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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Petoskey, MI

Written by Leigh Cooper

Petoskey, Michigan, is a lovely town on the beaches of Lake Michigan that never fails to enchant its guests and permanent residents alike. Petoskey is an attractive area to live because of its scenic landscape, quaint downtown, and welcoming locals. 

However, before you pack your bags and move to this idyllic northern Michigan town, there are important things you should know.

Let’s check out ten things to know before moving to Petoskey, MI.

1. Enjoy all four seasons

Petoskey enjoys all four of the seasons, each of which has its unique allure. The winters provide snow and great chances for winter sports, and the summers are mild and wonderful for outdoor activities. The changing of the seasons in the spring and fall is especially lovely, what with the blossoming of flowers and the changing of the leaves. Always pack in layers, as the weather can change quickly at any time of year.

The average annual precipitation in Petoskey is 40 inches, and the average annual snowfall is 50 inches. It snows more often than it rains in the winter, but both types of precipitation are common in the spring and fall. 

2. Crime rates are well below the national average

Petoskey boasts a notably lower crime rate compared to the national average. When it comes to violent crime, Petoskey’s rate stands at 10.9, significantly below the U.S. average of 22.7. 

Similarly, for property crime, Petoskey records a rate of 16.8, which is considerably less than the U.S. average of 35.4. This data highlights the overall safety of Petoskey, making it a secure place to live in, with crime rates well below the national average.

3. A cost of living index of 92

Michigan is generally an affordable state, and this city is no different. The cost of living in Petoskey is 8% lower than the national average. 

For a single adult living in Petoskey, the total annual cost, encompassing housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and essential expenses, amounts to $34,120. This figure is higher than the average annual cost of living in Michigan, which stands at $32,897 but falls below the national average of $38,433.

4. A decent job market

Petoskey is home to employers, particularly in industries like tourism, healthcare, and education. Although it’s not a major city, the town’s relatively steady economy makes it a desirable destination for people in need of a change of scenery. 

However, you should make sure you have a job lined up or other means of supporting yourself before you relocate.

5. Attend North Central Michigan College

Petoskey provides families with numerous options for their children’s education. There are both excellent public schools and opportunities to attend private schools in town. 

Petoskey is home to North Central Michigan College, giving residents and commuters access to higher education options. The focus placed on education guarantees that your loved ones will have easy access to reputable institutions of learning.

6. Prepare for tourist season

The summer months see a significant increase in the number of visitors visiting Petoskey. With the influx of tourists throughout the summer months, occurrences like traffic congestion and crowding in the downtown area are not unusual. 

Seasonal shifts can have a significant impact on people’s ability to go about their daily lives, so keep this in mind before you move.

7. Go hunting for stones along Lake Michigan

Petoskey stones are a unique natural treasure. They are fossilized coral colonies and can be found along the shores of Lake Michigan, and hunting for these stones is a popular pastime for both locals and tourists. 

The stones are characterized by their distinctive honeycomb pattern and are often crafted into jewelry and keepsakes. It’s a fascinating and fun local tradition to take part in. On weekends, you and the family can go hunting for these stones along Lake Michigan!

8. The people are warm and friendly

Petoskey’s friendly and close-knit neighborhood is one of the city’s best features. Newcomers will find the locals welcoming and supportive, making it simple to make friends and settle in quickly. 

Through participation in community activities, volunteer work, or even just casual discussions with neighbors, you’ll quickly feel at home in your new neighborhood.

9. Attend the Festival on the Bay or the Winter Carnival

Petoskey hosts year-round events and festivals, such as the Winter Carnival, art fairs, and the renowned Petoskey Festival on the Bay. These events are great for socializing, enjoying local culture, and having fun with family and friends.

Festival on the Bay is one of the most eagerly awaited events in Petoskey. Usually held in August, the Festival on the Bay is a multi-day celebration featuring live music, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, a kids’ carnival, and a spectacular fireworks display over Little Traverse Bay.

When winter blankets Petoskey in snow, the Winter Carnival takes center stage. This event often includes ice carving contests, a chili cook-off, sledding, and snowshoeing. The highlight is usually the crowning of the Winter King and Queen, adding a touch of whimsy to the snowy festivities.

10. Go shopping at Downtown Petoskey

Petoskey is a shopper’s dream, with its quaint downtown filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind stores, galleries, and antique shops.

Petoskey’s downtown revolves around the Victorian-style Gaslight Shopping District. During the holiday season, the “Gaslight Parade” transforms the streets into a winter paradise where people can buy, dine, and enjoy other festive activities.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, moving to Petoskey, Michigan, offers a blend of natural beauty, strong community bonds, and cultural vibrancy. With all four seasons, outdoor activities, low crime rates, and a relatively affordable cost of living, it’s an enticing place to call home. 

The town’s focus on education, cultural events, and friendly locals make it a welcoming destination. Whether hunting for Petoskey stones, enjoying festivals, or exploring the charming downtown, this city promises a warm and enriching environment for new residents.

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