One of my favorite cities in Michigan is Petoskey. It
is a part of lower northern Michigan, on the northwest
shore of Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. It is
about 267 miles from Detroit and a very popular
destination with a list of many things to see and do
around the area, such as golfing, camping, boating,
wineries, shopping, and great restaurants, just to
name a few. It also has Petoskey State Park nearby
and is close to Bar Harbor, Traverse City, Mackinaw
City and Charlevoix.
It has a lovely downtown area, Gaslight District, where
all the stores, restaurants, and artist boutiques are.
It’s a charming place to spend several hours just enjoying
the area with Lake Michigan in sight.
One of my favorite lunch spots in town is Jespersons.
It is a 110 years old, a place where Ernest Hemingway
would often eat, earning him his own stool at the counter.
It is a plain, but unique place, that satisfies your palette
with its homemade food. It specializes in chicken pot pies,
meatloaf and homemade fruit pies. I usually will grab a
sandwich and a piece of pie with a scoop of ice cream.
Their food is always good and it’s a must when you are
in the city.
One of the hotels I stay at in Petoskey is, The Apple Tree
Inn. It’s a large yellow painted hotel that is reasonably
priced and always meets my satisfaction. The rooms are
clean and spacious and has a pool and complete fitness
Less than two miles from the downtown area is a village
called Bay View. It is filled with Victorian homes dating
back to the 1800’s. It is a very prestigious area known
for its history of who’s who that lives there. It became
very popular in 1873, when a Grand Rapids newspaper proclaimed
The Petoskey area “Land of a Million Dollar Sunset”. In
1874 it was a regular stop on the rail system for city folks
to escape the noise and smog of the big cities.
Ernest Hemingway spent his childhood summers in this area,
in nearby Walloon Lake, making this area the settings for
his Nick Adams stories.
A wonderful charming inn in this area is Stafford Bayview
Inn. Built in 1886, it is like stepping back in time as
you enter the lobby. It is decorated in a Victorian style
with charming furniture to enhance this feeling. It has
a wonderful enclosed sunroom that is made comfortable with
it’s wicker and Victorian mixture. It is an elegant and
charming inn with a wonderful view of the gardens and Lake
Michigan. The rooms are decorated with that same decor and
is void of TV or Phone, which enhances this tranquil stay.
The Roselawn Dining Room at the inn is divine. The food
is great and the lovely setting overlooking Lake Michigan
is perfection. You must treat yourself to this experience
at least once.
Another favorite of mine when I am in this area, is to
drive the famed scenic route M119, along the lake passing
beautiful homes and vast forest like areas. You will
eventually drive through a tunnel of trees, which is formed
exactly as its name. It is very unique. You will eventually
reach Cross Village, a tiny town with a very well-known
restaurant, Legs Inn. It is a mixture of polish meets
Indian, with heavy wood carvings scattered throughout the
rooms. It specializes in Polish food with waiters actually
here from Poland to work the summers. The food is great.
I will usually get the polish combination plate with a variety
of polish favorites.
The garden area in the back is breathtaking. It’s on a bluff
overlooking Lake Michigan. The Detroit Free Press rates
Legs Inn as one of the 14 best restaurants in Michigan.
It has been written up in the Chicago Tribune Travel
section “Legs Inn in Cross Village is a must”. It is
also known for a place of beautiful sunsets. It’s on a bluff
casual place that can get very crowded. If you time your
visit right, you can get right in, if not, you can sit with
a drink in hand in the garden area, looking out into Lake
Michigan and know that this is a special place.