top right: Stafford's Gallery; Middle right: Oak Planked Whitefish; Bottom right: Petoskey stones

Top left: Sunday Brunch; Bottom left: Concerts in the park; Top right: Stafford’s Gallery; Middle right: Oak Planked Whitefish; Bottom right: Petoskey stones

11. The Little Traverse Historical Society Museum features Hemingway artifacts, train memorabilia and other facts from the past – located on the Petoskey waterfront (open seasonally).

12. Try your luck at Odawa Casino – located in Petoskey.

13. Walk through the winding community of Bay View and enjoy the gingerbread Victorian cottages.

14. Enjoy the ever changing exhibits at the Crooked Tree Art Center – located in downtown Petoskey.

15. Golf at one of the areas numerous world class courses.

16. Play outdoor putt-putt golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure – located in Petoskey.

17. Feed the fish in our pond at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites (fish food available at the front desk).

18. Search for Petoskey stones along the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay, or purchase one in our gift shops.

19. Visit the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center – located in Oden on US-31.

20. Cruise the Straits of Mackinac with a lighthouse cruise (sheplersferry.com).

21. Take a day trip to Mackinac Island.

22. Head to Indian River and visit the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods and museum (9 miles East of Alanson).

23. Canoe, kayak or stroll the Bear River Recreation Area in Petoskey. Kayak rentals nearby.

24. Take home some jam & sauce from American Spoon Foods – Petoskey is where the company was founded.

25. Dine at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant on Jeff’s Deck and watch the boats cruise under the bridge.

26. Take a walk on Sanctuary Island in Alanson. Enjoy the hand cranked ferry and beautiful views of the Crooked River (seasonal).

27. Hop in your car and take a narrated tour to Cross Village through the Tunnel of Trees – CD’s available for purchase at Stafford’s Bay View Inn,
Perry Hotel & Crooked River Lodge.

28. Sample oils and vinegars from Fustini’s in downtown Petoskey.

29. The Hillside Gardens in downtown Alanson are planted by local volunteers and are free to visit year round.

30. Browse through the Andrew Blackbird Museum in Harbor Springs (open seasonally).

31. Dudley’s Deck at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant was voted the best outdoor dining in Harbor Springs. Serving lunch, dinner and cocktails seasonally.

32. Catch a flick at the Petoskey Cinema (northernmicinemas.com).

33. For the adventurous type, sky dive with Sky Dive Harbor Springs.

34. Visit Lavender Hill Farm, just a few miles West of Petoskey.

35. Paved sidewalks on both sides of the Pine River in Charlevoix make for a relaxing walk.

36. Tour the unique guest rooms at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. Not one is alike!

37. Walk through the unique Village of Bay Harbor.

38. Sail Lake Charlevoix or Lake Michigan with Sunshine Charters (sunshinecharters.com).

39. Sweet tooth? Tom’s Mom’s Cookies in Harbor Springs is a great treat.

40. Visit Pond Hill Farms for fresh produce and their new wine tasting room(north of Harbor Springs on M-119).

41. Play life-size chess on Castle Farms giant chessboard in Charlevoix or take a guided tour of the grounds.

42. Take a tour of Earl Young’s Mushroom Houses in Charlevoix. Maps are available at the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce.

43. Relax on the front porch of Stafford’s Bay View Inn or Stafford’s Perry Hotel on our comfortable wicker furniture.

44. Pamper yourself with a day of relaxation at one of the areas renowned spas.

Pond Hill Farm; Crooked Tree Art Center; Petoskey State Park

Pond Hill Farm; Crooked Tree Art Center; Petoskey State Park

45. Enjoy live entertainment from local musicians in the Noggin Room Pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel every Friday & Saturday evening.

46. Stroll the Petoskey Breakwall.

47. Go kayaking, tubing or canoeing on the Sturgeon River at Big Bear Adventures in Indian River (9 miles East of Alanson).

48. Our indoor pool and hot tub at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites in Alanson is open for public swimming!

49. Friske Orchards in Ellsworth has fresh apples, cider and a petting zoo! (10 miles south of Charlevoix).

50. Try Stafford’s Oak Planked Whitefish – a specialty since 1961!

51. Listen to Street Musique by local musicians Thursday evenings in Harbor Springs (late June – August).

52. Morgan Trout Fishing Farm in Alanson is a perfect afternoon activity – located 1 mile north of Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites.

53. Peruse the Harbor Springs History Museum, located in downtown Harbor Springs.

54. Gather local produce from Petoskey’s Downtown Farmers Market or Harbor Springs Farmers Market throughout the summer.

55. Visit the Historic Inland Waterway Museum, located in downtown Alanson.

56. Hike the picturesque trails of Little Traverse Conservancy Nature Preserves – locations throughout northern Michigan (landtrust.org).

57. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind cupcake from Sweet Maria’s Confections in downtown Petoskey.

58. Take the family to Great American Adventures to enjoy go karts, driving range, water wars, miniature golf and batting cages – located in Petoskey.

59. Catch a performance of The Young Americans (youngamericans.org).

60. Go fishing on one of the many local lakes.

61. Take a dip in Little Traverse’s Bay at the Petoskey State Park Beach.

62. Pull up a blanket and enjoy a concert in the park in downtown Petoskey (petoskey.com).

63. Take a short drive to Mackinaw City and drive over the world’s 6th longest suspension bridge (35 miles north of Petoskey, 20 miles north of Alanson).

64. Watch local performers at the Crooked Tree Arts Center (crookedtree.org), Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center (harboraha.org) or by the Great Lakes
Chamber Orchestra (glorchestra.org).

65. Visit a northern Michigan brewery. Beards Brewery located in downtown Petoskey or Petoskey Brewing Co. located on M-119.

66. Visit one of the many antique shops in northern Michigan.

67. Visit one of the areas signature fudge shops – locations in Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petoskey.

68. Go horseback riding.

69. Catch a Vespers Concert Sunday evenings throughout the summer at John M. Hall Auditorium in the Bay View Association (bayviewassociation.org).

70. Take the family to play a few frames of bowling at Northern Lights Recreation (located on M-119).

71. Read one of our many books or magazines in one of our libraries at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Crooked River Lodge or Perry Hotel.

72. Visit the historic sites Colonial Michilimackinac and Mill Creek in Mackinaw City.

Petoskey Breakwall

Petoskey Breakwall

73. Explore and hike on the 20 acres surrounding Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites (maps available at the front desk or view one here).

74. East Park in downtown Charlevoix features a Fountain of Youth and has spectacular harbor views.

75. Sturgeon Bay is a local favorite and known for its miles of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters (north of Harbor Springs).

76. Rent a boat and cruise the famed Inland Waterway, connecting you to a chain of lakes and rivers.

77. Learn to fly fish with a local fly fisherman.

78. Fly high above the water with a parasailing adventure in Boyne City (boyneparasail.com).

79. Take the little ones to Busy Bodies Bodies Bounce Town for some indoor fun – located in Petoskey (busybodiesbouncetown.com).

80. The Headlands in Mackinaw City is an International Dark Sky Park and the perfect place to watch the night sky (emmetcounty.org).

81. Alanson is home to the world’s shortest swinging bridge. Walk or drive over it, or boat underneath it.

82. Enjoy lunch on the Lewis Street Porch or lunch in the H.O. Rose Dining Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel (open seasonally).

83. Stroll the Petoskey, Charlevoix and Harbor Springs Marinas.

84. Visit Deer Park in Harbor Springs.

85. Tour the U.S.C.G.C. Icebreaker Mackinaw in Mackinaw City (themackinaw.org).

86. Kids can catch and release fish at the waterfront in Petoskey (petoskey.us).

87. Experience northern Michigan wines along the Bay View Wine trail (bayviewwinetrail.com).

88. Take in the views in our Adirondack chairs at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Crooked River Lodge or Perry Hotel.

89. Visit Cross Village and eat at the famous Legs Inn, a Polish restaurant.

90. Explore Wilderness State Park (wildernessstatepark.net).

91. Play of game of croquet on the lawn at Stafford’s Bay View Inn.

92. Catch a local baseball game at the waterfront in Petoskey.

Noggin Room Pub; Little Traverse Bay; Charlevoix River Walk

Noggin Room Pub; Little Traverse Bay; Charlevoix River Walk

93. Sturgeon River Pottery offers a great selection of homemade pottery and gifts, and they make it right in the store (sturgeonriver.com).

94. Catch a sunrise over the Crooked River at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge.

95. Gather the family and take them to the kid-friendly park in downtown Alanson.

96. Enjoy a Kilwin’s ice cream cone in downtown Petoskey, Charlevoix or Harbor Springs.

97. Boyne City has shops, restaurants and events year round (boynecity.com).

98. Discover Geocaching in our area (geocaching.com).

99. Skip stones on the shores of Little Traverse Bay.

100. Petoskey is known as the “Land of the Million Dollar Sunsets.” Stop by Sunset Park or the Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel and watch the sun slowly fade into the water.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Northern Michigan? Download our complete 100 Things To Do In Northern Michigan list.

Sunset in Petoskey

Sunset in Petoskey






Join Stafford's E-Club

* indicates required