Nestled along the deepest harbor in the Great Lakes, lies the charming waterfront community of Harbor Springs, Michigan. A bustling tourist destination since before the turn of the century, Harbor Springs and its surrounding areas offer an abundance of natural beauty and four seasons of outdoor activities. You will enjoy an array of cultural and culinary attractions that continually delight visitors as well as provide an uncomplicated tranquility to residents.
Located in the Little Traverse Bay area of Northern Michigan, Harbor Springs offers four seasons of events and activities for all ages to experience, explore and enjoy. We are the gateway to the iconic and scenic M-119 Tunnel of Trees, a harbinger for our area’s natural beauty. The area also boasts a variety of local artisans, musicians and thespians offering an array of cultural activities including gallery exhibitions, concerts and theater performances to enjoy, coupled with a quaint and charming downtown that encourages strolling and shopping and of course stopping along the way to enjoy for a delicious treat or two.
The History of nearby Petoskey & Emmet County Emmet County, so named in honor of Irish Patriot Robert Emmet is located on the Northwestern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The County was organized in 1853. The early French fur traders and missionaries called it L'Arbe Croche, or Crooked Tree, after a tall tree overhanging a high bluff which was used as a landmark for approaching canoes.
Emmet County's seat, the City of Petoskey, has a strong and varied past.
Rambling Victorian homes in the community of Bay View serve as a reminder of great history as a summertime destination of vacationing city dwellers for several generations. On a late fall day in 1873, a reporter from a Grand Rapids newspaper dubbed the Petoskey area 'Land of a Million Dollar Sunsets' when he was dazzled by one of our usual beautiful sunsets as he stepped off the train. By the summer of 1874, Petoskey was a regular stop for many rail lines originating from throughout Michigan. Travelers boarded the trains to escape the often smoggy, dusty big cities and luxuriate in the fresh air and healing natural springs. Luxury resort hotels were constructed along the rail line as well as depots to accommodate all the new visitors, including the young Ernest Hemingway on his way to spend summers on Walloon Lake and in Petoskey.
Along the Bear River, water power was harnessed to run sawmills, flour mills, hardwood flooring factories, butter bowl manufacturers and furniture-making facilities.
Little steam ships drom along the bay, making regular routes to southern and northern delivery stops.
Tourism continues to be a major economic force and has grown to include winter attractions as well. The county and city are now a four-season destination offering world class alpine skiing, numerous kilometers of groomed and natural cross-country trails, championship golf courses, all types of water sports, breathtaking Autumn views and an amazing 26-mile bike trail along the shoreline known as the Little Traverse Wheelway.
The City of Petoskey continues a history of quaint shopping and panoramic views.