serving Southwest Michigan

Historic buildings are common sites along the Lake Michigan shoreline from the Leelanau Peninsula to Petoskey

 

The Leelanau Peninsula and the surrounding areas of Northern Lower Michigan are popular destinations for fun, food, and scenery. Traverse City is on Grand Traverse Bay in the Leelanau Peninsula but travel a tad further north and you’ll find Little Traverse Bay and the picturesque town of Petoskey. The drive from Traverse City to Petoskey is along Lake Michigan from one Bay to another. Anywhere along the way is a perfect place to stop and admire the scenery.

The picturesque lakeshore between Traverse City and Petoskey in Michigan is home to a variety of crops, reflecting the region’s agricultural diversity. There’s cherries, apples, grapes, hops, and many other specialty crops. In season you’ll be able to shop for fresh produce anywhere along your route.

So, whether you’re exploring the cherry orchards, sipping local wine, or enjoying a crisp apple, the lakeshore between Traverse City and Petoskey offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and agricultural bounty! 

Petoskey – where the light shines through the clouds

In the Odawa ingenious language that’s what Petoskey means. And the sunsets certainly prove it. Sunsets over the Bay are incredible summer and winter. The Petoskey area is an outdoors person’s paradise. If you’re a hiker the Good Hart Farms Nature Preserve has great hiking trails. Want something a little less strenuous? How about walking to the Waterfall Area and just watching the waterfall from a park bench?

A popular occupation – looking for Petoskey stones

A walk along Little Traverse Bay could bag you some of the “gems” of the area – Petoskey stones. They aren’t stones, but fossilized coral that dates back to the Devonian period (419 million years ago). It’s sometimes called the Age of Fishes because so many different types of fish appeared at this time.

The best time to look for Petoskey stones is after a rain or when the snow is melting in early spring. Don’t forget to look in the shallow water for the unmistakable coral patterns.

In Petosky in the Winter?

Although it’s cold it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. And winter is celebrated at the Petoskey Winter Carnival. Ice sculptures, snowshoeing, and many other winter events will get you out and about.

And when you’re good and cold get on over to the Odawa Casino for fun and good food and drink. If you’re looking for food without the Casino vibe head to one of the many vineyards for food and drink with a view. Winter views are almost as good as summer ones.

Petoskey isn’t just a scenic spot on the map – although it certainly is that. It’s also a cultural hotspot in Northern Lower Michigan. The annual Petoskey Art in the Park features local and regional artists. Into music? Petosky rocks! is a summer concert series in the park.

History and the Arts in Petoskey

The Crooked Tree Arts Center is the place to be creative. There are lots of free events – so take advantage! Or go on over to the revamped train depot, a fitting building for the Little Traverse History Museum. Learn about local history (Ernest Hemingway was a resident of Petoskey) and the history of the indigenous peoples.

No matter the season there’s always something happening around Little Traverse Bay. Events such as art exhibits and creative play at the Crooked Tree Art Center or hikes and picnics in Bayfront Park and everything in between.

Head on south into the Leelanau Peninsula to check out the Cherry Capital of the World – Traverse City.

Traverse City- the Cherry Capital of the World

There’s a great deal more to Traverse City than the Cherry Festival every spring. In fact, there are Fairy Trails, a Hippie Tree, a beautiful lighthouse, and parks overlooking the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.

Mission Point Lighthouse in Traverse City

You can rent a replica of a 19th century tall ship at the Traverse Tall Ship Company or see a wonderful collection of artworks at the Dennos Museum Center. At Dennos you’ll see indigenous art as well as artwork dating back to the 19th century.

More of an Outdoor Person?

Head on over to the Mission Point Lighthouse and from the top enjoy the magnificent view of Lake Michigan. Then hop on your bike and ride some of the 60 miles of trails crossing the Leelanau Peninsula.

Lake Michigan and the many beaches lure the water lover. Be sure and make your way down to one of the beaches along Lake Michigan to see the sunset. Truly worth the time.

Traverse City is a Foodies Heaven

There are so many great restaurants and most of them source their ingredients locally. That means menus are driven by the seasons. Here are just a few of the great taste treats awaiting you in Traverse City.

Red Mesa Grill puts their own twist on old favorites. Or burgers? Slabtown Burgers is a great place to customize your burger experience. Not quite so adventuresome? Don’s Drive In is a flashback to the 50s with neon signs, milk shakes (you’re in TC – go for the Cherry milkshake), and what’s not to like when you’re eating in a cute diner!

The restaurant view of the Bay and all the boating activity on the water

For the best of land and lake try the West End Tavern. The view is magnificent – and the food? Darn good. Another happening place is Poppycocks for martinis and live jazz.

Dine with a view overlooking Lake Michigan while eating delicious fresh fish at the popular Apache Trout Grill. From a Perch Reuben to locally farmed Rainbow Trout or Whitefish from Lake Superior, your tastebuds will thank you.

Along Lake Michigan There’s Cherries – and Wine and Beer

When you’re the cherry capital you have a lot of cherry happenings. Some of them are events, some are in the form of cherry cocktails, milk shakes, or pies, and some are as artwork.

In 1987 Chef Pierre Bakeries celebrated the pride of cherries with a huge pie. It served 35,000 people and was in the Guinness Book of World Records. That pie tin is displayed on Cass St in Traverse City.

A vineyard with cover crops that are grazed by livestock, often sheep or goats.

Cherries aren’t the only agricultural crop in the Traverse City area. Vineyard owners offer daily tours of their wineries. Hops are also grown in the region so, of course, there are breweries.

 

And You Might Find Some Goats

The Northern part of the Lower Peninsula has beautiful but hilly terrain. Landscapes that are difficult to maintain and often tend to become overgrown. Our eco-friendly goat herd is working to keep the landscapes along Lake Michigan from the Leelanau Peninsula to Little Traverse Bay free of invasive species. Summers are spent in the Leelanau Peninsula camping with the goats who browse underbrush, decreasing wildfire risks.

Camping beside my goats is one of the man benefits of being a nomadic herder.

Being able to visit all the wonderful sites along the lakeshore is a great benefit of being a nomad Grazier. Our herd of goats are guarded by our pair of Great Pyrenees Mountain Dogs. My tent is the perfect shelter against the nighttime chill that’s common along Lake Michigan.

We offer the most eco-friendly and cost-effective solution for your landscape management needs. Invasive species are no match for a herd of goats. Goats eat almost anything. That’s includes autumn olive, brambles, poison ivy, sumac, wild grapevines, and much more. And they can get into places it’s difficult for humans or machines. Ditches, ravines, and steep slopes.

 

Goats browsing a steep hillside by the lake.

Do you live on the Leelanau Peninsula or along the Lake Michigan lakeshore? Have you visited the sites around your town? From my experience I know we often don’t take advantage of the beauty or history close by. I’ll be walking along the Lake Michigan shoreline this summer and my goats may be working on an overgrown area near you. Stop and take some pictures. The electric fence keeps the goats in. Be sure and keep your dog on leash.

I look forward to helping you on your property this summer. Contact me so we can discuss the process and I can get you on the calendar. See you this summer!