Location of Charlevoix
He commissioned the French government to attempt to find a rumored waterway to the Pacific Ocean. The explorer’s last name was chosen for the city’s name because he once traveled through the area.
Because of their location, Ferry Beach and Depot Beach on the west shore of Lake Charlevoix offer spectacular sunrises. Then after a day filled with whatever sounds fun, watch the sunset from a vista in the hilly Charles A. Ransom Nature Preserve situated on the shores of the Great Lake.
Other Things To Do in Charlevoix
Charlevoix vacation rentals offer a lot of things to do while relaxing. You can swim, fish, waterski, wakeboard, and parasail on the lake. In addition, there are many other things to do, like golf, unique sightseeing, and boutique shopping. Moreover, there are a lot of different kinds of restaurants.
You can enjoy many fun outdoor activities like snowmobiling and snowshoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and sledding in the winter. Then you can warm up in your cozy vacation rental before returning outside and doing more fun things.
Year-round activities in Charlevoix make it an excellent place for a getaway just about anytime. You can watch the Memorial Drawbridge as it rises for ships to pass and check out the area lighthouses and the South Pier Light Station aka the Charlevoix Pier Light, which guides ships in the Pine River Channel to Lake Michigan and has a place on the historical landmarks list.
Two other lighthouses in the area are open to tours. One is McGulpin Point Lighthouse, about two miles west of Mackinaw City. Built in 1892 and is visible for ships entering the Straits of Mackinac from the west. She retired in 1906. The second lighthouse is the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City. Built-in 1892, it is a sentinel for vessels navigating the Straits of Mackinac from the west and the east. Tours are available from May through October.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Some trails wind through miles of pristine natural beauty just waiting for you to hike, bike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski. You can even bike on a paved pathway along the big lake’s shoreline on the Little Traverse Wheelway. Are you feeling a little lazy? Why not paddle and float on the Jordan River, a scenic waterway, for a relaxing day of low-key water fun? This river is available for winter rafting! A great adventure with hot chocolate stops and opportunities to snowshoe as well.
Another exciting activity for any time of year is a tour of a few of Charlevoix’s mushroom houses. The homes were designed by the city’s first architect, Earl Young. He constructed the houses of boulders he collected when exploring northern Michigan’s fields, woods, and shorelines.
He built 30 Cotswold-style houses between 1918 and the early 1950s, including one designed for fairies and another with a thatched roof imported from England. You will want to take advantage of what will surely be an unforgettable tour of one of these treasures. Charlevoix’s Visitor Center has a free map available with locations of the houses and tour information.
Another architectural gem is the castle at Castle Farms. Conceived initially as a dairy farm in 1918, an executive of Sears Roebuck had the French-Normandy-style structure built of boulders to exhibit farm implements sold by Sears in an authentic setting that even included the livestock.
You’ll want to take the tour to learn more about the property’s fascinating history, see the largest model railroad in Michigan, and explore the stunning gardens. Castle Farms is one of the state’s leading historical attractions on the National and State Historic Registries.
Spend a Day on the Links
The Charlevoix area has a lot to challenge avid golfers; even duffers will enjoy their time on the beautiful courses. There are five renowned courses of exciting diversity. The classes are at most 20 minutes from downtown, so you could easily play a few courses daily.
1. Antrim Dells is an 18-hole course with panoramic views of the northern woods. Here you can enjoy a challenging round while enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding forest.
2. The Belvedere Golf Club was founded by William Watson, the famous Scottish architect, over 100 years ago. While Belvedere isn’t a long course by today’s standards, it will challenge your short game.
3. The Charlevoix Golf Club was also founded and designed by William Watson more than a century ago. It has bent grass fairways and four of the most challenging holes in the area. A 9-hole course has gentle terrain, which makes it an excellent method for beginners, families, or if you only have time for a quick round.
4. The Dunmaglas Golf Course sits a 6,897-yard course sitting in the hills overlooking gorgeous scenery, including Lake Charlevoix and a Great Lake. It is ranked as one of the Best 50 Upscale Courses in the United States by Golf Digest. The course winds its way through hills, valleys, trees, and meadows and is impeccably maintained.
Warm Days on the Water
When you’re surrounded by water, you’ll want to enjoy it. Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix are fantastic lakes for sailing, excellent freshwater fishing, water sports, paddleboards, and kayaking. You don’t need to bring your equipment either because area beaches have rentals available.
To get out and explore the Big Lake, stop by any of the many marinas in the area that offer private charters, boat tours, and sunset charters. You’ll benefit from local knowledge to take you to the best fishing spots, show you the most amazing views, and provide the best local lore as you enjoy your time on the water.
Did you know Lake Charlevoix has 56 miles of shoreline and 17,200 acres of clear blue water? It is famous for swimming, fishing, cruising, house gazing, and water sports. On one arm is Boyne City, and on the other is East Jordan – both are excellent shopping and dining spots. The Landings is a great place to stop, enjoy a bite, relax, and enjoy the view.
You can approach The Landings by land or by the lake. It’s just waiting for you to pull your boat to its dock. Here you can enjoy American-style dining, craft beverages, amazing views of Lake Charlevoix, and watch the Ironton Ferry traversing on its renowned short route between two shores.
Stuck in the middle
Round Lake is a hub of activity for watercraft traveling between the two lakes. It is centrally situated with downtown Charlevoix, beautiful homes and estates, historic summer clubs, and East Park overlooking Round Lake’s pristine waters, which connect the Big Lake to Lake Charlevoix via the Round Lake/Pine River complex.
The Charlevoix Municipal Boat Ramp is a good choice if you’re bringing your boat. Michigan’s DNR website says it has a hard-surface ramp, and the water depth is sufficient to accommodate any trailer-able watercraft. There is also the Ironton launch located off M-66. If you’d prefer to put in on Michigan, there are a couple of launches to try:
- Michigan DNR launch, north of A.L.P. Lighting Components on US-31
- Charlevoix Township launch for small boats, located at the end of Lake Shore Dr.
Fourth of July
Northern Michigan was made for celebrating with myriad activities and fun for the entire family. If you’re planning your time in Charlevoix around the Fourth of July, you are in for a treat. The Fourth is more than a day; it’s at least a weekend if you can. Furthermore, you can easily stretch it into a week of summer fun with family and friends.