Are you planning an RV trip to Northern Michigan? If so, plan to spend some time in the city of Petoskey. It’s got all the small-town charm you could ask for and some great options for camping. We’ve found five Petoskey, Michigan, campgrounds that we think you should check out. Let’s get started and see what all the fuss is about in Petoskey!
You Need to Visit Petoskey, MI
As of 2020, Petoskey, Mich., was home to approximately 5800 residents. While this town doesn’t have a massive population, it does have eight miles of shoreline for Lake Michigan. If you’re looking for a quaint, lakeside community, Petoskey just might be for you. It offers tremendous natural beauty, a shopping district, and Victorian architecture.
The city gets its name from an Indian chief, Chief Pet-O-Sega. The city is also the central spot to find the unique Petoskey stones, the state stone of Michigan.
Things to Do in Picturesque Petoskey, MI
If you’re planning to visit Petoskey, you have to see if you can find a Petoskey stone. These pebble-shaped stones are a mixture of rocks and fossils. The stones are prehistoric fossilized coral that are fun to find. If you’re on federal lands, it is illegal to collect them. However, rock hunters can collect up to 25 lbs of Petoskey stones per year on state-owned lands.
The city has a few parks, Curtis Park, Lockwood Park, and Washington Park. All three of these parks are worth visiting, whether you’re looking for a playground or a spot to have a picnic. Bring a ball or games and burn off some energy in the large grass fields.
Downtown Petoskey is a great place to do some shopping. You’ll find over 170 shops and restaurants throughout the Gaslight Shopping District. The district has year-round events on its calendar, and it’s easy to see why Smithsonian Magazine named the city one of the Best Small Towns in America.
5 Best Campgrounds in Petoskey, Michigan
Whether you’re looking to camp in a tent or an RV, there are plenty of options in Petoskey. You can find sites that are only a stone’s throw from the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Let’s see where you should camp while visiting Petoskey!
1. Petoskey State Park
Address: 2475 M-119, Petoskey, MI 49770
Cost: $38 to $42
About: Petoskey State Park offers 180 sites between its two Petoskey, Michigan, campgrounds, Tannery Creek and Dunes. The park is spread over 300 acres and offers easy access to a beautiful sandy beach.
You’ll need a recreation passport to access the state park, so make sure to purchase one in advance or on your arrival. This is a popular park for those looking for Petoskey stones while in the area.
Amenities: Both campgrounds in the state park have varying electrical connections. You can find everything from 15 amp to 50 amp sites. Bring your four-legged friends with you, as the park is pet-friendly.
Some sites also have sewer and water connections, but there are sanitary dumps to empty your tanks as well. While this is a great campground to enjoy the lake and hiking trails, the sites are closer together than a typical state park. If you can overlook being close to your neighbors, either of their Petoskey, Michigan, campgrounds is a great option.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10
Pro Tip: Petoskey, Michigan is a stone’s throw away from Lake Michigan. Looking for some more beach adventures? We found the Top 10 Beaches in Michigan You Must Visit.
2. Magnus Park
Address: 901 W Lake St, Petoskey, MI 49770
Cost: $42 per night
About: You’ll find 76-sites at Magnus Park that are great for towable RVs, motorhomes, and even tent camping. Those camping in the park can easily access Bayfront Park, Little Traverse Wheelway, and Downtown Petoskey. The park has 1,000 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline, and venturing up to Wayside Park can provide an amazing view of the bay.
Amenities: If you’re hoping to stay connected while camping, you’ll be happy to hear the entire park has free wireless internet. Campers have access to the restroom and shower facilities, a dog walk area, and a playground.
The Petoskey, Michigan, campgrounds have electric, water, and sewer hookups. You can test your rockhounding skills by finding the popular Petoskey stones throughout the park.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10
3. Petoskey KOA Holiday
Address: 1800 U.S. 31 N, Petoskey, MI 49770
Cost: $82 per night
About: Only minutes from Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay, you can enjoy some of the best sunsets in all of Michigan. This romantic campground can be the perfect place to make memories as a couple or family.
You’ll love the feel of the natural environment as these Petoskey, Michigan, campgrounds weave throughout the tranquil 30 acres of cedar, pine, and maple trees.
Amenities: The Petoskey KOA Holiday offers sites that accommodate rigs that are a maximum of 90 feet long. This is plenty big for even the largest rigs and tow vehicles. The pool is open from mid-May until the start of September. Stock up on firewood and propane, take a dip in the hot tub and enjoy some delicious food in the Kamping Kitchen.
If those aren’t enough, they offer a playground for children and have a pet-specific playground as well. Play a game of horseshoes, volleyball, or pickleball. There are frequently scavenger hunts and stone polishing available if you’re lucky enough to snag a Petoskey stone.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10
4. Hearthside Grove Motorcoach Resort
Address: 2400 US-31, Petoskey, MI 49770
Cost: $90 to $170 per night
About: Craig and Kirk Rose, brothers and Petoskey natives, know what a natural Northern Michigan environment is like. They’ve taken their knowledge to create a motorhome resort that’s able to reflect the lakes, waterways, and rolling hills and forests that make Michigan unique. The resort provides a luxurious place to park your motorhome while visiting the Little Traverse Bay area.
Amenities: These massive lots are the definition of luxury camping. The resort pool is kept at 82 degrees and can be a great place to cool off in the summer months. Challenge your fellow campers to a tennis match or a game of pickleball.
You can even let your four-legged friends run off some energy at the park’s dog run. If you’re looking for a luxury resort, this is the place to stay.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.5/10
5. Sun Outdoors Petoskey Bay Harbor
Address: 5505 Charlevoix Ave, Petoskey MI 49770
Cost: $66 per night
About: Sun Outdoors Petoskey Bay Harbor is a seasonal campground open from April 30 to October 31. The resort offers large RV sites or fully-furnished condo rentals. The landscaping communicates the upscale feel and fits right in with the historic town of Petoskey.
The park is pet-friendly and offers 30-amp and 50-amp sites, cable, and Wi-Fi. The landscape and cement pad sites communicate that it’s not your typical campground. It has a luxurious look and feels throughout the campground.
Amenities: Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and water connections. The Petoskey, Michigan campgrounds, are wide, long, and have everything you need to enjoy your RV comfortably. You’re only a short distance to all the exciting activities in Petoskey and have everything you could need for a weekend of exciting memories.
The gated entrance ensures the safety of all guests and can allow you to relax. Get your sweat on at the fitness center, basketball court, or while playing horseshoes. Sun Outdoors Petoskey Bay Harbor is a great place to stay no matter how long you’re in the area.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10
Pro Tip: Want to explore some national parks while in Michigan? We uncovered What Are The Best National Parks In Michigan?
Is There Boondocking in Petoskey, MI?
There’s not a tremendous amount of boondocking in the area, but French Farm Lake Campground is a superb spot if you don’t mind a bit of a drive. This boondocking spot is further north and closer to Mackinaw, but you can reach Petoskey State Park in about 45 minutes.
If you’re looking to save a few bucks while staying in the area, give French Farm Lake Campground a try. Take it slow and steady, and you should have no troubles navigating the narrow road into the campground.
Make Sure to Spend Some Time In Petoskey, MI
If you’re passing through Northern Michigan, stop in Petoskey. Enjoy the small-town hospitality and local charm. This lakeside town offers tremendous natural beauty that makes it easy to appreciate.
Grab your loved ones and end your day watching the sunset as boats pass by on the lake. You don’t have to go to a big city to have a great time.
Have you visited Northern Michigan or the city of Petoskey? Tell us your story in the comments!
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Jim & Karen Ingersoll
Thursday 26th of January 2023
Great article on Petoskey MI. We recently visited Petoskey in August 2022 and have some of the best camping memories. You might want to add list to your list of boondocking options the Crooked Vine Vineyard & winery in Alanson, MI. Just a hop-skip-jump from Petoskey 11 miles away. Crooked Vine offers Harvest Host members boondocking literally next to the grape vines with great views. You can ' volunteer ' to pick grapes at harvest time for another memorable experience. Great restaurants in the area ( Michael's Tavern & steakhouse in Indian River MI 10 minutes away) or the many wonderful restaurants in Petoskey! Email us if you want photos.
Mortons on the Move
Thursday 9th of February 2023
Thanks for your recommendations! We love petosky and have spent alot of time in indian river but was not aware of crooked vine!