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216 Park Avenue
Petoskey, MI 49770

Come enjoy Downtown Petoskey on Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay with unique shops and restaurants in the Gaslight Shopping District. Serving Bay Harbor, Bay View, Harbor Springs, Walloon Lake and Emmet County.


Summer Returns

Andi Symonds

July 10, 2019

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 So, if you arrived in early spring, you probably found winter and if you arrived in early summer you found early spring and if you arrive now, we’ve gone directly to late summer. Blooms and blossoms are extraordinary due to the cool wet spring, and since the pollen has retreated, one can enjoy the outdoors without much difficulty, and sweltering heat and humidity has residents and returning guests clamoring for the breakwall leap. Yes, summer returns.


That phrase, “summer returns,” also works for the venerable resort and part-time residents who return to the area for fun and frolic. Being loose with the numbers, Petoskey has around 6,000 year-round residents, and when the summer returns, the area from, say Walloon through Bay View and into Harbor Springs, explodes to about 50,000 people – and that doesn’t include the tens of thousands of tourists and the tens of thousands of day-trippers. When summer returns to Downtown Petoskey, let the fireworks begin!

A few hints covering the stretch to Labor Day (actually, through October with all of the fall leaf-peepers):

1.     Make reservations well in advance. So many folk walk around town in groups and when everyone gets hungry, only a few places may be able to oblige the appetite.

2.     Don’t be afraid of the parking. Use the side streets if the metered spots and parking lots are full. The walk is short and worth the visit to shops and stores along the way.

3.     If you’re coming for an extended stay, grocery shop early. Stores empty out of produce and essentials quickly.

4.     Try new venues. Many families have been coming to Downtown Petoskey since the turn of the last, last century. Yes, 1900, and many have made sure the oldest and dearest places in town stay busy; but there are new bars, restaurants, and shops, so if the favorites are busy, take a few extra steps into the unchartered territory of fresh and exciting. You can always find a way to get to the favorites.

5.     Use the Downtown Petoskey website for event planning. Andi does a marvelous job keeping everyone informed.

6.     Meander through the parks and grab a bench. DON’T BE IN A HURRY. Reeeelllllaaaaxxxxx. We have great parks right in Downtown.

7.     Finally, and we say this year after year, be kind, courteous and civil to the servers, bartenders, shopkeepers and city staff. We all work very hard to make sure you enjoy your stay, but there are scads of people all wanting to be treated special. We do our best in the amount of time we have.

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 Summer returns and time is short. Drive safe, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and most of all, take a moment to enjoy the moment. Shut off the phone. People watch. Laugh, cry, play cards, and disconnect. We’d love to have you become one of our “summer returns” in Downtown Petoskey.

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