Explore Bay View & Petoskey
While attending the Akropolis Chamber Music Institute
The picturesque city of Petoskey, located on Little Traverse Bay, was named after the Ottawa Indian Chief Pe-to-se-ga. The Petoskey name was also adopted for Michigan’s state stone, a fossilized coral found in abundance here. Its markings resemble the rays of the sun shining, a perfect symbol for the “land of the million dollar sunsets."
The charming lakeside community is known for its natural beauty, Victorian architecture, historic Gaslight Shopping District, and of course, the iconic Petoskey Stone. Along with breathtaking views of Little Traverse Bay, one of the first things to catch your eye is the elegant Victorian architecture in the homes and buildings. The Bay View community alone has more than 400 homes on the National Historic Register and the Downtown Gaslight District has evolved into a year-round shopping area, nestled in the midst of great bluffs, rolling hills, lakes, rivers and glorious sunsets.
Petoskey has been listed by authors of The 100 Best Small Towns in America, The Great Towns of America and was listed as #6 on Smithsonian's list of Best Small Towns in America to Visit.
About Bay View and Chautauqua
Designed for the first purpose in 1875 as the county’s only romantically-planned campground, and adapted for the second from 1885 to 1915, Bay View constitutes a well-executed ideal Victorian summer community that has remained in continuous operation since its foundation.
Since 1875, the members and friends of Bay View have given a part of themselves to sustain the Bay View legacy as a Chautauqua. Bay View’s excellence in programming during its 8-week Assembly Program provides opportunities for visitors and residents of northern Michigan to truly enjoy four remarkable elements of the world we live in: the performing arts, the great outdoors, stimulating lectures for the mind, and spirituality for the soul.
Chautauqua was a cultural, religious, and political education movement that began in the early 1870’s. Today the Chautauqua movement is experiencing a renaissance as people are discovering that lifelong learning and authentic cultural experiences are the keys to living a happy, fulfilling life.
The association’s grounds contain approximately 440 cottages and 30 community-owned buildings. There are two hotels on premises: Stafford's Bay View Inn, and The Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant. Other facilities include a post office, beach with a swim area, children's pool and a sail house. The community is located on about 340 heavily wooded acres and includes hundreds of elegant Victorian homes and buildings, making the entire Bay View community a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Exploring the Waterfront and Beaches
Glittering blue water and soft, warm sand make the beaches along Little Traverse Bay and our inland lakes reason alone to vacation here. Take a dip, catch some rays, build a sandcastle, and then stick around for a million-dollar sunset!
The waterfront for the Bay View Association is open for members and guests to enjoy from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This year, the Howard Pettersen Sailhouse will be open from June 21 through August 15. Here you'll be able to rent kayaks, paddleboards, and sailfish sailboats, or even take a sailing lesson! For more information about Bay View waterfront recreation, click here.
In addition to a wonderful sandy beach, the Petoskey State Park offers hiking trails, restrooms, biking on interior roads, picnic facilities, sand volleyball courts and a small playground. Lake to Lake Concessions: Carries light concession items, hand dipped ice cream, camp store items, and park/region specific merchandise. Open in the summer from 10:00 - 8:00, 7 days/week.
Kayaks, paddleboards and bikes are available for rent. Two hiking trails grace the Petoskey State Park - The half mile long Petoskey-Old Baldy and the mile long Petoskey-Portage Trail. Old Baldy includes a flight of stairs and ends at the top of a sand dune. The Portage Trail is mostly flat and easy walking. Located between Petoskey and Harbor Springs. Michigan State park admission fees are charged.