4 Kind of Outdoorsy Things To Do in Petoskey When It’s Kind of Raining

September 21, 2014


I’ve been having this problem lately where I way overplan my trips and then I get all stressed out and run around like a maniac because I need to SEE ALL THE THINGS AND DO ALL THE THINGS AND EAT ALL THE THINGS.

And then I come back from my vacation and say stupid stuff like, “Phew, I need a vacation from my vacation.”

Do you know how much I hate myself when I hear myself say stuff like that?

A lot. A real, great big lot.

So my goal for my Labor Day trip to Petoskey in Northern Michigan was to relax and basically do a whole lot of nothing.

Maybe I’d hang out at my campsite by the fire, reading my Oprah magazine. Or hang out on the beach, reading my Oprah magazine. Or go sit in a cute little coffee shop, reading my Oprah magazine.

Because, apparently, you guys, my idea of relaxing involves my reading Oprah magazines. What can I say?

And then I got to Petoskey and it was rainy and drizzly and damp for most of the weekend, and I quickly found out that sitting in your tent watching rain leak in is not really all that relaxing.

Even with an Oprah magazine.


Not really that relaxing. Probably because there was rain leaking on me.

So I grabbed the Petoskey area brochure I’d been actively avoiding in an effort not to overplan, and tried to find some activities that wouldn’t involve being rained on.

There weren’t, honestly, very many.

The brochure was packed full of outdoorsy options like beaches and mountain biking and horseback riding and kayaking and golfing.

But my indoor options were limited to a handful ofย  history museums and an indoor waterpark, which I contemplated going to for all of five minutes until I remembered that water parks are usually full of screamy children and I hate screamy children.

So I decided, instead, to do a whole bunch of kind of outdoorsy things that were near enough to the indoors, so I could run inside if and when the rain suddenly started to fall.

And here they are:

4 Kind of Outdoorsy Things to do in Petoskey When It’s Kind of Raining

1. National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods


As the name of the shrine suggests, the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods is, in fact, in the woods.

The grounds were all mossy and piney and reminded me a lot of the grounds of a Japanese temple. Minus, you know, all the Japanese people.


There were a number of small outdoor shrines to different saints, including one for Our Lady of the Highway, who I never even knew existed despite my nine years of Catholic schooling. I felt a bit miffed about that.


There was a woodsy little path that you could walk down to see the Stations of the Cross, which kind of looked like birdfeeders to me.


And there was, of course, a very large cross.


But there were also a number of indoorsy places to visit at the shrine. Including the church.


And a gift shop, which offered a baffling array of items including wooden wall signs offering up inspirational phrases. That is if “Love Shack” can be considered an inspirational phrase.


And shot glasses. Because who doesn’t want to shoot their tequila from a crucifixion-inspired shot glass?


But, best of all, there was a doll museum featuring a collection of 525 dolls dressed in religious garb.

And by “best of all” I mean “MOST TERRIFYING THING EVER.”

I mean there’s really no other word besides “terrifying” to describe the feeling of stepping into a room and being greeted by this — an entire wall full of unblinking little nuns.


All of whom I am certain could see directly into my soul and they knew every single lie I’d ever told.

Including that one time in the fifth grade when I told the nuns at school that it wasn’t me who threw the wet, wadded pieces of paper towel at the bathroom ceiling until they stuck.

(It was totally me.)



2. Visit Harbor Springs and Charlevoix
Harbor Springs and Charlevoix are two tiny lakeside towns that flank Petoskey on both sides.

They are both so ridiculously tree-lined and adorable that they feel exactly like towns invented for television.


Harbor Springs being ridiculously adorable.

And they both have just the right amount of fudge and jam shops, so that when you’re strolling down the sidewalks and the skies open up and you’re suddenly caught in a rainstorm, you can pop in and eat your fill of fudge samples or free crackers and fruit butter until the weather clears.

Not that I did this.

(I totally did this.)

3. Pond Hill Farm Market & Greenhouse
There are two things you need to know about Pond Hill Farm Market & Greenhouse:

a) They have a winery that does wine tastings.


b) They have goats.


Can we just agree already that ALL wineries should have goats?



I had vowed prior to my trip that I wouldn’t go too overboard and stress myself out by trying to SEE ALL THE THINGS AND DO ALL THE THINGS AND EAT ALL THE THINGS.

But the next thing I knew I was obsessively checking Trip Advisor for all the recommended restaurants in the area and making plans to visit them all.

Because you know what’s fun about eating?

You can do it come rain or shine!

You can do it while indoors or out!

You can do it while stopping once in a while to breathe or not bothering to stop at all because you’re too busy shoveling a huge pile pierogies into your mouth!

Not that I did this.


(I totally did this.)

What’s your favorite rainy day activity to do while traveling?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On September 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm Erik said:

    There’s also 2 breweries in Petoskey and one in Harbor Springs. It is Michigan after all, lol.
    Erik recently posted..Europe 2013- Belgium- Day 8- Around Brussels

    • On October 2, 2014 at 7:53 pm Sally said:

      Sadly, my stomach is still a bit sad when it comes to beer-drinking. I’ve had to stick to white wine or nothing (mostly nothing) for most of the summer. It’s sucked. ๐Ÿ™

  2. On September 22, 2014 at 11:38 am Tom @ Waegook Tom said:

    I think if you find a place called Famous Polish Kitchen, you kind of have to eat there. I’m pretty sure it’s a law.

    Also, that nun doll photo. I mean, if there’s a category for SCARIEST PHOTO ON A BLOG IN 2014, you’d have a flat out winner right there. It shall haunt my dreams tonight.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..One Morning In London

  3. On September 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm Nat said:

    I love that goat picture!

  4. On September 23, 2014 at 9:49 am Downtown Petoskey said:

    Thanks for the chuckle! Hope you’ll come back to the area- minus the visit to the creepy dolls, that is.
    Downtown Petoskey recently posted..Smithsonian Award

  5. On September 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm Rebekah said:

    I think the idea of a crucifix theme shot glass…. would make me want to stop drinking. Also wineries should definitely have goats. That’s amazing. Most places should probably include a goat or two anyways. Goats make things better.
    Rebekah recently posted..Xiahe: Exploring a Tibetan Monastary

  6. On October 2, 2014 at 8:53 am Daina said:

    Agreed – those dolls in religious garb are creepy! Sounds like you found plenty to amuse yourself given the cruddy weather. That area of Northern Michigan is *so* nice, though definitely more so in sunny weather!
    Daina recently posted..Books That Have Affected My Life

  7. On March 3, 2015 at 9:53 pm Ceri said:

    Favourite rainy day activity? Eating all the food. In fact, I do that no matter the weather.

    You are so much more productive than I am, I would have spent the whole time in the tent and only emerged for food once in a while. :/
    Ceri recently posted..My Five Favourite Things in February


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