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Things to Do in Petoskey Michigan

Town:             Petoskey Michigan

Location:        Emmet County

Founding:       1896

Current Pop:   6,200 (est.)

Size:              5 Square Miles


Land of Sunsets and Stones

What’s in a Name?  The son of a French nobleman and Ottawa princess, Petosegay (meaning “sunbeams of promise”) became a wealthy fur trader and leader of his tribe.  To honor him, in 1873 white settlers named the fledgling town that was growing up along his land Petoskey, an English adaption of Petosegay – all about Petoskey MI.

Claims to Fame – Things To Do In Petoskey

  • Petoskey stones are fossilized coral that was deposited in the area millions of years ago when glaciers moved along the bedrock of the Lower Peninsula and plucked up loose “stones” along their way.  In 1965, the Petoskey stone was made the official state stone of Michigan.  Petoskey stones remain a popular souvenir for visitors, and can still be easily found along the beaches and sand dunes.  When polished, they possess a distinctive mottled pattern.
  • Nicknamed the “City of the Million-Dollar Sunsets,” Petoskey MI overlooks Little Traverse Bay and its skies often have breathtaking sunsets.  The mile-long sandy beach at Petoskey State Park (in Petoskey MI) is a popular site for visitors to enjoy the sunsets.
  • Millions of passenger pigeons nested in the Petoskey MI area in the late 1870s; the flocks were so dense that they darkened the skies from morning to evening.  But, because they were easy to capture and were a known delicacy in many parts of the world, passenger pigeons were targeted by hunters, who caught hundreds at a time with giant nets.  Though experts estimate that some 5 billion passenger pigeons once lived on the earth (and made the Great Lakes region their summer home), the species became extinct in 1914 with the death of the last known individual of the species, Martha, in the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • Author Ernest Hemingway spent many of his childhood summers vacationing in Petoskey MI on nearby Walloon Lake.  And, after being injured in World War I, he recuperated for a winter in a boardinghouse in Petoskey MI.  The town museum, Little Traverse History Museum, has exhibits that detail the time he spent in Petoskey MI and the surrounding area.

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