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Drone arial image of Lake Charlevoix from Boyne City

With a surface area over 17,000 acres and more than 55 miles of beaches, Lake Charlevoix is the third largest lake in the state. The lake was also voted the second-best lake in America, behind Lake Tahoe, in USA Today’s 2012 poll. Picturesque cities are dotted around the lake including Charlevoix, Boyne City, and East Jordan. All of them have a host of unique shops and restaurants a stone-throws away from the water.

Big Race

One of the biggest events on the lake is the Boyne Thunder race in July. It’s a Poker Race, which means it’s not about being the fastest boat. Instead, racers must reach five checkpoints on race day to collect a playing card. At the end of the day, the crew with the best poker hand with those five cards wins the race. The boats leave from Boyne city in the morning, travel across Lake Charlevoix, through the Charlevoix’s Round Lake Channel, and race across Lake Michigan, Grand Traverse Bay and Little Traverse Bay, and come back to Boyne City to finish the race.


Looking for a day full of fun in the sun? Summers on Lake Charlevoix are exactly what you’re looking for. There are many beaches dotted around the lake. Plus, with the sheer size of the lake and multiple public boat launches available, you can easily spend your time on the water tubing, wakeboard, water skiing, jet skiing or just cruising around the lake looking at the million-dollar homes nestled on the shores.


While you’re out on your boat, don’t forget to bring your fishing pole! This lake is a great place to take your whole family out and catch a variety of inland-lake fish. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says the lake is home to Walleye, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Rock Bass, Catfish, Crappie and more.


It’s also home to some famous shipwrecks, too. Some of them include the wrecks of the Gordon, Beaver Queen, Onekama, and Jennie Mullen boats in the early 1900s and 1910s, the 1920s shipwreck of the Keuka, as well as the Avery and “Pottowatmee” with the dates of their sinking still unknown. You can even see the wreckage of an unidentified ship at the northern point of Oyster Bay on Google maps.

If you’re coming to northern Michigan, exploring the beautiful blue waters of Lake Charlevoix is a must.

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