I grew up in Petoskey, Michigan, known for its beautiful sunsets, shopping, and the infamous Petoskey stone. As wonderful as those touristy must-dos sound, they are a bit overrated.

If you plan on venturing to good ole P-Town, let me tell you what you should REALLY try while visiting.

The Break-wall

I’m not talking about taking a romantic walk along the break-wall, I’m talking about grabbing a towel and your suit and jumping into Lake Michigan! Sounds easy, right? Once you’re out there looking down, it’s a bit further of s jump than you think. Don’t hesitate. Jump in, climb out, repeat!

Mitchell Street Pub

Downtown has a multitude of offerings when it comes to food. Whatever you do, don’t skip the Pub! My favorite dish is the French Dip sandwich and the Wisconsin cheese curds! You can’t go wrong with either of them. And while you wait, take advantage of the free peanuts. Not because they’re peanuts, because you throw the shells on the floor! That’s right, shell them and toss the remnants onto the floor of the dim lighted little Pub. Best part-it’s expected!

Tap 30

Looking to grab a drink? This place is a must. The taps are ever changing and it’s impossible to get bored. The atmosphere itself is enticing. And while you’re there, grab an order of the loaded tots!


Okay, I know I said these were overrated. They are if you’re watching it over and over. But if you’re in the area, stop at Sunset Park right off the highway. Best view of the sunset and quite peaceful, especially if you’re looking to clear your mind.


Living on Lake Michigan was great, but honestly the Petoskey State Park was not the hot spot for hitting the beach. Too many people, seagulls, and tourists. If you want to hit a good beach you can still get to Lake Michigan but on a smaller scale. Head over to Harbor Springs via M119. Once inside Harbor you’ll see beach frontage to your left with a pavilion. That’s the spot! They even have a raft anchored out there to jump in.

Bay Harbor

I’m not talking about site seeing, expensive shopping, or art events. Visit Bay Harbor with a sole purpose of visiting Knot Just A Bar. It’s situated right on the water at the marina. Great food and drink options, and a beautiful view.


Here’s the disclaimer-Don’s bar is worse than a dive bar. It’s a little hole in the wall bar that has approximately 15 barstools, a pool table, and a jukebox. Why suggest it? Because the regulars there LOVE when big groups come in. It’s not often newcomers visit Don’s, but when they do in larger groups, they are highly entertained. It’s a quiet, empty little space. Grab a group of 10 friends and head to Don’s to stir up some laughs. Sounds odd, I know, but trust me you’ll laugh the night away.

Petoskey is a great getaway spot. Unfortunately, the fudge, expensive downtown shopping, and other tourist suggestions found in advertisements only cover up the simple spots. Find the little places and enjoy the view for less. I’ve got several other suggestions if you’re planning a trip that way!

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