15 Best Things To Do In Petoskey, Michigan

things to do in petoskey mi

One of the top tourist towns in all of Michigan, in all of America, awaits your arrival! With great hotels with pools and nearby cabin rentals equipped with the best amenities, you’ll definitely enjoy a convenient stay in Petoskey. The place is home to recreational opportunities, natural sights, and refined dining experiences - there’s no shortage of things to do in the crown jewel of the north! Whether you’re in town for a day, a week, or a month, allow Petoskey to dazzle, thrill, and wow you with the best of Michigan hospitality.

Read on to find out about the best things to do in Petoskey, Michigan.

1. Go on a relaxing walk through Clark Nature Preserve

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Clark Nature Preserve is a 314-acre (127-hectare) nature preserve that boasts magnificent biodiversity as it’s a mix of different habitat types. These habitat types include wet meadows, black ash swamps, cedar thickets, ponds, and hardwoods. With these different habitat types come different species of wildlife that nature lovers and birdwatchers can enjoy the sights and sounds of. This makes Clark Nature Preserve one of many places to go in Petoskey, MI, if you want to experience nature.

The preserve has a 2.3-mi (3.8-km) trail that visitors can use to trek through these different habitat types and take in the fresh air.

Clark Nature Preserve

Address: 1128 Valley View Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770, United States

Website: Clark Nature Preserve

2. Play some golf at Bay Harbor Golf Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

We're happy to share that Bay Harbor Golf Club has been named in Golf World's Top 100 Courses in the USA! See the full list here: https://bddy.me/3HqmVxV #GolfMichigan #AmericasSummerGolfCapital

Posted by Bay Harbor Golf Club on Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Bay Harbor Golf Club offers three unique nine-hole courses that can be combined into one seamless experience. The designs of each of these courses are unique and each one of them brings a different “flavor” to the game.

This ensures that each course is not the same experience every time and that guests will not easily be bored of the same design and patterns. Named by Golf World as one of the Top 100 Courses in the USA, this golf course guarantees a fun experience for all its visitors. If you love playing golf, this Petoskey attraction is a must-visit.

Bay Harbor Golf Club

Address: 5800 Coastal Ridge Dr, Bay Harbor, MI 49770, United States

Website: Bay Harbor Golf Club

Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)

3. Try some chocolate at Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen on Thursday, June 2, 2016

In the mood for some chocolate? If the answer is yes, then Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen has you covered. This long-running shop is one of the best places to eat chocolate in Petoskey. It takes pride in serving handcrafted chocolates, fudge, corns and brittles, confections, and original recipe ice cream. Satiate that sweet tooth by trying out one of the many delicious chocolates this kitchen has to offer.

The kitchen has ensured that only the best quality chocolates and confectionaries are served to their customers and this has held true since it first opened in 1985.

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

Address: 1050 Bay View Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770, United States

Website: Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

Opening hours: Sun - Fri: 9:30am - 6pm; Sun: 9:30am - 5pm

4. Check-in at Odawa Casino Resort

Odawa Casino Resort under construction (893445036)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user abarndweller used under CC BY 2.0

Start your stay in Petoskey on the right foot, and get right to the heart of some of the thrills that make this northern Michigan town so unique in nature! Come for the action and stay for the fun at Odawa Casino Resort, which boasts a dazzling array of top-tier, Vegas-style games, including exclusive slots, dynamic table games, and authentic poker tables. New games are constantly added to the active rotation on the floor, making for a new and unique experience each and every time you take advantage of the resort. This complete package of an attraction also includes a pool, a shuttle service to the location, and luxurious, onsite hotel rooms and dining opportunities! It’s everything you need under one roof, from a casino to cozy resort rooms. From Walmart Supercenter on Anderson Road and Lears Road, the casino is a 3-minute ride, being only 0.7 mi (1.12 km) away.

Odawa Casino Resort

Address: 1760 Lears Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Odawa Casino Resort

5. Have a drink at Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Don’t settle for anything less than absolute liquid perfection, when you visit Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery! With tasting rooms typified by an extensive range of quality selections and choice wines from the beginning of their menu to its conclusion, this certified Petoskey wine destination offers you unbeatable prices on their red, white, and fruit wines. Also, join their Wine Club for exclusive wine offers! Their shop offers you top wine options, as well as delectable goodies, branded items, and more. The winery is easily reachable from Petoskey State Park, which is only 5.8 mi (9.33 km) and a 10-minute drive away.

When it comes to quality, you can trust the best vineyard in the state of Michigan: Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery!

Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery

Address: 3720 Atkins Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery

6. Explore the Historic Gaslight District

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

For more than 100 years, the Historic Gaslight District in Petoskey, Michigan has existed as a staple of the local community. Retail opportunities abound at this shopper’s dream, a venue characterized by unique boutique shops, galleries, and quality dining enterprises! Decorated by historically accurate and consistently maintained gas lamps, the Historic Gaslight District in northwestern Michigan is the retail getaway you’ve always dreamed of! The district is only a minute’s walk from Ernest Hemingway Statue Petoskey on East Lake Street.

Historic Gaslight District

Address: 216 Park Avenue, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Historic Gaslight District

7. Take a break at Bayfront Park

Relaxing Park in Downtown Petoskey in the Summertime Photo by Michigan Municipal League
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michigan Municipa... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Petoskey’s well-maintained opportunity to experience nature and to get a taste of the crisp outdoors, Bayfront Park is your invitation to enjoy shoreline excellence. Among other impressive services, Bayfront Park offers locals and visitors alike full access to exclusive amenities, including its Central Clocktower, Little Traverse Historical Society History Museum, Midway Commons, and Lime Kiln Kid’s Fishing Pond. It’s an opportunity to encounter the great outdoors, especially during pristine summer and fall months, all courtesy of a setting that boasts family-friendly services from one border of the park to the other as well as ponder on what to do next in Petoskey. This scenic park is just a 3-minute walk from Petoskey City Hall, which is 0.2 mi (0.32 km) away. The sunshine is waiting for you at Bayfront Park, one of the best places to visit and things to do around Petoskey!

Bayfront Park

Address: 101 E Lake St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Bayfront Park

8. Have fun at Petoskey Winter Sports Park

If you think that Petoskey takes a break from its status as an elite tourist destination during the winter, Petoskey Winter Sports Park encourages you to think again. With exclusive skiing and snowboarding opportunities, this communal social hangout features dual ice rinks, the aforementioned skiing and snowboarding amenities, as well as sledding and warming house areas. This attraction not only offers unparalleled winter services - it does so for free! Other than a small charge for ice skates, you can take advantage of this location completely free of charge. The park is within easy reach of Wendy’s on Charlevoix Avenue, which is a 5-minute drive (1.7 mi/2.73 km) away.

With group and school discounts and complimentary onsite intern access, the Petoskey Winter Sports Park truly has it all, in terms of completeness of service, family-friendly staff, and the natural joys of the winter season!

Petoskey Winter Sports Park

Address: 1100 Winter Park Ln, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Petoskey Winter Sports Park

9. Go on an adventure at Bear River Valley Recreation Area

You’re going to want to take your time when it comes to Bear River Valley Recreation Area, as there’s simply so much to take in! Locals love the proximity to untouched nature that you are provided at this venue, with its 36 acres (14.6 hectares) of authentically preserved northwestern Michigan beauty. In recent years, the city of Petoskey dedicated millions of dollars to renovate the space, making Bear River Valley Recreation Area well worth your time. The park is a short distance (0.4 mi / 0.64 km) from McDonald’s on Spring Street, taking about 8 minutes by foot.

With available whitewater rafting courses, courtesy of the Northern Michigan Paddling Club, there’s a thrill to be had once you set foot on-site! Hiking, cross-country skiing, rafting, and fishing opportunities abound in this patch of preserved Michigan beauty, the Bear River Valley Recreation Area!

Bear River Valley Recreation Area

Address: 302 Ione St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Bear River Valley Recreation Area

10. Appreciate the arts at Crooked Tree Arts Center

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

With a complete array of art exhibits and enterprises, Crooked Tree Arts Center, in Petoskey, Michigan, is truly in a class of its own. Associated classes, courses, onsite lectures, and other special events are hosted by this dynamic location, year-round! There’s always something going on here.

Like what you see? You can also pick up specialty items at their gift shop! Looking for even more art? Check out the Crooked Tree Arts Center’s sponsored Artisan and Summer markets! It’s art like you’ve never witnessed before, courtesy of the up-close perspective offered exclusively by this arts center! From Arby’s on West Mitchell Street, Crooked Tree is just four minutes away by car.

Crooked Tree Arts Center

Address: 461 E Mitchell St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Crooked Tree Arts Center

11. Go for a hike on the North Western State Trail

Ending with Mackinaw Trail and beginning in Michigan’s own Petoskey, the North Western State Trail is open year-round to foot traffic, and open selectively to snowmobiles during peak winter months! 32 miles (51.5 kilometers) of picture-perfect trails include stops at Alanson and Pellston, among other marked destinations along the way. Decorated on both sides by spaced trees and finely maintained wildlife, the North Weston State Trail offers passersby a genuine encounter with the best of the northern outdoors. Whether the trail is decorated with the changing leaves of fall or the delicate snows of winter, come check out this Petoskey blessing! The trail is an easy 2-minute drive from Taco Bell on US-31 North, which is 0.7 miles (1.12 km) away.

North Western State Trail

Address: 1689 M-119, Petoskey, MI 49770

12. Take a stroll around the Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user calamity_sal used under CC BY 2.0

Cancel out stress with the perfect antidote for difficult days: Petoskey State Park! The ideal venue for relaxation, this breathtakingly beautiful location in the heart of Petoskey exists on the virtual edge of Little Traverse Bay, a perfect shoreline attraction for all of your cravings for natural wildlife. Here, leisure is as easy as the constant flow of sunshine through tall trees. With available cross-country ski trails, hiking areas, wide-open spaces, picnic venues, and opportunities for lake swimming, Petoskey State Park does well to introduce locals and visitors alike to the privilege that is a day at one of Michigan’s top state parks!

The beach’s brilliant sands, the sun’s unceasing warmth, and two complete campgrounds help to make this park what it is today. Dig your toes deep into the white sand, and prepare to have your definition of relaxation expanded to fit within Petoskey standards. From McDonald’s on US-31 North, the state park is 2.3 mi (3.70 km) and a 6-minute drive away. Come visit Petoskey State Park, where adventure abounds and luxury is as simple as a walk outdoors.

Petoskey State Park

Address: 2475 M-119, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Petoskey State Park

13. Go fishing with Rodzilla Fishing Charters

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Full racks and lots of smiles today!!!

Posted by Rodzilla Fishing Charters on Monday, May 16, 2022

The top fishing option in Petoskey has long since made a name for itself in the immediate community, and that name is Rodzilla Fishing Charters! Featuring up-front discounts for groups and active military personnel, Rodzilla Fishing Charters capitalize on the sheer thrill that is the catch of the day at the end of your line. Reel in a certified winner with Rodzilla Fishing Charters, free if the day ends without a catch! You and up to five of your friends and loved ones can come aboard the Rodzilla, a vessel that comes complete with a galley and ample storage. Featuring state-of-the-art electronics and sporting an iconic reputation in the local area, this fishing charter is the best way to go.

Drop your line in Little Traverse Bay with this company, and we guarantee that you’re in for a fun time. They can even help you remove your fish from the line and clean it! For less work, less worry, and more fun, get in touch with Rodzilla Fishing Charters. They’re an 11-minute drive from Taco Bell, which is 6 miles (9.65 km) away along US-31 North.

Rodzilla Fishing Charters

Address: 832 Front St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Rodzilla Fishing Charters

14. Catch a performance at Boyne City Performing Arts Center

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Located in Northern Michigan, Boyne City Performing Arts Center holds a prestigious status as a first-class performing arts center since 2002. With 620 seats, the center offers a beautiful combination of modern and innovative styles in the hopes of delivering professional performances that will make your jaw drop. The art center is a two-minute walk from McDonald’s on Boyne Avenue. If you would like to experience a great night out close to Petoskey, this is the place to be.

Boyne City Performing Arts Center

Address: 1035 Boyne Avenue. Boyne City, MI 49712

Website: Boyne City Performing Arts Center

15. Downtown Petoskey Trolley

Downtown Petoskey in the Summertime Photo by Michigan Municipal League
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michigan Municipa... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Lift your exploration in downtown Petoskey to a whole new level with this trolley service, newly expanded and ready to bring you to various prominent local landmarks that will help save your time on traveling. The trolley service operates from 10 am to 10 pm from Wednesdays to Sundays. If you’re on the hunt for the best things to do near Petoskey’s center, this is a great option. The ride is free, so hop on whenever you catch it on the road! The downtown area is a seven-minute walk or a two-minute drive from Petoskey City Hall.

Downtown Petoskey Trolley

Address: 216 Park Avenue; Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Downtown Petoskey Trolley

Nothing short of unforgettable

To experience the best attractions that Petoskey, Michigan has to offer, means you’re in for more than a treat. There are plenty of great places to visit and even places to stay. It’s saying that you have unprecedented access to genuine northwestern Michigan hospitality, with a fine class of people who exhibit nothing short of a stellar series of amenities. What is there to do in Petoskey? The answer is plenty. From dynamic winery excursions to thrilling casino nights to hikes through breathtaking natural areas, Petoskey really does have it all, in terms of its capacity to please even the strictest traveler. Whatever your reason for frequenting Petoskey, we daresay that if you stick to our suggested list of the finest attractions in the area, your stay will prove nothing short of unforgettable, from beginning to end!

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Petoskey, Michigan

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Petoskey?

There are plenty of things to do in Petoskey, but if you don’t have all the time in the world you should at least visit its top attraction, including the Historic Gaslight District, Petoskey State Park, and Bear River Valley Recreation Area.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Petoskey?

Petoskey features many outdoor activities that you’ll surely enjoy, like having a nature adventure at Bear River Valley Recreation Area. Here, you can try hiking, river rafting, fishing, and many more. It is one of the best outdoor activities you can do in the city so don’t forget to visit the place.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Petoskey with kids?

One of the most popular things you can do with your children in Petoskey is to bring them to Petoskey State Park, where they can swim, stroll, run freely, and take in a lot of vitamin D. Also, the whole family can have a picnic here or go camping. Other kid-friendly attractions for you include Bayfront Park, Bear River Valley Recreation Area, and Petoskey Winter Sports Park.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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John Gallagher is a digital marketing consultant and writer from San Diego, California. When he isn't thoroughly enjoying the writing process or pretending he thoroughly enjoys the revision...Read more

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