As a vacation destination, Harbor Springs offers a guarantee that you’ll never run out of things to do while visiting. If total relaxation and seclusion is what you’re after, we can definitely accommodate that as well. Starry nights, moonlit waters and lapping shorelines are amenities that it is happy to offer at no extra charge.
You are encouraged to explore the many options and to take advantage of the wonderful day trips surrounding our immediate area. Hop in the car and experience the Oden State Fish Hatchery, travel the inland waterway, or head north and catch a ferry to Mackinac Island for a day of history and adventure on an island free of motorized vehicles.
The Tunnel of Trees
Head north from Harbor Springs along M-119 through the famous Tunnel of Trees. This state historic highway snakes its way along the twists and turns of the Lake Michigan Shoreline. Along the way, visit Pond Hill Farm just minutes north of Harbor Springs for organic produce, canned goods, and free hayrides. Continue north and you won’t miss Good Hart, a small tourist village complete with picture perfect general store. For a picnic along the beach, stop in at the general store for a sandwich or salad and then turn right onto Lamkin Drive just north of the store. Make a sharp right at the bottom of the hill and you’ll find yourself at the township park. Seven miles north of Good Hart is Cross Village, home to Leg’s Inn, featuring authentic Polish cuisine and live music throughout the summer.
Petoskey and Charlevoix
Across Little Traverse Bay from Harbor Springs are the bustling resort towns of Petoskey and Charlevoix. Be sure to visit Petoskey’s fabulous Gaslight Shopping District for unique finds. Follow US-31 south to Charlevoix and walk the waterfront, admiring the marina district and the surrounding beauty. Be sure to grab a drink along the Pine River Channel at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant. Castle Farms in Charlevoix offer visitors the opportunity to experience a medieval castle, now operating as a museum and event destination.
Follow US-31 north all the way until it merges with I-75 and you’ll run right into Mackinaw City. Mackinaw City is your portal for daily ferry trips to beautiful Mackinac Island, a tiny island bordered by Lakes Michigan and Huron where fudge is abundant, natural beauty rich, and history preserved in the grandest of fashions. You’ll soon notice that you’ve stepped back in time to a place where motorized vehicles are not permitted. Enjoy the peace and tranquility only found on Mackinac Island.
DARK SKY PARK
Prestigious International Dark Sky Park designation has been awarded to Emmet County’s Headlands property, a 600-acre thickly forested gem situated along the clear blue expanse of Lake Michigan just west of Mackinaw City.
What is a Dark Sky Park? Such parks are defined as a park or other public land possessing exceptional starry skies and natural nocturnal habitat where light pollution is mitigated and natural darkness is valuable as an important educational, cultural, scenic, and natural resource. The rigorous process of application requires public participation and often years/months of preparation.
The world’s first International Dark Sky Park is Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah. Four additional parks in the US are Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania, Geauga Park District’s Observatory Park in Ohio, Clayton Lake State Park in New Mexico, and Goldendale Observatory Park in Washington.
How rare is Dark Sky Park designation? According to the IDA Web site, only 1% of US population lives in gold-tier areas; 16% in silver; and 21% in bronze. Compare that to Australia at 29%, 9%, and 25%; Canada at 3%, 14%, and 12%; and Germany 0%, 34% and 41%. Thus Gold DSPs will likely be designated in areas of sparse population.