The statue of Ernest Hemingway in Pennsylvania Park, Petoskey
Petoskey is a great basecamp for taking day trips to explore the rest of Northern Michigan. Adventure is just a short drive away!
Ocqueoc Falls – About an hour east of Petoskey is Ocqueoc Falls, the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula. It’s a wonderful spot to enjoy Michigan’s outdoors. After running over three stone ledges, the falls pours five feet into a pool. On a hot day, you can take a dip in the pool to cool off. Ocqueoc Falls is completely handicap accessible. Along with a paved trail with plenty of space for wheelchairs, there are transfer stations specially designed for people in wheelchairs to be able to get in and out of the water. There are also several miles of hiking trails and mountain biking trails, as well as a picnic area.
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point – Ninety minutes north of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula you’ll find the Great Lakes Shipwreck museum. It’s located at the site of the historic Whitefish Point Light Station. The original light tower and buildings are still intact. At the museum you’ll learn about the perilous history of shipping and travel on the Great Lakes. You’ll also be treated to a spectacular view of Lake Superior from the beach at Whitefish Point. A memorial to the famous Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck is also on the museum grounds.
40 Mile Point Lighthouse – 40 Mile Point Lighthouse is an hour east of Petoskey on Lake Huron inside Presque Isle County Park. The beautiful two-story brick 1896 lighthouse and outbuildings are restored and open to the public. Visitors can tour the lighthouse and even climb the tower and take in the incredible view of Lake Huron. There’s also a gift shop and museum on the grounds. After visiting the lighthouse you can grab a bite to eat in nearby Rogers City, home to one of the largest shipping ports on the Great Lakes.
Tunnel of Trees – Considered one of the most scenic drives in the country, the Tunnel of Trees is found along M-119. You’ll head north out of Petoskey along the 28-mile route that ends at Cross Village. The narrow state highway runs 20 miles along a high bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan. Its name comes from the tree canopy that grows so thick over the road it creates a tunnel-like feeling. The drive is especially popular in fall when the leaves are brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. Along the route you’ll find several unique restaurants, shops, and beautiful vistas.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is two hours south of Petoskey. It was named the Most Beautiful Place in America in 2011. It’s easy to see why. The dunes rise a towering 460 feet above Lake Michigan, covering a 4-square mile area. At the top, dune climbers can see west across the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan for miles. To the east is another amazing view of Michigan’s lush forests and sparkling inland lakes. The national lakeshore also includes multiple beaches, hiking trails, and historic sites such as the old port town of Glen Haven. Just outside the park, you’ll find the quaint town of Glen Arbor, with places to eat and shop.
We have made northern Michigan a staple in our vacation diet. We have lived in many states, but Michigan, especially Northern Michigan, is by far our favorite place to head to when we want to get away from it all. The road between Harbor Springs and Cross Village is spectacular in its beauty and the views spectacular.