Lake Charlevoix is Michigan’s third-largest lake. In fact, it has a 122-foot-deep main basin and a 58-foot-deep south arm. Moreover, Lake Charlevoix has 56 miles of beaches, so you can find the one you want. Its proximity to Mackinac Island is also a plus.
Connection to Lake Michigan
The Pine Lake/Pine River complex drains the lake into Lake Michigan. As a result, the Lake Michigan water level is closely linked. In addition, depending on the water levels between the two lakes, the Pine River can flow both ways. This channel leads to Lake Michigan via Charlevoix.
The Lake is surrounded by towns, farms, parks, and recreational areas. As a result, there’s something for everyone in your family, whether they prefer the outdoors or activities like shopping or museums. So, no matter the season, there are many beaches and nature preserves to visit. Moreover, throughout the year, nearby towns host art exhibits and other events. Check out the local websites for fun events to attend while on vacation.
Ernest Hemingway spent a lot of time at the famous Lake Charlevoix. You can see where he lived and where many of his famous works about Michigan were inspired.
Where is Lake Charlevoix
Lake Charlevoix is in Michigan’s northwestern lower peninsula. As a matter of fact, many people are surprised to learn that the lake stretches through the towns of East Jordan, Boyne City, and Charlevoix. The area has many beaches, parks, and ski resorts in Northwest Michigan, so there is always something to do. Without a doubt, Northern Michigan has a much slower pace of life than cities like South Haven, Michigan.
There are several roads that stretch around the lake. However, the Ironton Ferry is used to cross the lake quickly. For example, US31 skirts the shores of Lake Michigan, near Lake Charlevoix, and the channel to the lake. M66 also skirts the lake. The Ironton Ferry crosses the South Arm at its narrowest point.
Lake Charlevoix is an hour south of the upper peninsula and several cities. As a result, Lake Charlevoix is a great vacation destination for outdoor enthusiasts who want to be close to nightlife, dining, and shopping.
Winter Recreation on Lake Charlevoix
Winter brings lots of fun activities. The area gets 120 inches of snow per year. A family can expect to enjoy fun activities like skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.
Boyne City, Michigan, has Boyne Mountain, which is close to the lake. Mt. McSauba offers beginner and intermediate skiing and skating. There are many miles of cross-country ski trails to explore in the area, allowing you to enjoy the winter scenery and wildlife. Mt. Sauba rents cross-country skis and snowshoes.
You can go snowmobiling on the Chandler Hill Trail. You can rent fat bikes from Revolution Bike and try out winter biking. Mt. Sauba, Fisherman’s Island, and others have miles of unmotorized trails.
During the winter, there are nearby events. Your trip can include Christmas lights, fun food, and pottery events. When planning your trip, check local websites for event information. Plan ahead for the log cabins and house rentals near winter amenities.
Summer Recreation on Lake Charlevoix
The several beaches of Lake Charlevoix are open to the public during the summer. There are beaches with snack shacks that can provide a delightful experience for families, or you can pick a more desolate beach if you prefer quiet. Searching for Petoskey stones is a wonderful activity.
You can also rent a property on a Lake Michigan beach if you go to Lake Michigan. Our Lake Michigan vacation cottages are adjacent to Lake Charlevoix, and our customers have begun to associate the two. In general, though, all holiday homes with beachfront and even a firepit are in high demand.
These fossil coral pieces can be found on the beaches of Lake Charlevoix. North Point Nature Reserve and Fisherman’s Island State Park are two excellent places to look for them.
Active Lifestyle Entusiast
Hiking, riding, and fishing are some other wonderful summer activities. Lake Charlevoix, like Lake Michigan, has a diverse range of fish species. Rainbow Trout, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, and a variety of other species can be found. If fishing is a part of your northern Michigan getaway, you’ll have plenty to catch. Make sure you have your Michigan fishing license so you don’t miss out on any fishing opportunities while you’re on vacation.
Summer is a fantastic time for hiking, camping, and beach cookouts. At the nearby parks and beaches, there is enough to do. Before you go, make sure to check for equipment rentals. There are numerous services in the area that can assist you in obtaining the necessary equipment for whatever outdoor adventure you like to undertake while visiting Northern Michigan.
If you enjoy sampling new cuisines while you travel, make a point of visiting local farmer’s markets and farms during the summer. During the summer, many veggies and other farm products are in season, so there will be lots to try. Food excursions to local wineries are also available during the summer, so if you enjoy wine, this is a terrific thing to do during the warmer months.
Local farms will also have a variety of crops growing, and many will allow you to select your own fruit. Alternatively, you can experience their seasonal goods at their farm markets or cafes while taking in the beauty of Lake Charlevoix.
Many of the shops, galleries, and activities in the area are only open during the summer. If you want to spend time on the water, go during the summer when there are more activities to pick from.
On Lake Charlevoix, water activities are a great way to spend the summer. On Lake Charlevoix or the nearby rivers, you can go kayaking, canoeing, or tubing. You can also go swimming with your family at one of the neighboring beaches.
Lake Charlevoix Boat Rentals
Boat rentals are available if you wish to fish in deeper areas or just want to spend a day on the lake. At various boat rentals around the lake, you may hire everything from jet skis to pontoon boats. You should be able to quickly locate one near your rental.
If you want to rent a boat and go fishing, make sure to check the opening dates before you go. You may also discover guide services if you want expert guidance on where to find the greatest fishing areas in the area and don’t want to bring your own fishing gear.
If you enjoy rafting, there are several spots where you may take guided trips of the rivers that flow into Lake Charlevoix. Tubing is another peaceful water activity that the whole family will love. Boyne Watersports offers a variety of boat rentals, including kayaks, jet skis, and pontoon boats. If you’d rather relax and let someone else handle the steering while still experiencing the sights of Lake Charlevoix, there are various rented boat services available.
Boyne City, Michigan is located on Lake Charlevoix’s east arm. From popular beaches like Peninsula Beach and Tannery Beach to the Lake Street Market for food and shopping, there’s something for everyone. The Boyne City Tap Room has 40 local craft beers on tap if you’re a craft beer fan. The Red Mesa Grill is a great place to go for margaritas and some of the best Latin food in the neighborhood.
Cafe Sante, a European bistro, can cater to your demands with pasta, pizzas, and other dishes. Sunnyside, originally known as the Water Street Cafe, is a fantastic place to eat. When the Water Street Cafe changed hands, they chose the name of a historic Boyne City eatery. Sunnyside is a great place to go for a traditional American breakfast or lunch.
Lots of Parks
If you want to go to a park, there are two options: Old City Park and Sunset Park. Each has its own attractions, so take a look if you have the opportunity. Take a trip around Horton Creek’s combined woodland preserves, which total roughly 207 acres. Depending on the season, the Avalanche Preserve Recreation Area has 300 acres to ride, walk, or just explore with activities like mushroom hunting and fruit harvesting. All of these and more can be found in Boyne City.
If you want to complete it while you’re in the area, Hewitt’s Guide Service in Boyne City can help. From their 21-foot boat, you can catch perch, walleye, bass, and pike. You can go for a few hours or the entire day. They provide all of the necessary equipment; all you need is a valid Michigan fishing license. Boyne Watersports offers luxury boat and jet ski rentals for those looking for various water activities. Kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as pontoon and tri-toon rentals, are also available.
History on Its Side
If you’re seeking historical sites, Boyne City is the site of Ernest Hemingway’s wedding. The 126-year-old Horton Bay General Store and the Boyne City Historical Museum are both nearby. The museum is free to enter, making it a fun pastime that allows you to save money for shopping or dining in the city.
Wildwood Rush Canopy Tours is a great place to go if you want to get your adrenaline racing. You can go on a zipline excursion that spans over 5000 feet and provides spectacular views of the Lake Charlevoix area. They also have a 1,200-foot racing zipline where three individuals can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour if they choose to race their friends and family.
The Birds Nest has clothing and shoes for babies to young adults for those shopping for children or young people. Toys for newborns and youngsters are also available. This boutique has a lot of unusual items that will appeal to the kids in your life.
Boyne City also includes museums for history buffs and local crafts to admire while your visit.
From shopping and dining to sights and outdoor activities, Charlevoix has a lot to offer. There are various possibilities in the neighborhood if you want to taste some local products and choose your own fruit. Picking apples and cherries are available at Friskies Orchard, which also has a market. Apples and a market are available at Kings Orchard. There are several farms in the region, including Lavender Hill Farm, which grows 25 different types of lavender.
Pottery studios, glassmakers, galleries, and specialist stores such as yarn stores are among the many shopping alternatives available. You’ll be able to find anything you want to take home as a souvenir. Museums, historical buildings, and other entertaining attractions such as the Mushroom Houses that give guided tours are also available. Visit to see some truly unusual architecture that you won’t find anyplace else.
Little Traverse Charters offers chartered tours that can accommodate any family or group wishing to experience the lake and neighboring waterways. They provide a terrific way to tour the area while being escorted by an expert captain, so even those who are hesitant to rent a boat may still enjoy the lake. Starting in June and running through Labor Day, Sunshine Charter provides three daily cruises of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan.
The Harsha House Museum has 150 years of images from the neighborhood if you enjoy historical photography. The house was built in 1891, so you can take a tour of a truly historic home while learning about the history of the area. Depot Beach has a historical railroad station as well as a variety of beach activities for people of all ages.
In the Charlevoix area, there are a lot of galleries to visit if you are interested in art. Between April and December, North Seas Gallery sells paintings, sculptures, antiques, and more. Elements Art And Gifts feature works by over 150 artists, many of whom are from the area. This means you’ll be able to locate something truly one-of-a-kind to commemorate your time in Charlevoix. The Bier Gallery features work by more than 60 local and national artists.
Much of the artwork reflects the spirit of Northern Michigan, ensuring that you remember your visit. Aartvark Studio and Gallery is a Kodak Gallery Award-winning photography studio with a 40-year history. They provide photography services, as well as bespoke framing and the sale of gorgeous photographs for your home. Artsy One Tours offers tours of the local art scene suited to your interests if you want to see more of it.
If you want some nice dining options and nightlife, Charlevoix offers plenty to choose from. If you want to wander and eat great food, consider one of the Michigan food tours. You can find a number of wineries in the area, or taprooms if you prefer beer. The Landings is a great restaurant to visit in the summer. You can pull your boat right up to the restaurant. If you want American dining and a full bar, be sure to visit The Landings. Charlevoix has plenty to see and do even if you want to stay in town.
East Jordan Michigan
East Jordan is located at the end of Lake Charlevoix’s south arm. The Jordan River’s mouth runs through the town. The Jordan River is an excellent place to go fly fishing if you enjoy it. The Raven Ridge Nature Preserve, according to visitors, includes 140 acres of wooded ridges and open land to explore. Student archaeologists are welcome to come here and dig at the old homestead. Around the remnants of logging operations, the Sleepy Hollow Nature Preserve comprises 55 acres of second-growth forest. Brook trout can be found in a stream. More information about an easy washing trail can be found here.
Stonehedge Gardens is a newly resurrected cottage garden event place to enjoy. You can have events here or simply stroll around the gift shop, which features one-of-a-kind Michigan-made things. The Mallard Golf Club, which is available to the public and includes 9 holes with a par of 36, is a great place to play golf.
East Jordan has glassworks as well as various antique shops if you enjoy antiques or hand-blown glass. If you’re looking for a place to eat, the city has many options, or you can go to a local farm to enjoy fresh produce.
Stonehedge Fiber Mill includes a fiber shop as well as the option to process your fiber into batts, yarn, or roving for individuals who enjoy fiber arts. This is a must-see for everyone who enjoys knitting or crocheting.