Walk into Stafford's Bay View Inn and the decades slip away. The handsome Victorian inn overlooks a manicured croquet lawn, and wicker porch chairs offer prime seating for Lake Michigan sunsets. Inside, richly patterned wallpaper and creaky floors hearken to the era when Petoskey emerged as a tourist destination. While you can't call Bay View luxurious, it's well-kept and atmospheric.The rooms, though predictably small, feature private baths. The lack of TVs in rooms draws guests to sit in the parlor or on the porch. (Our room also had a private balcony.)
The on-site restaurant serves a tasty full breakfast, enchanced by small warm cinnamon rolls.
The Bay View's historic character and limited amenities attract a certain type (and age) of traveler, soem of whom return yearly. It's not a property for young families, nor for people who want chic bedding and spa-quality shampoo. Also, its location on the highway north of town means guests have to drive to the shops and restaurants in the Gaslight District. But for visitors seeking an authentic taste of the vacations of yesteryear, the Bay View delivers.