100 Best Midwest Small-Town Getaways
These neighboring resort towns along the Lower Peninsula's northwest shore began entertaining vacationers who came by steamship more than a century ago. No wonder they're so good at it, offering an ever-growing to-do list for travelers and a relaxed attitude. Petoskey (pictured at left; population: 6,000) climbs hills along Little Traverse Bay, and Charlevoix (population: 3,000) nestles between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix 17 miles southwest.
The beach and harbor are steps from the 100 shops and galleries of Petoskey's Gaslight District and landmark Stafford's Perry Hotel. Charlevoix's boutiques string along the waterfront. Local restaurants, including Andante (fine dining; bay views) and Jesperson's (good pie!) deliver memorable meals. In the warmer months, visitors golf at the Inn at Bay Harbor, a first-class resort with courses heralded as the Midwest's Pebble Beach.