Maybe it’s due to the spectacular scenery or just a different state of mind, but one of the things I love most about RV travel is my craving to get outdoors. Fact is that I hike, walk the dogs, and ride bicycle miles more than when I’m at home. And that’s good—really good—because when I’m not walking, hiking or cycling I’m checking out the local foodie options and planning for the next meal.
All of which makes Petoskey State Park ideal. Jump on the paved bike trail that runs through the park and you can pedal north to Harbor Springs and Mackinaw City. Head south from the park and pedal all the way to Charlevoix, which is about 30 miles. Not up for a 30-mile ride today? No problem. Instead, make a stop on the south trail a short four miles from the park and you’ll find yourself in a chocolate lover’s paradise.
Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen
Chances are somewhere along your travels you passed by a Kilwins chocolate shop. Typically found in resort and vacation communities and in upscale shopping areas, there are over 140 retail locations primarily east of the Mississippi. Petoskey is where the company began and the Chocolate Kitchen on Bay View is the Mother Ship.
From this modern, sprawling single story facility virtually all the chocolate candies you see in your neighborhood Kilwins Store are made. Thousands of gallons of milk and dark chocolate circulate overhead through stainless steel pipes destined to enrobe walnuts, cashews, caramels and a host of other goodies. Take the free tour and you’ll get a behind the scenes look (and explanation) of how the magic happens.
And, yea, resign yourself to exiting the chocolate factory with a bag full of sweets and a thick slice of Kilwins Mackinac Island Fudge. Peddle on!
1050 Bay View Road
Petoskey, MI 49770