Summer Getaways in Michigan's Little Traverse Bay
Petoskey: Victorian vacation hub with great food and shops
In a word Bustling. In 1873, the first train arrived in Petoskey, carrying a newspaper reporter with a pen of gold. In the Grand Rapids Times, George Gage described Petoskey's "million dollar sunsets" over Lake Michigan, and tourists have flocked to this bluff-top town for summer vacations ever since.
Your kind of town?. Are you a city girl or a country gal? If you paused, you'll love Petoskey. The Gaslight Shopping District draws girlfriends and foodies; nearby rivers and trails offer kayaking, biking and hiking. Petoskey gets busy, though, and Lake Michigan serves more as a backdrop than the centerpiece. If a quiet retreat or beach time are priorities, you might prefer other towns.
Historic digs A velvety croquet lawn unfurls outside the dining room windows of Stafford's Bay View Inn, a gingerbread mansion with 31 individually decorated rooms. You'll have to drive a few minutes into town for meals and shopping, but the waterfront location and Victorian ambience make it worth the trip.
Memorable meals You don't have to look far to find great food in Petoskey. Special-occasion favorite Chandler's serves light sushi starters and inspired seasonal fare, like a bright pink beet risotto that tastes too lusciously creamy to be vegan. But you can also snag a $1.99 farm-fresh egg sandwich made with ham and local cheddar at Roast and Toast.
Pictured: Luscious preserves and gelato made with Michigan fruit have made American Spoon a Petoskey legend. The flagship store also houses a fantastic cafe serving light, seasonal fare.