The Colors of Fall – Stafford’s Style

autumn on the crooked river
As the weather slowly changes from summer to autumn, the colors of fall surround us! It happens every year, we know it’s coming – still, we continue to be amazed! This spectacular show of colors is a must-see palette and a sight one will not soon forget. Of course we find the rich autumn colors beginning to pop up in nature all around us but also in some one-of-a-kind works of art (by Michigan artists!) and in the charming and unique decor of the hotels.

artist for fall color blog
Just take a look at these pieces we are lucky enough to house at Stafford’s Gallery of Art & History! Thomas LeGault’s original oils will have you wishing you were there while Jim Jacoby’s photography will have you thinking you are there! What better way to keep the color inspiration alive all year long than by filling the vases with Lynda Marnon’s paper mache flowers. Connie McEwan’s Oil paintings (below) fill a room with awe!

Fall is one of our favorite seasons in northern Michigan (but who are we kidding, we say that about every season)! The colors of fall are sensational at the Crooked River Lodge. There’s still time to get out on the river for an up-close-and-personal view of Mother Nature’s show – grab a kayak and go (complimentary for our guests)! Cozy up by the indoor or outdoor fire and take in the picturesque view of the Crooked River. The fish pond is fun, too! Little ones love dropping food in (available at the front desk) and watching the fish.

crl collage for all blog
Some of our guest rooms are even perfectly suited to fall getaways. Enjoy the color show in and out of doors! This Aster Suite at the Bay View Inn is a guest favorite. The Arlington room at the Perry Hotel offers a private balcony with a view of Little Traverse Bay. The River House at The Crooked River Lodge is perfect for families – featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and covered porch overlooking the Crooked River.

rooms collage for fall colors blog
Every season in northern Michigan is filled with delicious foods and drinks – fall is no exception! Whether you’re looking to warm up with a cup of hot tea, sip on glass of red wine, enjoy a tasty treat or just give your kitchen a break – the options are endless. These are a few of our favorites at Stafford’s!

fall food and drink collage

We hope you’ll have the chance to experience a northern Michigan fall – the activities, hospitality and memories await!


102 Things To Add To Your Fall Bucket List!

102 intro 2
Northern Michigan hosts an array of activities and events year ’round. Here is a list of 102 Things Do This Fall In Northern Michigan!
All these activities can be enjoyed in the quaint communities of northern Michigan including Alanson, Boyne City, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Mackinaw City, Petoskey and Walloon Village.

1. Feed the fish in our pond, explore and hike our 20 acres, splash in our pool, relax in our hot tub or kick back next to our indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites.

2. Visit the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center in Oden on US-31.

3. Head to Indian River and visit the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods and museum.

4. The Hillside Gardens in downtown Alanson are planted by local volunteers and are free to visit year round.

5. Kayak, tube or canoe on the Sturgeon River at Big Bear Adventures.

6. Take a walk on Sanctuary Island. Enjoy the hand cranked ferry and beautiful views of the Crooked River (seasonal).

7. Walk, run or bike the new North Western State Trail.

8. Explore the Crooked River with a cruise on the Alanson River Boat Tours through September.

9. Visit the Historic Inland Waterway Museum in downtown.

10. Rent a boat and cruise the famed Inland Waterway, connecting you to a chain of lakes and rivers.

11. Alanson is home to the world’s shortest swing bridge. Walk or drive over it, or boat underneath it.

12. Uncle Frank’s Apple Town in Brutus has apples, cider and homemade donuts – open weekends in September & October – located 5 miles north of alanson on US-31.

13. Catch a sunrise over the Crooked River.
102 Fall 2015 Things to do Blog PostBOYNE CITY
14. Boyne City offers shops and restaurants all year long.

15. Stroll the Boyne City marina.

16. Soar high with Wildwood Rush Zipline Canopy Tours, open mid-May through October.
102 Fall 2015 Things to do Blog Post boyne cityCHARLEVOIX
17. Dine al fresco on Jeff’s Deck or indoors at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant in the Earl Young inspired building.

18. Visit the downtown Farmers Market Thursday mornings through October 1.

19. Our new restaurant, The Drawbridge Bistro, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with Michigan products and impeccable views of the drawbridge.

20. Paved sidewalks on both sides of the Pine River in Charlevoix make for a scenic and relaxing walk to Lake Michigan.

21. Stroll the Charlevoix marina.

22. Take a tour of Earl Young’s Mushroom Houses (

23. Play life-size chess on Castle Farms giant chessboard or take a guided tour of the grounds.

24. Friske Orchards has fresh apples, cider and a petting zoo!

25. East Park features a ‘Fountain of Youth’ and has spectacular views.

26. Enjoy a journey of history with a cruise on the Keewanaw Star.

27. Set sail with a private or group tour by Sunshine Charters.
28. Wine & dine at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, indoors or outdoors!

29. Enjoy a chair lift ride or zip line adventure at Boyne Highlands.

30. Hop in your car and take a narrated tour to Cross Village through the Tunnel of Trees – CD’s available for purchase.

31. Visit the Farmers Market Saturday mornings through mid October.

32. Browse through the Andrew Blackbird Museum.

33. Visit Boyer Glass Works in downtown for one-of-a-kind items.

34. Peruse the Harbor Springs History Museum in downtown Harbor Springs.

35. Sweet tooth? Tom’s Mom’s Cookies in Harbor Springs is a great treat.

36. Connect with nature during a visit to Deer Park.

37. Stroll the Harbor Springs marina.

38. For an adventure, sky dive with Sky Dive Harbor Springs.

39. Take a ride on the historic Pointer Boat. Call 231-881-8048 for reservations.

40. Visit Pond Hill Farms for fresh produce and sample their wines in the tasting room.

41. Take the family to bowl a few frames at Northern Lights Recreation.

42. Go horseback riding! Take a one or two hour adventure through groomed trails at Boyne Highlands.

43. Enjoy a famous Awesome Coffee in the Wheelhouse Lounge at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant.
harbor collage 2
44. Cruise the Straits of Mackinac with a lighthouse cruise on Shepler’s Ferry.

45. Take a day trip to Mackinac Island.

46. Drive over the world’s 6th longest suspension bridge, the Mackinac Bridge!

47. Visit Colonial Michilimackinac & Mill Creek.

48. The Headlands is an International Dark Sky Park and the perfect place to watch the night sky.

49. Tour the U.S.C.G.C. Icebreaker Mackinaw.

50. Explore Wilderness State Park.

51. Sturgeon Bay is a local favorite and known for its miles of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, north of Harbor Springs.

52. Take a walking tour of historic architecture in Petoskey.

53. Grab a drink in the Noggin Room Pub, complete an around the world tour of over 30 brews and add your name to the “Hall of Foam.”

54. Visit the downtown Farmers Market Friday mornings through September.

55. Hike the picturesque sand dunes at Petoskey State Park.

56. Voted Northern Michigan’s Best Brunch, Stafford’s Bay View Inn serves brunch every Sunday from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm (May – October).

57. Browse the boutique shops of Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District.

58. The Little Traverse Historical Museum features Hemingway artifacts, train memorabilia and other facts from the past.

59. Try your luck at Odawa Casino.

60. Walk through the winding community of Bay View and enjoy the gingerbread Victorian cottages.

61. Enjoy the ever changing exhibits and performances at Crooked Tree Arts Center.

62. Play outdoor putt-putt golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure.

63. Great American Adventures offers go karts, driving range, water wars, miniature golf and batting cages.

64. Petoskey is home to Kilwin’s quality confections – take home a delicious treat or tour the kitchen. Petoskey is where the company was founded.

65. Pick up some new reading material at the award winning McLean & Eakin Booksellers in downtown.

66. Canoe, kayak or stroll the Bear River Recreation Area. Rentals nearby.

67. Take home some jam & sauce from American Spoon Foods – Petoskey is where the company was founded.

68. Stroll the Petoskey marina and waterfront park area.

60. Stop by Symon’s General Store in downtown for gourmet treats.

70. Sample oils and vinegars from Fustini’s in downtown Petoskey.

71. Catch a flick at the Petoskey Cinema.

72. Visit Lavender Hill Farm, just a few miles south west of Petoskey.

73. Peruse our collection of Michigan art and history at Stafford’s Art Gallery, located behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel (

74. Relax on the front porch of Stafford’s Bay View Inn or Stafford’s Perry Hotel on our comfortable wicker furniture or take in the views from our gardens in the adirondack chairs.

75. Stroll the Petoskey Breakwall.

76. Visit a northern Michigan brewery. Beards Brewery located in downtown Petoskey or Petoskey Brewing Co. located on M-119.

77. Enjoy live entertainment from local musicians in the Noggin Room Pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel Friday & Saturday evenings.

78. Enjoy breakfast or lunch in H.O. Rose Dining Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel.

79. Enjoy a treat from Maple Moon Family Sugary.

80. Sturgeon River Pottery offers a great selection of homemade pottery and gifts, some items are made right in the store!

81. Play of game of croquet on the lawn at Stafford’s Bay View Inn.

82. Take the little ones and spend some time at Busy Bodies Bounce Town.

83. Red Sky Stage is a coffee house style performing arts venue in downtown Petoskey.

84. Walk through the unique village at Bay Harbor.
petoskey collageWALLOON VILLAGE
85. Fly high above northern Michigan in a Hot Air Balloon.

86. Whirl around on roller skates at Pied Piper Skatery.

87. Spend some time on the beach and enjoy the nearby playground, too.
88. Bicycle along the shore of Little Traverse Bay on the Little Traverse Wheelway, a 26 mile paved bike trail from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix. Bike rentals are nearby.

89. Bike, blade, jog or stroll along the North Western State Trail from M-119 in Petoskey to downtown Mackinaw City.

90. Sit back, relax and take in the views of our beautiful corner of northern Michigan.

91. Pamper yourself at one of the areas renowned spas.

92. Visit one of the areas signature fudge shops.

93. Try Stafford’s Oak Planked Whitefish – our specialty since 1961!

94. Experience exceptional northern Michigan wines along the Bay View Wine Trail.

95. Take a hike! Little Traverse Nature Conservancy offers more than 172 nature preserves across northern Michigan.

96. Skip stones on the shores of Little Traverse Bay.

97. Fish on! Whether you want to fly fish, hire a charter or toss a line from the dock, get out and spend some time on our Great Lakes.

98. Golf at one of the areas numerous world class courses.

99. Watch local performances! Catch a concert by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra or at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center.

100. Go antiquing at one of the many shops in northern Michigan.

101. Search for Petoskey stones along the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay, or purchase one in our gift shops.

102. Petoskey is known as the “Land of the Million Dollar Sunsets.” Stop by Sunset Park or the Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel and watch the sun slowly fade into the water.
million dollar sunsetWe’d love to know! What’s your favorite thing to during in northern Michigan during the fall?

Raise a Glass to Michigan’s Regional Craft Breweries – A Guest Blog Post


Michigan has a long-standing history of brewing beer – dating back to the 1800s when mining, fishing, lumbering and other company towns set up local pubs to service their workers and the community.

In the Little Traverse area, the first brewery of note was the original Petoskey Brewing Co.—which operated north of downtown from 1898 until 1915. Today, that big brick building has once again becoming a brewing hub as the home of the new Petoskey Brewing. Since opening in 2012, this brewery continues to craft a variety of unique blends for pub patrons as well as a limited portfolio available in 16-ounce (one pint) cans at retail outlets and on draft at bars and restaurants around the state. Among the more recognizable beers is Sparkle, an American lager, based on a recipe from the original brewery.

Tucked into downtown Petoskey, Beards Brewing has been welcoming visitors to its intimate space for three years. Growing slow and steady, the brewing team here is focused on making original brews with obscure names, unique flavors and loads of passion. Now up to 10 taps, you can sip a pint or order up a sampler board, grab a bite from Happy’s Tacos (which often shares production space) and catch live local entertainment on select nights. A production brewery is in the works in Charlevoix, which will allow Beards to expand its presence in the retail world around northern Michigan.


Pond Hill Farm, north of Harbor Springs, is the ultimate agricultural destination in the area—with a farm market, garden café, winery and brewery complimenting each other in a rustic and rural setting. Tunnel Vision Brewing (located on the M-119 “Tunnel of Trees”) aims “to brew avant-garde beers that find their origins in the traditional style” by using local ingredients whenever possible. Since opening in 2014, the master brewers have taken to growing and harvesting their own ingredients whenever possible, meaning the farm to barrel experience delivers the flavors and natural nuances of the local soil.

The Mackinaw Trail Brewing Company, located inside the Mackinaw Trail Winery on US-131 south of Petoskey, opened during the summer of 2014. Visitors will find eight beers and two hard ciders or cysers on tap at all times, with a fresh rotation of styles and flavors throughout the year including many seasonal offerings fitting for Northern Michigan. Order a sampler, a pint, a snifter or fill a growler to go. Of course, wines are also available for sampling. Mackinaw Trail also operates a Bistro, with charcuterie, salads, snacks, sandwiches and desserts—perfect for beverage pairing!


The area’s newest operation is Lake Charlevoix Brewing, overlooking Round Lake in downtown Charlevoix. Located at 111 Bridge Park Drive (in the south end of the building which houses the Keweenaw Star and Beaver Island Boat Company), the 1200-square-foot pub offers 60 inside seats and an additional 50 in the outside Beer Garden, where grilling and live music are offered—weather permitting. Eight beers are on tap each day, including four rotating recipes crafted by the four-man brewing team on a 5-barrel system, purchased from Psycho Brew in Greenville (fabricated entirely in Michigan, from all American stainless steel).


For an expansive selection of Michigan craft beers, be sure to check out Tap 30 Pourhouse in downtown Petoskey and Bridge Street Tap Room in downtown Charlevoix.

For more about Michigan, “The Great Beer State,” visit the official website of the Michigan Brewers Guild—the trade association currently representing more than 170 breweries around the state.

Upcoming Craft Beer Events
September 26—Hops ‘n Highlands, Boyne Highlands Resort
October 10—Harbor Springs Beer Festival

Submitted By: Dianna Stampfler, President – Promote Michigan

A Taste of Northern Michigan Wines in Downtown Petoskey

northern michigan wines flyer

10 Things To Do This Labor Day Weekend

Bridge walk 1 - 2014It’s hard to believe Labor Day Weekend is upon us. Looking for something to do? Here is a small list of 10 Things To Do Over Labor Day Weekend in the area – for visitors and locals, too!

1. Walk The Mighty Mac – The Only Day of the Year To Walk The Mackinac Bridge!
The best way to view the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac! The 5-mile span welcomes thousands of visitors each year to participate in the walk. Head to St. Ignace where the walk begins (bussing is available in Mackinaw City). More details can be found here.

2. Hit The Beach
Ahhh, toes in the sand, and waves splashing in the background. Need we say more? Petoskey State Park, Sturgeon Bay, Harbor Springs City Beach and the Michigan Beach in Charlevoix are among our personal favorites, here’s a full list of local beaches.

3. Listen To Local Musicians

  • The Noggin Room Pub at Stafford’s Perry Hotel features entertainment nightly Thursday – Sunday, 8 to 11 pm. Get a full entertainment schedule here.
  • Stroll The Streets in Boyne City. This Friday is the final night for the season. It’s fun for the entire family!

4. Bike
The most scenic bike trails are right here in northern Michigan. The Little Traverse Wheelway spans from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix and offers breathtaking views of Little Traverse Bay. The North Western State Trail can be accessed on M-119 and continues on a newly paved trail all the way to Alanson.

5. Browse The Boutique Shops In The Historic Gaslight District Of Downtown Petoskey
A little something for everyone can be found in the quaint Gaslight District. While you’re there, hop on the Historic Trolley for a tour, available Thursday – Saturday. You can find a Trolley Schedule here.

6. Shop ‘Street Sales & Celebration’ in Harbor Springs
Venture into downtown Harbor Springs, Uptown Fairview Square and Harbor Plaza for a day of shopping, saving and family fun. The Farmer’s Market will be set up from 9 am to 1 pm, also! More info here.

7.Grab A Kayak For An Adventure
Overnight guests of Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge & Suites may use our complimentary kayaks on a first come/first serve basis. Banhof Sports in Petoskey and Petoskey State Park also offer kayak rentals.IMG_2215

8. Visit The Labor Day Car Show
On Saturday, September 5, Boyne City will be filled with cars, cars and more cars! Check out the schedule of events here.

9. Indulge In Sunday Brunch at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
A tradition since 1962 and voted Northern Michigan’s Best Brunch! Our Sunday Brunch is served 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Enjoy chef-carved meats, homemade waffle station, breakfast favorites, lunch entrees, traditional sides, salads and a sweets table! $21.95 adults, $12.95 children. Reservations encouraged, 231-347-2771.

10. Take A Cruise On The Water
Hop aboard the Pointer Boat in Harbor Springs for a cruise around Harbor Springs or enjoy the scenic Crooked River, part of the famed Inland Waterway, with a Riverboat Tour.


Enjoy the beautiful weekend in northern Michigan!

Got the Rainy Day Blues? Here are some Rainy Day ‘Dos’

As we all know, the weather doesn’t always cooperate with our plans here in northern Michigan. But as the saying goes – just wait a few minutes, it’ll change (wink, wink)! Try out these ‘rainy day dos’ do get rid of those ‘rainy day blues’ while you wait it out!

Make A Splash
Head to Stafford’s Crooked Lodge & Suites and jump into the indoor pool or relax in the hot tub. The waterfall feature is one-of-a-kind! We are pleased to offer Swimming Passes for our local friends. Daily rates are $8 per guest, per swim. Or, you can save by purchasing our 20 Punch Pool Pass (1 punch per guest, per visit) for $80. Call our friendly staff for more details, 231-548-5000. For pool hours and more information click here.
Pool Image

Have A Sip
Visit a winery – or two, or three – along the Bay View Wine Trail! Each winery is unique in style, location and wine selection. Arrange your designated driver by calling By The Bay Transportation and arranging a Petoskey wine tour!

Peruse some menus and make your way to one of Stafford’s Dining establishments throughout northern Michigan. The Drawbridge Bistro or Weathervane Restaurant in Charlevoix; The H.O. Rose Room or Noggin Room Pub at the Perry Hotel or the Bay View Inn located in Petoskey; The Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs.
Watch A Movie
Catch a new movie at the Petoskey Cinema. Visit to see what’s currently playing.

Indoor Family Fun
Head to Northern Lights Recreation to enjoy some bowling, time in the arcade or laser tag. Visit for hours, rates and more information.

What’s on your rainy day to-do list?

9 Ways to Make a Splash Before Summer Ends: A Guest Blog Post

Northern Michigan - Make a splashBorn and raised in Michigan, I never thought I’d call the “great north” home. But alas, 8 years and counting, here I am — a marketing and tourism professional, raising a family in my true “happy place,” northern Michigan.

While it’s part of my job to encourage and help our guests take advantage of all things Stafford’s, summer is hands down my favorite time of the year. The small communities come to life, there is so much to do all season and do I even need to mention the sunsets? (Pictured below is a favorite spot to watch on Burt Lake – a quick drive from Alanson).


There are so many things to experience during the summer months. And while we are in the middle of August already(!), there is still plenty of time to jump in and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Here’s my list of things to do while in northern Michigan.

  1. Make a Splash at Petoskey State Park. We love this beach. It’s clean, big and lots of sandy shoreline. We spend a lot of time there splashing in the waves, building sand castles and searching for treasures! They even have kayak and paddle board rentals available!
  2. Walk Sanctuary Island. Where else can you find a hand-cranked ferry? Alanson! This is a neat spot and a regular one on our many walks as a family. We crank it over, walk around and take in the Crooked River like no place else!
  3. Hunt for Petoskey Stones. Always a “must-do” when company visits, we gather the buckets, spray bottles (they are easier to spot when they are wet) and head to the lakeshore to hunt. Magnus Park is a great spot to start.

    Petoskey Stone Hunting

  4. Walk or Bike The Little Traverse Wheelway/North Western State Trail.The Little Traverse Wheelway, is a 26-mile paved path, stretches from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs. There are many areas to park and walk/ride. Our favorite begins at the Waterfront in Petoskey heading west to Bay Harbor. The North Western State Trail, extends from Petoskey and soon to Mackinaw! There is a stretch of paved path from Alanson to Petoskey and it’s a great way to take in nature.
  5. Visit the Oden State Fish Hatchery in Conway. Nature, fish ponds, nature trails and a viewing chamber are some of our favorites here. Easy access right off the highway, and the North Western State Trail goes right by it!

    fish hatchery

  6. Free Concerts. From strolling the streets in Boyne City to Street Musique in Harbor Springs, or pulling out a blanket for a concert in the park, northern Michigan is not short on talent! All kid-friendly, too!
  7. Day Trip to Mackinac Island. And get there early to catch a Mighty-Mac Departure from Shepler’s Ferry! This was such a cool ride, cruising under the Mackinac Bridge. There isn’t a better way to see this beautiful bridge up close.

    Mighty Mac

  8. Dine Al Fresco. Outdoor dining doesn’t last long in northern Michigan and the scenery never tires. My favorite spots include Jeff’s Deck in Charlevoix, Dudley’s Deck in Harbor Springs and Legs Inn in Cross Village (great Polish food)! Admiring the yachts, boats and scenery add to the ambiance and won’t disappoint.
  9. See the Area by Water. Exploring the area via water is pretty darn relaxing! I’ve taken three throughout my summers here and can personally recommend Riverboat Tours in Alanson, The Pointer Boat in Harbor Springs and Keewanaw Excursions in Charlevoix. The Riverboat Tours in Alanson is aboard a comfy pontoon and cruises the Crooked River. Capt. Gary is quite entertaining, and the scenery is the perfect painting of northern Michigan nature. The Pointer Boat in Harbor Springs is docked at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant. It’s the only way to see Harbor Springs from the water (unless you rent or have your own boat)! You will see Harbor from a completely different perspective. And finally, the Keewanaw Star in Charlevoix explores Lake Michigan, the Pine River Channel and Round Lake. Cruising through the channel instead of watching the boats cruise by was so enjoyable.

    Boat Tours
    Enjoy the rest of summer! ~ Becky


Becky Babcock is a Central Michigan University Alumni (Fire Up Chips!) and is currently is the Marketing Director for Stafford’s Hospitality, Inc. A mom to a crazy-but-oh-so-lovable two year old and a wife to a hard working husband; she enjoys photography, being outdoors, drinking wine and spending time with family and friends.

Easy, Cheesey Fondue!

Fondue Executive Chef, Britt Beaumont of Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, shares an easy and simple summer appetizer, sure to please any of your guests!

Simple Fondue

  • 1 clove of garlic (whole)
  • 2 cups grated Ementhaller cheese
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 & 1/2 cups champagne
  • Crusty sourdough bread

Rub the inside of the pot with garlic clove. Add the champagne and bring to a simmer. Toss the cheese & cornstarch in. Slowly whisk in the cheese by handful batches until it is smooth and creamy.

Dip bread and enjoy!

11 Things To Do In August

August photo 2
  • 1.Take An Adventure On The Water
    Kayak, tube, swim or walk along the many lakes and shorelines in northern Michigan. The water temperatures are pretty comfortable for swimming and recreational activities, enjoy it while it’s here!
Kayak - Crooked River
  • 3. Bliss Polo Club Match
    Enjoy a pretty drive to bliss and watch the polo match! These matches are free to watch, but don’t forget your lawn chair! The complete schedule can be found on their facebook page.
  • 4. Create A Masterpiece
    Paint plein air style on the Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel on Tuesday, August 11, 3 to 6 pm.  This afternoon of art and wine with local artist Katie Brines will provide step-by-step instructions allowing you to create a one of a kind masterpiece on canvas. No painting talent required! Our fee includes all supplies, wine tastings and light hors d’oeuvres. $50 per guest. Reservations  231-347-0142.
  • 5. Movies In The Park
    A great way to enjoy a northern Michigan evening. Downtown Charlevoix offers Monday night Movies In The Park and Downtown Petoskey offers them in Pennsylvania Park during Petoskey Rocks! on Friday evenings.
  • 6. Visit The Harbor Springs Car Festival
    Thursday, August 13, 5:30 pm til dusk
    Enjoy an evening out in Zorn Park of Harbor Springs! Browse cars, trucks and motorcycles of all sorts. While you’re there, try out some of the fine restaurants downtown, including Stafford’s Pier Restaurant! View more information here.
  • 7. Alanson Riverfest
    Friday, August 14 – Sunday, August 16
    Celebrate the historic Inland Water Route with music and activities for the whole family all weekend! View all the details here. Be sure to visit Sanctuary Island while you’re there to try out the hand cranked ferry!DSC_6363
  • 8. Petoskey’s Festival on the Bay
    Enjoy some great family fun on the waterfront in downtown Petoskey Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15! Activities include: music, fun for kids, teen events, family night and more! Watch for details of the 2015 event here.
  • 9. Shop Till You Drop – Downtown Charlevoix Summer Sidewalk Sales
    Thursday, August 13 – Saturday, August 15, 9 am to 6 pm
    You won’t want to miss the hottest deals of the season in downtown Charlevoix! Hint: shop early for the best selection! Details here.
  • 10. Enjoy a Tour of the Crooked River or Little Traverse Bay
    Two great boat tours to enjoy! Riverboat Tours, new this summer, offers stunning tours of the famed Inland Waterway. The hour and half tour is relaxing and filled with history and wildlife! View schedule and pricing at those wanting to experience Harbor Springs and Little Traverse Bay, the Pointer Boat is for you! Tours are available most days and are $20 per person. Originally built in 1934, this historic boat was restored in 1989 and extensively upgraded in 2014 to meet today’s United States Coast Guard standards. Tours will depart from the Pier Restaurant in downtown Harbor Springs. This tour hugs the shoreline of historic associations including Harbor Point and Wequetonsing. Tours can be catered by Stafford’s with hors d’oeuvres, sandwiches and beverages. Guests of all ages are welcome to join us!
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Al Fresco Dining (Veranda and Server)

Mitten Favorites & Farmers Markets

Shop Local, Eat Fresh & Taste the Difference
Avoid the lines at the grocery stores, hit the streets instead! We are lucky to have many local and fresh options to stock our kitchens. The Petoskey Farmers Market happens every Friday, 8:30 am to 1 pm. The Harbor Springs Farmers Market happens Wednesdays & Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm. The Charlevoix Farmers Market happens Thursdays, 9 am to 1 pm. Take your pick or visit them all!
blog collage

Smitten With The Mitten At Our Restaurants
With so many wonderful local options, we couldn’t resist including them on our menus throughout Stafford’s.

A long-time regional favorite, our specialty since 1961! Fresh water whitefish from John Cross Fishers is key to our Oak Planked Whitefish served at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant and Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant.

Oak Planked Whitefish
Chef Britt at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant created a fabulous treat for our dessert menu with must-try cookies from My Sister’s Bake Shop in Harbor Springs. You’re likely to see him picking up fresh ingredients during the Harbor Springs Farmers Market each week. Look for him and say hello!

blog collage
Chef Rob at The Drawbridge Bistro has selected some of the finest Michigan ingredients for his menus. We’d love to have you for breakfast, lunch or dinner – view our hours and menus here.
• Double smoked bacon, breakfast sausage and fresh burger from Circle M. Ranch in Wolverine
• Granola from Crooked Tree Breadworks in Petoskey
• Cherry Butter from Rocky Top Farms in Ellsworth• Pure Maple Syrup from Korthase Brothers Sugar Bush in Boyne City
• Preserves and spiced mango salsa from American Spoon Foods in Petoskey
• Goat Cheese from Meadow View Farm in Fremont
Chef Ken at Stafford’s Perry Hotel uses beef hot dogs from Dearborn, Michigan on the Noggin Room menu. Stop by to try the BLT Dog, Pub Dog, Chicago Style or Mac N’ Cheese Dog! View the menu here.

hot dog collage-1
Stafford’s Bay View Inn provides house-made cuisine to all our restaurants including Inn-baked Cottage Dill Rolls, salad dressings, Stafford’s Seafood Chowder and Chilled Cherry Soup!
Cottage Dill Roll

Over in Charlevoix at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant, Chef Rob uses fresh smoked whitefish from John Cross Fisheries in their delicious Great Lakes Chowder, along with desserts made at Stafford’s Bay View Inn – including our Peanut Butter Pie. It’s hard to resist!

Peanut Butter Pie
We’d love to know, what’s your favorite local or Michigan treat?


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