Hello everyone! I hope you are well. As far as spring days go, today was a good one. In local sports news, I went for a bike ride and then I ate a donut. There must always be balance in the universe.
Today we are going to visit a picturesque northern Michigan town: Petoskey. (Pronounced Pet-os-key, ok now say it really fast out loud, nope that's too fast, one more time, but slower, yup you've got it, moving on.)
Petoskey is one of many Michigan resort towns that gets busy in the summer, then becomes a pleasant getaway in the fall and winter. Notice I didn't mention spring. This is Michigan people, spring isn't a real season here.
Let's have a look at the downtown area. There is plenty to see and do here.
Yup, that is downtown Petoskey. An excellent walkable neighborhood. Need a book? Head for Hemingway's Corner. How about some new threads? Northern Exposure Outfitters has you covered. Do people even call clothes 'threads' anymore?
Who cares. I'm a Millennial, I'll do what I want.
Isn't that a nice downtown?
Let's head over to city hall.
This is the first stop on our walking tour. There is a statue of Chief Petosega, one of the founders of the village, in the park. The statue faces out over Little Traverse Bay. A large plaza and roundabout mark the entrance to downtown from US-31. We'll walk through the plaza as we head for the waterfront.
Now there is a pretty sight. The waterfront has seen major redevelopment in the past several years. New condos and a multi story hotel have been built. This was once an industrial waterfront, but the boom times for lumber and fishing are long gone. A few industrial buildings remain, but shipment by boat has ceased. That's the Bear River as it reaches Little Travers Bay in the middle of the photo. You can find many Petoskey stones, the state stone of Michigan, in the water. Let's see what is going on to our west...
Well here is one of the worst kept secrets in town: Cottage Bluff. The few cottages here are prime places to spend the summer. It's only a short bike ride from here to downtown, and the beach is right out your backdoor! Let's head back to the river.
Just upriver from the bay is this piece of local history. Several mills once occupied the space at the mouth of the river. This is the only one that remains. The river is a great place to go trout fishing, or kayaking. Let's take a look at how industry has changed in over the years.
Great Northern Iron & Metal was once one of the biggest employers in the area. With the changing economic climate, the factory has long since closed. Local investors recognized the potential of the building and cleaned it up using brownfield redevelopment tax credits. The result was condos, shops, and a restaurant called the 'Boiler Room'. An open air market was also started. This has become one of the most popular spots in town.
It's a busy one there today. There are several other businesses in this old industrial neighborhood.
Bear River Lumber in the anchor business that can be seen here.
Several other local manufacturing and supply companies have seen an upturn in the past few years.
Some businesses haven't been so lucky.
What you're seeing here is all that remains of Allied Chemical & Mineral. The site is heavily contaminated and there have been a few arson fires here over the years. The city is desperate to have the building taken down and redeveloped similarly to the Northern Iron and Metal property.
Just south of Allied C&M is the Little Traverse Furniture company. The business is doing very well.
Visitors to the area often enjoying checking out the architecture of the homes in this neighborhood. Let's head back for downtown.
Here we are at the Petoskey Brewing Company, located at the corner of Hemingway and Water Front Drive. The building once housed a wire factory, but it was converted to this restaurant about 12 years ago. The business has won several awards for their beers and burgers.
Well that's all for this tour. Time to call it a day. Book a room at 'The Perry', one of the finer hotels in the area.
The hotel and train station are two well known historic landmarks in town. The train station once welcomed travelers from all over the Midwest. It now mostly sees local instate tourist traffic. Looks like there is quite a party going on at the courtyard of The Perry.
They're probably celebrating what a nice day it has been.
Hope you enjoyed the tour. Petoskey is one of my favorite towns to visit. The area is very scenic.
This entry is the first in a series about the harbor towns of northern Michigan.
Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a good safe week!
Let's all hope for a Spartan victory on Saturday!!!