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Petoskey is a charming coastal city in Emmet County, MI, known for its Million Dollar Sunsets. Located on the banks of Little Traverse Bay on the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Petoskey is bordered by thick forests and sparkling rivers.

With a name that means “where the light shines through the clouds” in Odawa, Petoskey stands out among the waterfront communities in the region. Its distinctive allure inspired Ernest Hemingway’s first novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” as he frequented nearby Walloon Lake until his early twenties.

The city spans just over 5 square miles and has a population of around 5,700. It is also less than 15 miles to other waterfront communities including Harbor Springs up north, Alanson to the northeast, and Boyne City down south.

From bright summers to enchanting winters, Petoskey residents get to enjoy the recreational perks of all four seasons. From late spring to summer, go fishing for salmon in Lake Michigan. During wintertime, ski down Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, or Nubs Nob. Tourists flock here in droves each year to see Petoskey’s natural splendor and visit landmarks like the historic Gaslight District and lovely Petoskey State Park.


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714 State, Petoskey, MI 49770
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714 State
Petoskey, MI 49770


5 Beds2 Baths2,925 sqft.
2560 Stewart Road, Petoskey, MI 49770
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2560 Stewart Road
Petoskey, MI 49770


7 Beds4 Baths3,000 sqft.
3154 Charlevoix, Petoskey, MI 49770
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3154 Charlevoix
Petoskey, MI 49770


0 Beds0 BathsN/A sqft.
124 E Mitchell Street #3C, Petoskey, MI 49770
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124 E Mitchell Street #3C
Petoskey, MI 49770


3 Beds2 | 1 Baths1,833 sqft.
124 E Mitchell Street #2C, Petoskey, MI 49770
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124 E Mitchell Street #2C
Petoskey, MI 49770


3 Beds2 | 1 Baths1,833 sqft.
124 E Mitchell Street #3M, Petoskey, MI 49770
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124 E Mitchell Street #3M
Petoskey, MI 49770


3 Beds2 | 1 Baths1,833 sqft.
124 E Mitchell Street #2M, Petoskey, MI 49770
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124 E Mitchell Street #2M
Petoskey, MI 49770


3 Beds2 | 1 Baths1,833 sqft.
124 E Mitchell Street #3L, Petoskey, MI 49770
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124 E Mitchell Street #3L
Petoskey, MI 49770


3 Beds2 | 1 Baths1,833 sqft.
124 E Mitchell Street #2F, Petoskey, MI 49770
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124 E Mitchell Street #2F
Petoskey, MI 49770


2 Beds2 Baths1,373 sqft.


Originally named Bear River when missionaries first discovered its natural splendor in 1855, Petoskey began as a lumber community but also attracted fur traders because of the beaver population. The area was later renamed after the Ottawa Indian Chief Pe-to-se-ga and was incorporated as the Village of Petoskey in 1879. In 1895, it was reincorporated as the City of Petoskey at a time when trains and steamships from Indianapolis and Detroit ferried visitors and cargo passed through the new city.

The oldest building in Petoskey, the St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission Church, established in 1859 by Father Baraga, still stands at West Lake Street. Head to Lewis Street and you will come across Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Petoskey’s first brick hotel, which was built in 1899.

Homes for sale in Petoskey, MI

While historically known as a resort town, Petoskey is just as much of a lure for those seeking to live here permanently.

Homebuyers on the market for a waterfront home in northern Michigan will want to check out the real estate in Petoskey. The city has a variety of residential properties that range from single-family homes surrounded by nature to spacious condominiums downtown. All will appeal to any buyer.

Plus, there has never been a better time to buy your next home here as home values have been on the rise since 2012.

A short walk around this beautiful city’s neighborhoods shows the number of architectural styles on offer. Whether you are on the hunt for a cottage-style home by the water or a Colonial-style residence on the outskirts of town, you will find what you are looking for here.

Single-family homes
Some notable properties for sale in Petoskey include Victorian homes with gorgeous front yards. A coveted front porch usually functions as a valuable extension to these finely renovated houses and provides cozy outdoor living. Many of the homes still have their original woodwork intact, giving them a classic charm.

You will also find expansive ranch-style houses around tree-covered areas. With at least 3 bedrooms, including a primary suite and multiple bathrooms, these homes have everything for those looking for plenty of space. Some come with fireplaces, as well as additional rooms that can be used for storage or turned into a home office. Others will feature backyard decks where coffee can be enjoyed in the morning and a stiffer drink at night.

If you are looking for the best of waterfront living, look no further than the elegant cottage houses overlooking Little Traverse Bay. These fabulous homes offer the finest bay views from multiple vantage points and are built on spacious plots of land bordered by greenery. Plus, with elegant finishes, expansive balconies, and walkout basements, you’ll have everything you need. These homes are also normally located in neighborhoods with easy access to shopping, golfing, and fine-dining restaurants.

The condos for sale in Petoskey are incredible as well. They typically feature two or three bedrooms and two baths, with some even providing the convenience of additional storage space.

Constructed with elegance in mind, these premium-built condos also boast spacious living rooms with cozy fireplaces and custom kitchens complete with granite countertops and smart appliances. That’s not all – condo owners get to enjoy special amenities like outdoor pools, tennis courts, and beautiful clubhouses.

Investment property
Petoskey is also home to various investment properties. If you are on the lookout for commercial property, most are centered downtown. These are usually intended for offices or restaurants closest to the busiest parts of the city. However, there are also commercial lots outside the city center that can serve as a strategic purchase.

Vacant land
There are several vacant plots of land for sale in Petoskey as well. You will find some close to the downtown area. There are even a few mixed-use parcels of land near the water.

Living in Petoskey, MI

Cost of living and employment/job opportunities

According to, the cost of living in Petoskey is around 12% lower than the national average. This includes the state of Michigan being one of the most inexpensive states when it comes to overall healthcare access and affordability. Energy is one of the highest expenses here as utility costs go up during the winter, but it is still nearly 20% lower than the average in the US. There are plenty of employment opportunities in food and sales, with much of the workforce specializing in healthcare-related services.


Petoskey has a humid continental climate. This means that the city experiences large temperature differences as it moves from season to season. Summers see a high of 76°F, while winters go as low as 13°F.

  • Ratings Average

    10 / 10

  • Petoskey Charter Elementary School

    10 / 10

  • Roscomare Road Elementary School

    10 / 10

Community Schools

For students enrolling in grades K-12, Public Schools of Petoskey provides excellent opportunities for learning. This school district has seven schools – one preschool, five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The school district is also known for the diverse extra-curricular offerings and athletic programs of their schools.

St. Francis Xavier School, St. Michael's Academy, and Concord Academy are three top private schools in Petoskey.

St. Francis Xavier School accepts kindergarten to 8th grade students. It has 273 enrollees with a student-teacher ratio of 13:1.

St. Michael Academy, established in 2013, is a college prep school employing a teaching method based on the classic trivium, in which students first learn facts, then logic, and finally, rhetoric or the ability to make effective arguments.

Concord Academy nurtures a K-12 environment that aims to foster critical and creative thinking based on integrating the fine arts with hard sciences.

North Central Michigan College in Petoskey was established in 1959. It is Michigan’s 12th community college and one of the 30 community colleges in the state. North Central Michigan offers a wide range of programs and specialties, including Business & Industry, Health Sciences, and Information Technology.


If you are wondering where to eat in Petoskey, there are a lot of different restaurants offering everything from American to Mexican to Thai cuisine.

One of your first stops should be the neighborhood favorite, Julienne Tomatoes. Their signature breakfast Lamp Lighter sandwich is made with local, farm-fresh scrambled eggs, cheddar, and boar’s head bacon. For lunch, try their “Julie”nne Salad of ham and turkey with mixed greens, or their White Cheddar Mac Sandwich made with Vermont white cheddar cheese. They also serve delicious chocolate chip cookies and custard tortes.

Then there is Palette Bistro, where you can have your fill of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine while enjoying scenic views of Little Traverse Bay. Choose from single-serve options like Beef Tenderloin and Harissa Marinated Chicken Breast, or family-style meals like Chicken & Sausage Paella and Seafood Paella, both served with salad and homemade fruit crisp. For dessert, go for the bestsellers, Laura’s Cheesecake and Baked Chocolate Pudding, or opt for dessert cocktails. Lastly, do not miss out on their massive selection of beers and wines.

For an upscale night out, Chandler’s Restaurant serves progressive American cuisine with menus changing daily. Work your way through appetizers like Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Yellowfin Tuna Lettuce Cups, proceed to entrees like North Atlantic Halibut, Amish Chicken Breast, and Colorado Lamb Rack, and then cap it off the Hummer, a dessert of Kahlua, light rum, dark rum, vanilla ice cream, nutmeg, and the sweet wafer, Pirouline. Chandler’s also serves port and dessert wines.


For a cup of joe, the full-bodied coffees at Roast & Toast Coffee Café offers favorites like the creamy Dirty Irishman, the deep-flavored Autumn Sunset, and the tasty Milky Way Mocha. Seasonal drinks include the Mint de Mocha and Nitro Infused Cold Brew Coffee, as well as many fruit smoothies, teas, and sodas.

Northern Perk serves "brews, tea, and treats" in Downtown Petoskey. Customize beverages with non-dairy alternatives like oat, soy, coconut, or almond milk, or a shot of flavoring. Locals find their "caffeinated study corners" or sit for a bit on the shop's signature red bench just outside the store.


Apart from great coffee, Petoskey is also home to a few must-visit breweries. One of the most popular is Tap 30 in downtown Petoskey, which offers an ever-changing lineup of beers, wines, and signature spirits. If you’re hungry, order the cheesy quesadillas and bacon-filled mac and cheese.

Another must-visit brewery in Petoskey is Beards Brewery. Enjoy an impressive selection of year-round, seasonal, and limited beers while gazing at stunning views of the bay. Pair your drinks with tacos, wraps, and pizza for a complete experience.


If you need to fly, the closest airport is the Pellston Regional Airport to the north via US-31. Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport is another nearby airport, and you can get there by going south via US-31.

Commuting is fairly simple in the city. Take the Indian Trails bus if you need to get anywhere between the cities of St. Ignace and East Lansing, and between Grand Rapids and Petoskey. You may also take the EMGO/SRR bus service during weekdays to get to various locations throughout Emmet County such as Harbor Springs and Mackinaw City.

Passenger train services to Petoskey are offered by the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay Railway irregularly.

Several major highways connecting to Petoskey make it easy to travel in and out of the city. US-31 runs through the city center. Take it if you need to get to cities like Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Muskegon. You can also use this highway to connect to M-119 if you are traveling to Bay View. There is also US-131, which connects to Cadillac and Grand Rapids to the south.

Things to Do in Petoskey, MI

  • Visit parks
    Not a day goes by without droves of visitors and residents spending the day at the 303-acre state park. Some of the most enjoyablethings you can do in PetoskeyState Park are swimming in the beach, cross-country skiing, and hunting forPetoskey stonesor fossils from corals that covered Lake Michigan 350 million years ago.The park is also home to hiking trails offering picturesque views of Little Traverse Bay, including the half-mile Old Baldy Trail and the mile-long Portage Trail through a forest area.
  • Go on a hike or cruise
    TheBear River Valley Recreation Areais another great place to hike. Here, you can walk a 1.5-mile path along the sparkling Bear River while bird watching at the same time. Bear River also teems with brook trout, salmon, and steelhead, so you can bring along your rod. The quarter-mile whitewater course is a must if you’re looking for thrills.Another notable hiking trail in Petoskey is the 32-mile North Western State Trail, which is the former Grand Rapids and Indiana Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Skyline Trail, which is a part of the North Country Trail system, is a steep 1.3-mile trek with glimpses of Little Traverse Bay.What better way to see Petoskey than from the glittering bay waters. The Little Traverse Bay Ferry Co. accommodates 49 passengers and takes you on a boat ride where you can view Petoskey’s Bayfront Park and Bay Harbor from another perspective.
  • Golf and museums
    If golf is your sport of choice, you can elevate your game atBay Harbor Golf Club, which overlooks Little Traverse Bay. The facility splits three different nine-hole courses to offer a distinct 27-hole experience. NearbyBoyne Highlandspromises a golf game to remember on an award-winning course that is nothing short of a beautiful challenge.To know more about the fascinating history of Petoskey, take time to visit the Little Traverse Historical Museum. Perched on a scenic spot by the water, this museum is the restored Pere Marquette train depot. Here, you can browse rare artifacts of the Odawa Indians, view photo collections of Petoskey through the years, and learn about Ernest Hemingway’s travels to Petoskey.Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District in Downtown Petoskey is also a treasured part of the city. The district has served as Petoskey’s shopping area for more than 100 years, with over 170 unique shops, restaurants, and galleries. You’ll also find the Farmer’s Market here.
  • Art and casinos
    Get in touch with your artistic side at theCrooked Tree Arts Center.Founded in 1971, this award winner features changing exhibits showcasing works like landscape painting and nature photography. You can also catch concerts, plays, and films at the center’s 220-seat theater, as well as outdoor performances hosted on the Bidwell Plaza.The Odawa Casino, on the other hand, is a premier visitor destination. The casino has a Las Vegas energy coming from a thousand slot machines and dozens of poker and baccarat gaming tables. After a day of winning, experience fine dining at the restaurant, Sage. You can also spend the night in AAA 3 Diamond Resort.

Bay North Realty represents the best properties in Petoskey, MI

Whether you are looking for historic homes, sleek residences with a view, or waterfront cottage-style homes for sale in Petoskey, MI, you will want to work with a team of professionals who take the time to understand what you need.

We at Bay North Realty have the finest Realtors in Petoskey, drawing on our decades-long experience in sales and marketing to secure the home of your dreams.

No other real estate team knows Michigan like we do, so if you are also in search of homes for sale in Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, or Boyne City, we are the right people for the job.

If you are looking to sell your property in Michigan, our team can make the process as fast and smooth as possible. We have a network of stagers and photographers, title agencies, and finance organizations to make sure your home fetches the best possible price.

Give our Bay North Realty team a call at 231.622.3235 or send us an email at to get started.

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