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10 Unmissable Things To Do In Petoskey In Winter

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Looking forward to checking out all the amazing things to do in Petoskey in winter? Get set ready to explore in no time with this Petoskey winter guide.

Petoskey has been famous for its festivals and friendly people throughout the year. But the city takes on a different color during winter. Specifically, after a heavy snowfall session. After which the entire town gets crowded by some fun and adventure seekers who love to participate in various enjoyable activities conducted around the town. If the natural beauty of the city was not enough to attract tourists, there is so much you can do in Petoskey in winter. From fun winter sports, carnivals and many recreational spots, don’t forget about winter in Petoskey just because of the cold weather.

things to do in Petoskey in winter

Things To Do In Petoskey In Winter

1. Go Skiing And Ice Skating In Avalanche Mountain Preserve

Avalanche Mountain Preserve is the best place for winter activities like snowmobiling, skiing and ice skating. This is the place that would welcome you during winter to make you limber up after days of being inside. But for people who prefer warmer days and staying cozy, you are going to fall in love with the view of Lake Charlevoix from the mountaintop. It offers 300-plus acres of area to roam around and bask under the warm winter sun.

2. Petoskey Winter Sports Park

Petoskey surprises you with an entire area dedicated to winter sports. It is a community venue where you won’t not only find tourists but also regional people, who enjoy winter sports and other amenities. After the snowfall, the entire area gets covered with a plain ice sheet where you can enjoy a plethora of sports like sledging, ice skating, hockey, skiing or snowboarding. The area is vast and surrounded by trees and mountains. This attribute definitely differs from artificial ice rinks.

Sports equipment is available on rentals and the staff is pleasant and would help you with anything. Other amenities are also available like warming houses with a fireplace, concession stand, seating, drinking fountains and restrooms. You would find a lot of snack trucks from where you can enjoy hot chocolate drinks.

3. Bear River Valley Recreation Area

As the name suggests you are going to find a lot of things to do at the Bear River Valley Recreation Area. However, the most important thing is the nature through which you would tread to find unpaved trails, whitewater rapids and a lot of forest area. The Bear River has high-flowing water which is best suited for Kayaking and White-water Rafting. You might think that these are summer activities but they remain quite famous during winter too. Bring in your snowshoes or boots to explore miles of ski trails and hiking trails. You would find a lot of adventure enthusiasts in this area.

4. Snowshoeing At Boyne Highlands

One of the most fun things to do in Petoskey in winter is snowshoeing. The sweet crunch of ice under your feet as you pass through them is music to the ears. If you share this sentiment then the snowshoeing trail at Boyne Highlands is just the place for you. You can go with a group or you can join the challenge on your own. The entire experience tells a different tale through the pine trees and forests as you cross them leaving a mark and crushing the freshly fallen snow on the ground.

You would meet lots and lots of tourists and adventurers on your way. After all, this is one of the most famous and tourist favorite activities and destinations. So, be ready to be on a new adventure and make a lot of friends.

5. Avalanche Bay Indoor Water Park

Though this idea can run a chill down your spinal cord if it’s been mentioned during winter. But it could also make for one of the wildest adventures if it is protected and full of fun and recreation. And that is exactly the idea behind Avalanche Bay Indoor Water Park at Petoskey. The waterpark has fun rides and is completely covered so you don’t have to worry about catching a cold. They keep the water temperature winter regulated so you can keep on having fun without falling ill.

The fantastic rides and all the games along with the fun after losing all the heavy winter clothes and playing in the warm water is what it looks like at the Indoor water park. There is something for everyone. So no matter your age, your excitement and fun are ensured here.

6. Nub’s Nob Ski Area

Nub’s Nob is a winter paradise near Petoskey. It is one of those places in this region that would give you an unforgettable experience. It is a beautiful ski area and resort, privately owned by the couple Norman and Dorie. You will love everything about this place. Away from the city and urban life, it offers you a more natural stay among the trees and mountains. Though it is mainly famous for its ski sports even if you are not interested in skiing, the famous lounge offers you a perfect place for some peace and seclusion.

Racing Events conducted here are the exclusive things that you can get excited about. People and experts from different places come here to participate and win medals. You will meet some of the most enthusiastic sportspersons here. Even so, you can consider this place as a temporary stay while you enjoy the winter season at its best. However, the gorgeous views outside your window and the fireplace in the cozy rooms would make your stay perfect.

7. The Petoskey Winter Carnival

The Petoskey Winter Carnival is one thing that you can look forward to while you visit the place. Since it was being cancelled for the last two years due to covid. You can attend the festival this year as it is going to be in partnership with the Winter Sports Park. The festivals start on February 16 2023 and there is an entire itinerary set for the weekend of the winter carnival. Many sporting events and festivities are already planned for three days and you are most welcome to participate in any of them.

The festival is conducted downtown where the entire town gets together and participates in competitions and various sports. Starting from the chocolate tasting downtown, you can register yourself for various activities and participate in them accordingly. The locals are very welcoming and you will love the warmth of the town in the cold.

8. Moose Jaw Safari

Take a 30 miles snowmobiling ride which lasts up to 2 hours through one of the finest trails to Larks Lake. You will be joined by several other members and you will definitely enjoy this winter adventure sport as soon as you start it. This event is organized annually in the month of January by Harbor Springs Snowmobile Club.

Don’t be surprised if you find a fine trail of lights on the thick layers of snow near the country roads with fully covered and equipped people riding them. You can register yourself for the ride before or after reaching the city but be very disciplined with time. You can check their website for more information. You can either contact them via email or phone number to register yourself for a particular event. The people at the snowmobile club are very friendly and helpful and would help you with anything. They maintain a kind of brotherhood with anyone who joins them for a ride and it’s simply fantastic.

9. Ice Fishing

If you are interested in ice fishing, Petoskey is just the place for you. Due to its location and 11000 inland waterways surrounding the area, there is plenty of water where a variety of fish resides. You would have a fun time exploring the area with some of the experienced gentlemen who would make sure that you do not face any obstacles.

Once the winter subsides in the town, many agencies here offer fishing services with gear and boats. Some of the agencies that are available in the city to help you are Northern Exposure Charters and Fish with Jim Outfitters. Do not forget to catch the biggest fish and click a picture because you would like to remember this experience.

10. Snowmobiling Adventures

If you don’t prefer to join the trails of the Moose Jaw Safari, there are many options for snowmobiling through private companies and routes. Since the entire Petoskey gets covered by snow, it gives you a better chance to go on a snowmobile adventure specifically if you are a novice or simply want to try it at first.

Any rental of your choosing would provide you with a staff member, route or a trail through which you can enjoy your snowmobiling journey. These recreational rentals are reasonable and offer a personalized touch to your snowmobiling experience. Some of the rentals that you can choose are County Wide Adventures and Petoskey Snowmobile Club.

Bonus – Roast and Toast Café

When you are planning to roam around a fantastic city like Petoskey, the city has to take care of your hungry tummies too. And for that, it has a café called the Roast and Toast Café. The café has been famous for its menu and staff services but when it comes to food you would be delighted by the variety of soup and beverage options that this place has to offer. The chocolate drinks and smoothies are to die for. You would immediately fall in love with the ambience of the place because of its warmth. The dim lighting would help you set the mood to enjoy the soup during chilling winters.

Where To Stay In Petoskey In Winter

Here are some of our best recommendations for your stay in Petoskey during winter season;

Budget (Under $100) : Quality Inn offers a comfortable stay on budget in Petoskey. It is a short drive away from Petoskey Winter Sports Park. Rooms are very well equipped with modern amenities. Plus additional facilities like free Wifi, free parking and delicious breakfast adds more convenience to your stay.

Mid Range (upto $150) : Apple Tree Inn is one of the best hotels to stay in Petoskey in winter. It is located very close to the casino, Boyne Highlands and Nubs Nob Ski Resorts. Rooms are cozy, spacious and clean. Skiing and bicycle rentals are also available for guests. Free Wifi, garden area, free parking and complimentary limousine service to and from the Historic Gaslight Shopping District are other additional facilities provided by the hotel.

Luxury ($150+) : Located close to Traverse Bay, Stafford’s Bay View Inn is a charming hotel in Petoskey. Each day you will look forward to waking up to views of the gorgeous bay from your room. The views during the sunset hours are also very delightful. The rooms are elegant, spacious, comfortable and cozy. Delicious a la carte breakfast, free Wifi and free parking space are convenient facilities provided for guests. The neighborhood is walkable and there are many restaurants and stores nearby.

Which of these amazing things to do in Petoskey in winter caught your attention the most? Do let us know in the comments below.

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Anjali Wadhwa (cheerfultrails) is a travel consultant and enthusiast who has traveled to 15+ countries. She shares about her explorations through her writings. You will find detailed itineraries, best travel tips and well experienced recommendations for food, transportation and hotels on her blog.

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