Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Group Tour magazine will continue to provide group travel inspiration. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
Nestled along the shores of Little Traverse Bay, the Petoskey area’s collection of classic resort towns is always a highlight of northern Michigan tours.
Groups can browse dozens of locally owned shops and boutiques, explore historic Victorian neighborhoods, visit museums, tour wineries and choose from countless dining options.
“From the moment your group arrives in the Petoskey area, they’ll know they have come to someplace special,” said Peter Fitzsimons, executive director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau. “The Petoskey area offers northern Michigan beauty, Victorian charm and a world of things to see and do. More than just another pretty place, it’s a Michigan treasure.”
Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau
In Boyne City, visit Lavender Hill Farm, established in 2003. One of Michigan’s largest lavender farms, Lavender Hill Farm features 25 different varieties. Visit the gift shop and explore other farm activities. Group tours need to be scheduled. The farm can set up crafts, lunches or specific lessons for groups.
Mushroom House Tours focus on houses created by architect Earl Young. Known as the “Master Builder in Stone,” Young designed the houses to fit into the landscape. He used indigenous materials, like stones he found on the Lake Michigan shore. Flowing lines and cedar shake roofs make many of these houses in Charlevoix to appear almost gnome-like.
A shopping area for more than 100 years, the Gaslight Shopping District in downtown Petoskey is bursting with more than 110 independent shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Several shops carry carved Petoskey stones, which are the state stone of Michigan and can be fashioned into beautiful jewelry and knick-knacks.
Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey offers kitchen tours. Watch as candies are hand-crafted and take in the sweet aroma of chocolate, fudge and fresh homemade waffle cones. See creamy Mackinac Island fudge being paddled the traditional way on marble tables. There are free samples at the end of each tour.