I take a road trip to pretty Petoskey on Little Traverse Bay.
By Charlie Huisking
For years, I've been hearing friends extol the beauty and charm of the lakeside towns in Michigan. Since I’m spending much of this summer with a friend in Indiana, I decided to take a five-hour road trip north.
My first stop was Petoskey, a lovely resort town on stunningly blue Little Traverse Bay. The first tourists started arriving here in the 1870s by steamship from Chicago. The town's historic Gaslight district is filled with restored 19th-century buildings housing shops, restaurants and hotels. I wandered through Waterfront Park and rented a bike for a ride along a 30-mile bayside path (OK, my ride didn't last 30 miles).
A view of downtown Petoskey, Mich.
In nearby Harbor Springs, I parked on Beach Drive, which is lined by nearly 100 Victorian cottages with wide porches that overlook manicured green lawns sloping down to the bay. My visit was in early June, so the summer people hadn't arrived yet, and most of the homes were boarded up.
My "summer cottage" was the Bay Harbor Inn, a grand white Victorian-style hotel that's the centerpiece of a 1,200-acre resort and residential development.
Though only 10 years old, the hotel is built to look like it's been here a century. My waterfront room on the third floor was huge, with a balcony, fireplace and a spacious marble bathroom.
I walked past the gazebo and the croquet court and sprawled in a hammock to watch the sunset. It was cool enough for a sweater, and nearby, several guests were toasting marshmallows over a fire pit on the white-sand beach.
Beachscape in Petoskey.