In Michigan, the winters are long and the summers are short. So, once the sun starts shining, we head up to Boyne City and Petoskey to spend family time on our docks, in our boats, and exploring new places in our two favorite up-north vacation cities!
Whether you’ve got a house or cabin to drive up to, or you’re staying at a hotel or AirBnB, there are so many great activities and places to explore in both these cities–just a short drive from one another!
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. | Roast & Toast | 309 E. Lake Street, Petoskey 231-347-7767
First, start your day at this great breakfast and brunch favorite! Dine delicious food, made with locally-sourced products, and try their classic coffees, made with home-roasted beans!
10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. | Fred Friedli Playground at Bayfront Park | 101 E Lake St, Petoskey
After breakfast or brunch, let the kids loose! Head over to this playground divided into age-appropriate structures to let the littles run around while you check out the beautiful view!
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | Bayfront Park and Petoskey Lighthouse | 101 E Lake St, Petoskey
Next, take a walk along the shore, collecting Petoskey stones as you make your way to the lighthouse!
12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | Lake Street Market & Deli | 306 S Lake Street, Boyne City 231-582-4450
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, call-in an order to Lake Street Market–the best sandwiches in the world! While you’re waiting for your pick-up order, check out their small shop which features Michigan delights like candy, pickles, and other goods, as well as wines!
PRO TIP: Be sure to check their hours and call ahead! Lake Street is very popular and wait times can be long; place your order before you leave Petoskey for perfect timing!
1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | Young State Park | 2280 Boyne City Rd., Boyne City 231-582-7523
After eating lunch, it’s time to get in the water! If you have a rental or AirBnB with lake access, head back and then enjoy a swim. If you’re looking for a place to splash, this public park offers a great spot for people of all ages to have fun in the sun!
4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. | Boyne Valley Vineyards | 05325 US-131 S, Petoskey (231) 373-2090
A great way to wind down is to head over to Boyne Valley Vineyards to try their local wines and sit in a serene, beautiful landscape. Walk the grounds, grab an adirondack chair, or sit in their lofted patio. It’s also kid-friendly, if the littles want to tag along.
PRO TIP: They have a winery pup who sometimes makes an appearance!
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. | Grilling and s’mores under the stars! | Home Away From Home!
Lastly, it’s time to grill and star gaze! Grab food to throw on the grill from a local grocery store, or order takeout from one of these great restaurants and then eat al fresco! Make sure to grab a bag of marshmallows because no day is complete without s’mores under the stars–a true up-north staple!
RESTAURANTS YOU'LL LOVE
Happy’s Tacos | 251 S M-75, Boyne City (231) 330-9408
Sit on the patio and enjoy fresh-made tacos from Happy’s Taco Truck! A great quick lunch or snack mid-day.
Lake Street Market & Deli | 306 S Lake Street, Boyne City (231) 582-4450
Not only is this place super cute inside–and they focus on selling Michigan-based goods and wines–but they also make the best sandwiches in the whole world. Check out their menu for hours and offerings with the funniest names!
Lake Street Pub | 202 South Lake Street, Boyne City (231) 497-6031
A casual spot with burgers, drinks, and great salads, plus more. Great for the whole family and they also have some games in the back!
Red Mesa Grill | 117 Water Street, Boyne City (231) 582-0049
A cute and festive Mexican restaurant in the heart of Boyne City. Two-thumbs-up margaritas and tasty food!
The Backlot Beer Garden | 425 Michigan St, Petoskey (231) 881-9933
Featuring a huge selection of Michigan beers, this beer garden is a must on your trip! Sit inside or outside at large picnic tables and grab some yummy food from a selection of permanent food trucks (plus, a Happy’s Taco truck, too!).
ATTRACTIONS YOU MUST VISIT
Bahnhof Sports | 1300 Bay View Road, Petoskey (800) 253-7078
If you are in need of a bike rental, Bahnhof Sports is located right on the Little Traverse Wheelway and offers a variety of options including traditional, tandem, and electric. Insider tip: you will need a reservation for rentals.
Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen | 1050 Bay View Road, Petoskey (231) 347-7112
Step into the kitchen of the famous Kilwins, home of “the world’s best Mackinac Island fudge.” Take a tour of the facility, taste some samples, and then take home a wide selection of treats.
Little Traverse Wheelway | Emmet County | Trail end points: Waller Rd. and US 31 (Charlevoix) and Kosequat Park at Park Ln. and E. Lake Road (Harbor Springs)
Running 26 miles and connecting Charlevoix, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs, this scenic and fun bike ride for familiars has amazing views and plenty of opportunities to stop for fun and food along the way, too.
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOPS
Gilda’s Lake Street Bakery | 110 S. Lake Street, Boyne City (231) 497-6060
If you’re looking for a fresh pasty or a delicious crepe, the line out the door at Gilda’s speaks for itself! Pop in here for your morning scone to enjoy with your tea or coffee!
Lake Charlevoix Coffee Company | 202 S Lake St, Boyne City (231) 497-6497
A cute and comfy coffee shop to grab your morning latte or meet up with a friend for an afternoon catch-up. A nice quiet space if you’ve got to get some work done, or grab a couch and some board games to enjoy with your beverage.
Roast & Toast | 309 E. Lake Street, Petoskey (231) 347-7767
Another fantastic spot! A unique and comforting place for breakfast/brunch with home-roasted beans for their classic coffees. This gem prides itself on using locally-sourced products and works hard to improve their carbon footprint as well!
FAVORITE PLACES FOR SWEET TREATS
Alpine Chocolat Haus | 1 Water St, Boyne City (231) 582-160
A perfect spot for old school sweet treats! This local favorite features all your favorite ice creams, candy, and chocolates in one spot!
Kilwins | 102 Water St, Boyne City (231) 582-2505
Another sweet spot. If you’re craving fudge or a perfect candy apple, makes sure to pop into Kilwins for a quick treat or dessert to take home!
FAVORITE KID-FRIENDLY SPOTS
Bayfront Park and Petoskey Lighthouse | 101 E Lake St, Petoskey
Take the walk out to the lighthouse for a beautiful view along the rock-lined path. There are various small museums bordering the park and some great things to see such as sailboats, yachts, hot air balloons, and various kites being flown! A large place to run and play.
Bear River Valley Recreation Area | Mitchell St. & Quaintance Ave, Petoskey
A beautiful place for a hike with the family that is close to the Petoskey Bayfront Lighthouse. If you walk over to Lake Street during the months of September and October, you may catch a peak at the steelhead trout swimming upstream to lay their eggs.
East Park | 601 Quarry Dr., Petoskey
Another great park! East Park is a quiet scenic park located between Petoskey and Boyne City, with views of Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay. Take a walk along the rocks and find your very own Petoskey stone, and then check out the playground at the top of the hill!
Fred Friedli Playground at Bayfront Park | 101 E Lake St, Petoskey
A great play structure with another beautiful view! This playground features various structures for kids of all ages and developmental levels, plenty of parking, restrooms, and the view doesn’t hurt!
Veterans Memorial Park | 207 N. Lake Street, Boyne City
A large wooden, castle-like playground for older children and a section for our smaller kiddos too! A great place to let them and their imagination run wild.
PRO TIP: If you happen to be there during the farmers market, it’s a great place to check out some local vendors and fresh food!
FAVORITE DATE NIGHT SPOTS
Barrel Back Restaurant | 4069 M-75, Walloon Lake 231-535-6000
A perfect spot for a lunch date or evening watching the sunset! With great food and drinks, this restaurant is situated between Boyne City and Petoskey.
Beards Brewery | 215 E. Lake Street, Petoskey (231) 753-2221
With a restaurant, pub, and shop all in one, this brewery is top notch. Very chill vibes. Sit at the bar if you want to get the inside scoop on the “oopsie” beers they have on tap sometimes!
Cafe Sante | 1 Water St., Boyne City (231) 582-8800
A french bistro tucked into the corner of Water Street! A perfect evening getaway from the kids with some delicious dining options!
Chandler’s | 215 1/2 Howard St., Petoskey (231) 347-2981
Not only a cozy hideaway, it’s connected to a wine shop! Dine off of a great menu and sip local or international favorites, and then head upstairs to do some shopping at the general store!
Pour Kitchen & Bar | 422 E Mitchell St., Petoskey (231) 881-9800
Featuring an amazing selection of wines and cocktails, plus unique food with options for all dietary restrictions or lifestyles! Pour is another awesome spot that will make you feel like you stepped into Detroit’s hottest new restaurant!
BONUS TIPS TO BOYNE CITY + PETOSKEY
- There are several great hotels sprinkled throughout the area. However, for a really relaxing vacation, try to book a rental or AirBnB near water!
- Both cities are great for a quick visit, but we recommend three to six days to get a really relaxing experience!
- Finally, for day trips, check out some of our other nearby Detroit Travel Series spots like Traverse City with the family or some great wineries with the girls!