Stafford's Blog

84 Things To Do This Winter

Posted on December 19th, 2017

We love northern Michigan! Can you tell? It’s our favorite place to be – whether visiting or living here year-round, check out our list of 84 Things To Do In Northern Michigan for the best ways to spend your time in the area.

Alanson Area
1. Hike or snowshoe our 20 acres, splash in our pool, relax in our hot tub or kick back next to our indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites.
2. Visit the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center in Oden on US-31.
3. Head to Indian River and visit the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods and museum (crossinthewoods.com).
4. The Hillside Gardens in downtown Alanson are planted by local volunteers and are free to visit year round.
5. Take a guided winter raft trip down the Sturgeon River at Big Bear Adventures.
6. Visit the Historic Inland Waterway Museum in downtown.
7. Drive over the world’s shortest swing bridge – right in Alanson.
8. Try some indoor golf simulation at Shot Makers Golf Center.
9. Hop on the North Country Trail with snowshoes or cross country skis and enjoy nature!
10. Catch a sunrise over the Crooked River.

Boyne City
11. Boyne City offers shops and restaurants all year long.
12. Sled, cross country ski, ice skate and snowmobile at Avalanche Mountain preserve (boynecitymainstreet.com)
13. Visit Michigan’s largest indoor water park, Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain.

Charlevoix
14. Dine at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant in the Earl Young inspired building. $14.95 Dinner Features offered Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. Closed Wednesdays.
15. Friske Orchards is open year round (10 miles south of Charlevoix).
16. Bundle up and take a walk along the Pine River Channel in Charlevoix.
17. Enjoy outdoor winter activities at Mt. McSauba Recreation Area in Charlevoix – one of the few municipal ski facilities left in Michigan.
18. Take a tour of Earl Young’s Mushroom Houses (charlevoix.org).

Harbor Springs
19. Rent a snowmobile and discover the hundreds of miles of trails in northern Michigan.
20. Take a winter horseback ride at Boyne Highlands.
21. Watch a movie at the Lyric Theater downtown (lyricharborsprings.com).
22. Gather local produce from the year round Farmers Market in Harbor Springs.
23. Enjoy a chair lift ride or zip line adventure at Boyne Highlands.
24. Browse through the Andrew Blackbird Museum.
25. Visit Boyer Glass Works in downtown for one-of-a-kind items.
26. Peruse the Harbor Springs History Museum in downtown Harbor Springs (harborspringshistory.com)
27. Sweet tooth? Tom’s Mom’s Cookies in Harbor Springs is a great treat.
28. Visit the deer park in Harbor Springs.
29. Enjoy outdoor ice skating and hockey at Harbor Springs Sk8 Park.
30. Visit Pond Hill Farms north of town.
31. Spend some time at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant. $10 Lunch Combos offered Monday – Friday. Happiest Hour features offered Monday – Thursday, 4 to 6 pm.
32. Take the family to Northern Lights Recreations to bowl a few frames, enjoy the arcade or play laser tag.
33. Catch a performance at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center.

Mackinaw City/Mackinac Island
34. Drive over the world’s 6th longest suspension bridge, the Mackinac Bridge!
35. The Headlands is an International Dark Sky Park and is the perfect place to watch the night sky (emmetcounty.org).
36. Explore Wilderness State Park (wildernessstatepark.net).

Petoskey Area
37. Take a walking tour of historic architecture in Petoskey.
38. Walk or cross country ski through the winding community of Bay View and enjoy the gingerbread Victorian cottages.
39. Bundle up to hike, snowshoe the dunes or cross country ski at Petoskey State Park (located off of M-119).
40. Grab a drink in the Noggin Room Pub, complete an around the world tour of over 30 brews and add your name to the “Hall of Foam.”
41. Browse the boutique shops of Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District.
42. Bundle up to stroll the Bear River Recreation Area in Petoskey.
43. The Little Traverse Historical Museum features Hemingway artifacts, train memorabilia and other facts from the past (petoskeymuseum.org).
44. Try your luck at Odawa Casino.
45. Sip a gourmet cup of coffee at North Perk Coffee, Drip Works or Roast and Toast in downtown Petoskey.
46. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the historic community of Bay View at Stafford’s Bay View Inn (January & February, weather permitting).
47. Enjoy the ever changing exhibits and performances at Crooked Tree Arts Center (crookedtree.org).
48. Watch a local performance by the Great Lakes Chamber Choir (glorchestra.com).
49. Ice skate or sled at Petoskey’s Winter Sports Park.
50. Petoskey is home to Kilwin’s quality confections – take home a delicious treat or tour the kitchen. Petoskey is where the company was founded.
51. Pick up some new reading material at the award winning McLean & Eakin Booksellers in downtown.
52. Canoe, kayak or stroll the Bear River Recreation Area. Rentals nearby.
53. Take home some jam & sauce from American Spoon Foods – Petoskey is where the company was founded.
54. Stop by Symon’s General Store in downtown for gourmet treats.
55. Sample oils and vinegars from Fustini’s in downtown Petoskey.
56. Catch a flick at the Petoskey Cinema.
57. Peruse our collection of Michigan art and history at Stafford’s Art Gallery, located behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel (staffordsgallery.com).
58. Visit a northern Michigan brewery. Beards Brewery located in downtown Petoskey or Petoskey Brewing Co. located on M-119.
59. Enjoy breakfast or lunch in the H.O. Rose Dining Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel.
60. Grab a treat from Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery.
61. Sturgeon River Pottery offers a great selection of homemade pottery and gifts, some items are made right in the store!
62. Enjoy live entertainment from local musicians in the Noggin Room Pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel Friday & Saturday evenings.
63. Stop by the Crooked Tree Arts Center for the Artisan & Farmers Market every Friday, 10 am to 1 pm (crookedtree.org).
64. Take the little ones and spend some time at Busy Bodies Bounce Town.
65. Red Sky Stage is a coffee house style performing arts venue in downtown Petoskey with local talent. Catch a performance (redskystage.com).
66. Walk through the unique village at Bay Harbor.
67. The Innkeeper’s Buffet at Stafford’s Bay View Inn is delicious! Saturday evenings, November – February, 5:30 to 8:30 pm.
68. Enjoy indoor ice skating at Griff en Arena, open October through March.

Walloon Lake
69. Bundle up and enjoy ice skating at the public skating rink overlooking Walloon Lake.

Northern Michigan
70. Enjoy world class skiing at Nub’s Nob, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain (all a short drive from our hotels).
71. Pamper yourself at one of the areas renowned spas.
72. 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.
73. Visit one of the areas signature fudge shops.
74. Enjoy a famous Awesome Coffee at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, Weathervane Restaurant or Noggin Room Pub.
75. Learn about the famous Petoskey Stone, available for sale at our front desks or in our Gallery.
76. Take a hike! Little Traverse Nature Conservancy offers more than 172 nature preserves across northern Michigan (landtrust.org).
77. Try Stafford’s Oak Planked Whitefish – Stafford’s specialty since 1961!
78. Experience exceptional northern Michigan wines along the Bay View Wine Trail (bayviewwinetrail.com).
79. Go ice fishing on one of the many local lakes.
80. Rent a snowmobile and enjoy a day out on the trails!
81. Go antiquing at one of the shops in northern Michigan.
82. Relax by the fireplace at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Crooked River Lodge or Perry Hotel.
83. Sit back, relax and take in the views of our beautiful corner of northern Michigan.
84. 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.