Northern Michigan Favorites

charlevoix-michigan-boutique Northern-Michigan-Lavender-Field Lake-charlevoix-view

Happy long weekend! Although it feels like it has been forever, we are headed to the lake for the unofficial kickoff to summer. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but when I was growing up here I hated going up north on weekends and I can’t at all remember why I felt that way because we really love it now. We enjoy our time up there relaxing, playing on the water and spending time outside, along with making stops at our favorite restaurants. It’s all very laid back and easy, you don’t really have to get dressed up for much and, in the summer, you can always count on lots of outdoor activities, festivals and gorgeous sunsets over the lake. 

You might be surprised at how much of a tourist destination this area of the state actually is (I know I was), so I thought I’d share some of my Northern Michigan favorites, where I know we’ll be making plenty of visits this summer:

Cafe Sante // Cafe Sante is one of our favorite restaurants for dinner or an afternoon dessert and glass of wine on their patio. The food is really good and they always have fantastic specials and a prix fixe menu. We also always seem to run into people we know there, so it’s a great place to kick off our weekends. Plus there is an ice cream shop about two doors down so we always have a good stop for Jackson after dinner!

Chandler’s // We have been going to Chandler’s in Petoskey for years! It used to be a small restaurant under the Symons General Store but they’ve expanded (although it is still pretty small!) and also have a really nice patio. The food here is really fantastic and Clint and I like to head over there for date nights (for a little more kid-friendly option from the same company, try Pierson’s at Boyne Mountain)

Bay Harbor // There is a lot to do over at Bay Harbor and you just about can’t beat the stunning Lake Michigan views! There is their little Village at Bay Harbor area where there are some cute little stores (including an awesome toy store) and we always like walking through the marina. As far as food goes, I absolutely love Seventeen. It’s the newest spot there and the decor is really sleek and sophisticated but it’s super family-friendly. The food is really awesome and the service has been fantastic, we always have a great time!

Boyne Mountain // A lot of times, you’ll find us skiing at Boyne Mountain in the winter but there are also a lot of summer activities. In the summer you can take a chairlift up to the top of the mountain for views, disc golf and biking/hiking trails. They also have ziplining and let’s not forget the Solace Spa. Clint also tells me that the golf is good and on rainy days we love going to the indoor water park!

Petoskey Shopping // Petoskey is really quaint and cute, and I love spending some time shopping the boutiques with my mom. A few of my favorites include: Lake Affect (stylish clothing and home decor items),  Gattles (beautiful bedding and other linens), Vintage to Vogue (clothing), American Spoon Cafe (gelato and food gifts) and Cutler’s (home decor and tons of kitchen items – great spot to get hostess gifts!). 

Lake Charlevoix // Just in general, we love Lake Charlevoix. The towns around the lake have lots of farmers markets, festivals (you’ve seen me talk about the Charlevoix Apple Festival before) and activities. One of my favorite things is watching the sailboat races all summer long. 

Follow along on Instagram (@ninarand) and Snapchat (@ninarand) for more favorites and snapshots throughout the long weekend. Have a safe and fun weekend!

Images 1 & 2 via Midwest Living, Image 3 via HowSweetEats



2 thoughts on “Northern Michigan Favorites

  1. Sue MacGregor

    Don’t bother with SEVENTEEN. Service in Feb. 2015 with a party of 8 was abysmal! And, even worse — food was pedestrian, at best — even though the price was anything but. Knot Just A Bar is a much better choice for quality and price . . .

    1. Nina Rand Post author

      Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience! We love Knot Just A Bar too. Also, we just tried the brand new Vintage chophouse at the Inn at Bay Harbor this weekend and it’s worth a try, we had a good time!


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