Bay View is a neighborhood in Petoskey, Michigan that’s home to a cottage village of beautiful, ornate homes. May through October, cottagers from around the world flock to this historical region of Northern Michigan to enjoy the beautiful bay breeze off of Little Traverse Bay, sailing, tennis, and other facets of the great outdoors, as well as an atmosphere of excitement that can only be found in Northern Michigan. Historically a home to those of the Methodist faith, there is now no limit to who may live, work, or visit Bay View. Bay View, Michigan is one of Northern Michigan’s best kept secrets.
This small community of luxury cottages has one of the best views of Little Traverse Bay in the area, and has a rich history of public works, and has supported the enrichment of the public through theatrical and musical endeavors, education for all, and a focus on wellbeing. Learn why this hidden gem is a wonderful place to stop when you’re in the Petoskey Area and explore this small yet fascinating and culturally rich corner of the Petoskey Area that has welcomed people like Helen Keller, Dr. Booker T. Washington, and dozens more fascinating historical figures throughout the past century and a half.
Where to Stay in Bay View
My favorite place to stay in Bay View, is Stafford’s Bay View Inn. This beautiful inn is one of the oldest hotels in the area, and has welcome guests for more than a century. Read my full guide to Stafford’s Bay View Inn, here. The views from the rooms, the service, and the tranquility of the inn is unmatched in Bay View. Unless perhaps, you own a cottage here!
Another option for lodging is the Terrace Inn. I’ve never personally stayed here, but I have seen the interior of this inn, and the lobby looked very cozy and inviting. This inn also offers dinner and sleigh rides during the winter months each Saturday night, assuming there isn’t a blizzard, which is a truly magical experience.
What to Do in Bay view
Bay View may be small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in the sheer volume of events, community programs, and outdoor activities it offers to both residents and visitors. To be clear, they have some of the very best beaches, sailing, and water recreation areas in the region, but the waterfront is only open to residents and their guests, or non-residents can pay an entrance fee, which is well worth it for a day on a mostly private beach. With that being said, there’re many musical performances, lectures, public education events, and walking paths through the community that everyone can enjoy.
The tennis courts of Bay View also host tennis camps and leagues, as well as tournaments for all, and there are opportunities to join their tennis club as well, simply inquire either on line or in person at the Bay View tennis courts or beach recreation office.
Where to Eat in Bay View
1911 Restaurant at the Terrace Inn
This lovely al fresco style restaurant is the perfect place to eat and enjoy a view of the bay in Bay View. Most nights there’s live music, plenty of dining options, as well as a prix fixe menu.
I Recommend: Terrace Inn Signature Salad, Hardwood Planked Whitefish from Lake Michigan, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, Lavender Créme Brûlée
Cost: $50 per person
Roselawn Dining Room
Located inside Stafford’s Bay View Inn, this beautiful dining room is a gorgeous place to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner all year long.
I Recommend: Cherry Bread French Toast, Vegetable Quiche, Bay View Inn Granola, Chickpea Salad, Sauteéd Walleye
Cost: $30-50 per person
The Sunday Brunch at Stafford’s Bay View Inn is absolutely splendid as well. I won’t spoil it by telling you what’s so special about it, but take my word for it, once you enjoy it, you’ll understand the certain je nais c’est quoi about it.
Getting Around & Parking
Bay View is easily walkable or bikeable, and is located along the path that connects Petoskey to Harbor Springs. Parking in the area is a bit limited, and residential parking areas and side streets are not meant to be used as parking for non-residents. There is ample parking next to the tennis courts near the beach access, and there is also parking at the 1911 Restaurant at the Terrace Inn.
14 Mile Drive
This beautiful lakeside town is one of Northern Michigan’s premiere resort towns. Find everything from a yacht marina to clothing stores and fine dining, plus one of the top 500 resorts in the world, The Inn at Bay Harbor,which is a world class retreat on the shores of Little Traverse Bay.
Boyne City is one of Michigan’s favorite anytime get aways! Find world class skiing in the winter, and beautiful outdoor recreation options in the warmer months.
27 Mile Drive
Known as “Charlevoix the Beautiful”, this small Northern Michigan town is a lovely lakeside retreat. Explore the arts and culture of Northern Michigan, head out on gorgeous Lake Charlevoix, or take the ferry to stunning nearby Beaver Islandto feel as though you’ve been transported to another world of pristine waters and beautiful swatches of forest. If you feel like stepping back in time, visit Michigan’s most stunning castle,Castle Farms, and take a walk through gardens inspired by European castle gardens.
194 Mile Drive
Grand Rapids, MI is the art and beer capital of the midwest, and is home of the world’s largest art competition, Art Prize. More than a dozen incredible museums, an abundance of festivals, pop-up restaurants, and proximity to Lake Michigan, as well as more breweries per capita than just about any other U.S. city, Grand Rapids is a wonderful place to spend a weekend, or longer. If you’re craving a taste of nature, head to Frederik Meijer Gardens’ Japanesegarden to walk about a garden that expertly replicated from gardens in Japan.
8.2 Mile Drive
This stunning lakeside resort town peaks spring through fall, although there’s something to do all year long. My personal favorite place to sail into in Northern Michigan, Harbor Springs has some of the best food in Northern Michigan. Grab a bite to eat at the New York Restaurant, The Depot Dining Club, The Paper Station Bistro, and Stafford’s Pier Restaurant.
35 Mile Drive + 20 Minute ferry ride
One of my very favorite places in Michigan, and my favorite out of the 20 Midwest travel destinations, this island doesn’t allow cars or motorized vehicles (save for the island’s ambulance and fire truck). Bike, walk, or ride a horse around this beautiful piece of historic land that overlooks the Mackinac Bridge and the crystal clear, vibrant blue waters of the Straits of Mackinac. The best time of year to visit the island, in my personal opinion is during the Lilac Festivaleach June, when all of the flowers on the island are in full bloom. Stay at Grand Hotel’sMasco Cottage to experience the epitome of luxury in Michigan. Read this guide to 5 of Michigan’s Most Incredible Flower Festivals.
10 Mile Drive
My hometown is famous for its fossilized coral, Petoskey Stones, which are the state rock. This gorgeous town has beautiful stretches of pristine, white sand beaches, massive sand dunes, breathtaking natural springs and woodland hiking paths that transport hikers to a sylvan wonderland. Visit the Petoskey State Parkto see all of these things, plus the “Million Dollar Sunsets” the city is known for the world over.
76 Mile Drive
Famous the world over for its abundance of juicy, red cherriesand cherry derived culinary specialities, Traverse City is one of the midwest’s premiere wine producing regions, and boasts beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan, as well as a thriving art, cinema, and music scene. Visit nearby Torch Lake, Leland fishing village, or Point Betsie Lighthouse for the perfect week in the Traverse City area.
18 Mile Drive
This small town is home to Hotel Walloon, one of the most luxurious hotels in the state. Get away from it all, enjoy drinks on Walloon Lake, or take in the natural beauty of the north by spending an evening or two in this charming village. Walloon Lake is the coziest of all of these fantastic Midwest travel destinations.
Safety in Bay View
Bay View, like most of Northern Michigan, is incredibly safe. There’s essentially no crime, and it’s safe to walk about and enjoy all hours of the day. As with any city that’s near the water, be sure you know how to swim before entering water, swim with a group of people, and wear a life vest. In the event that you are pulled out by a rip tide, do not panic or try to swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore (that is, along the shore) until you swim out of it. You can then swim back to shore once you are safely out.
Be aware of boaters in the area and do not swim near boats, as they might not see you. Remain within designated swimming areas, and enjoy Michigan’s beautiful shark free, salt free waters!