About Lake Charlevoix
Lake Charlevoix is the third largest inland lake in Michigan. It has a main basin with a depth of 122 feet at maximum and a south arm with a maximum depth of 58 feet. The beaches of Lake Charlevoix cover 56 miles, so you can find the exact beach you want to visit.
The lake outputs into Lake Michigan via the Pine Lake/Pine River complex. The water level is highly connected to Lake Michigan. Sometimes the Pine River can even flow both ways depending on the water levels between the two lakes. This channel to Lake Michigan passes by Charlevoix Michigan.
The Lake is surrounded by several towns and plenty of farms and recreational areas and parks. You can find an activity to suit everyone in your family, whether they’re outdoorsy or prefer activities like shopping or visiting museums. You can find many beaches as well as nature preserves to explore no matter the season.
During much of the year, there are events going on in the surrounding towns like art exhibits. Be sure to check the local websites to find fun events you can experience during your vacation.
Lake Charlevoix is also where Ernest Hemingway spent much of his life. You can visit places he lived and see the same areas that inspired many of his famous works about Michigan.
Where is Lake Charlevoix
Lake Charlevoix is in the north of Michigan. It spans East Jordan Michigan, Boyne City Michigan, and Charlevoix Michigan. The are a number of beaches, parks, and ski resorts in the area, so no matter the time of year you will have plenty to do.
There are several roads through the area as well as the Ironton Ferry to get you across the lake quickly. The 31 goes around Lake Michigan and passes close to Lake Charlevoix and the channel to Lake Michigan. The 66 also come close to the lake. If you want to get across the South Arm, the Ironton Ferry is located at the narrowest point and can get you across.
Lake Charlevoix is centrally located to many fun outdoor activities as well as several cities to visit. If you want to go hiking, skiing, camping, or other outdoor fun but still want to be close to nightlife, dining, and shopping, Lake Charlevoix is an excellent vacation destination.
Winter Recreation on Lake Charlevoix
During winter, you can expect plenty of fun activities. The area gets an average of 120 inches of snowfall a year. This means you can expect fun activities like skiing, snowboarding, and sledding depending on what your family enjoys.
Boyne City Michigan boasts Boyne Mountain, which is a short trip from much of the lake. Mt. McSauba offers many activities like beginner and intermediate level skiing as well as skating. If you prefer cross-country skiing, there are many miles of trails to explore in the area, giving you a chance to enjoy beautiful winter scenery and wildlife. You can rent cross-country skis and snowshoes at Mt. Sauba.
If you prefer activities like snowmobiling, there are a few areas you can visit such as the Chandler Hill Trail. You can try your hand at winter biking, you can rent fat bikes at Revolution Bike. Mt. Sauba, Fisherman’s Island, and several others have miles of groomed and ungroomed trails for unmotorized exploration.
There are also nearby events in the area during winter. Whether you want to see Christmas lights or fun events with food or pottery, you can find something to see during your trip. Be sure to check local websites to find information about events when planning your trip.
Summer Recreation on Lake Charlevoix
During summer, the many beaches of Lake Charlevoix are open to you. There are beaches that can offer a fun experience for families with snack shacks, or you can find a more deserted beach if you’d prefer some solitude. One fun activity is searching for Petoskey stone.
These samples of fossil coral can be found all over Lake Charlevoix’s beaches. Some great areas to find them are the North Point Nature Reserve and Fisherman’s Island State Park.
Other fun summer activities include hiking, biking, and fishing. Much like Lake Michigan, you can find many species of fish in Lake Charlevoix. You can find Rainbow Trout, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, and many others. If your northern Michigan escapes include fishing, you have plenty to catch. Make sure you get your fishing license for Michigan so you don’t miss out on any fishing during your vacation.
Summer is a great season for hiking and camping as well as beachside cookouts. You can find plenty to do at the nearby parks and beaches. Be sure to check for equipment rentals before you leave. The are many services for travelers in the area who can help you have the equipment you need for any outdoor adventure you want to have while in Northern Michigan.
If you love trying local foods when you travel, be sure to visit the local farmer’s markets as well as the local farms during the summer. Many vegetables and other farm products come into season during the summer, so you can find plenty to sample. There are also food tours hosted during the summer that visit local wineries, so if you love wine these are a great activity during warmer months.
The local farms will also have plenty of things growing, and many allow you to pick your fruit yourself. Otherwise, you can visit their farm stands or cafes to sample their seasonal produce and enjoy the bounty of Lake Charlevoix.
Many of the local stores, galleries, and events only operate during the summer months. If you want to enjoy the water, be sure to visit during the summer for the most variety of activities to choose from.
Water activities are a fun way to spend a summer on Lake Charlevoix. You can find kayaking, canoeing, and tubing on Lake Charlevoix or on the local rivers. You can also take your family to the nearby beaches for fun in the water.
Lake Charlevoix Boat Rentals
If you’d like to fish in deeper waters, or just want to enjoy a day out on the lake, boat rentals are available. You can rent anything from jet skis to pontoon boats at several boat rentals located around the lake. You should be able to find one close to your rental easily.
Most are open during summer, so check opening dates before you go if you’re looking to rent a boat and fish. You can also find guide services if you want expert advice to help you find the best fishing spots in the area as well as not have to worry about bringing your fishing gear with you.
If you enjoying rafting, you can visit a few places for guided tours of the rivers that empty into Lake Charlevoix. You can also go tubing for a relaxing water activity the whole family can enjoy. Be sure to visit Boyne Watersports for rentals of many boats including kayaks, jet skis, and pontoon boats. You can also find several chartered boat services if you’d prefer to relax and let someone else worry about steering while still seeing the beauty of Lake Charlevoix.
Boyne City, Michigan is found on the east arm of Lake Charlevoix. You can find anything from fun beaches like Peninsula Beach or Tannery Beach to the Lake Street Market for food and shopping. If you love craft beer, the Boyne City Tap Room offers 40 local craft beers on tap. Those looking for Latin food can hit up The Red Mesa Grill for margaritas and the best Latin food in the area.
If you prefer a European bistro, Cafe Sante can fit your needs with pasta, pizzas, and more. Sunnyside, formerly the Water Street Cafe, is a great option for dining. The Water Street Cafe picked the name of a classic restaurant in Boyne City’s history when they changed owners. If you’d like a classic American breakfast or lunch, be sure to visit Sunnyside.
Should you wish to visit a park, Old City Park and Sunset Park are both available. Each has their own charms, so check them out if you have time. Horton Creek has around 207 acres of combined woodland preserves to take a walk through. The Avalanche Preserve Recreation Area offers 300 acres to bike, hike,or just explore with activities like mushroom hunting or berry picking depending on the season. Boyne City has all this and more to explore.
If you’re looking to finish while in the area, Boyne City has Hewitt’s Guide Service. You can fish for perch, walleye, bass, and pike from their 21 foot boat. You can head out for a few hours or all day. They provide all the equipment you need, you just need a valid fishing license for Michigan. Those looking for other fun on the water should consider Boyne Watersports for luxury boat or jet ski rentals. They also offer kayak and paddle board rentals as well as pontoons and tritoons.
If you’re looking for historical sites, the location of Hemingway’s wedding is in Boyne City. You can also find the 126 year old Horton Bay General Store and the Boyne City Historical Museum. Admission is free to the museum, so it’s a fun activity that saves your money for shopping or dining in the city.
Those looking for a something that will get your adrenaline pumping should head to Wildwood Rush Canopy Tours. You can take a tour of over 5000 feet of zipline that gives great views of the Lake Charlevoix area. If you’d prefer to race you’r friends and family, they also offer 1,200 feet of racing zipline where three people can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
Those shopping for children or young adults can visit The Birds Nest for clothes and shoes for babies to young adults. You can also find toys for babies and children. This boutique offers many unique pieces that should appeal to children in your life.
Boyne City also has attractions like museums for the historically minded as well as local crafts to peruse during your visit.
Charlevoix has plenty to see and do, from shopping and dining to attractions and outdoor activities. If you want to try some local produce and pick your own fruit, there are several options in the area. Friskies Orchard offers apples and cherries for picking as well as a market. Kings Orchard offers apples as well as a market. There are a number of farms in the area including Lavender Hill Farm which has 25 varieties of lavender growing.
You can find plenty of shopping options as well including pottery studios, glass makers, galleries, and specialty stores like yarn stores. You can find anything you like to bring home as a souvenir. You can also find museums, historical houses, and other fun attractions like the Mushroom Houses which offer guided tours. Be sure to visit to experience some unique architecture you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re looking to charter a boat to see the lake and local waterways, Little Traverse Charters offers chartered tours that can fit any family or group. They offer a great way to see the area with an experienced captain, so even those who don’t feel confident enough to rent a boat can still explore the lake. Sunshine Charter offers three daily tours of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan starting in June and continuing through Labor Day.
If you love historical photography, the Harsha House Museum offers 150 years of photographs from the area. The house it is in was built in 1891, so you can tour a genuine historic home and see much of the local history. If you love history, Depot Beach offers a historical train station as well as many fun activities on the beach for all ages.
Those who are interested in art can visit a number of galleries in the Charlevoix area. North Seas Gallery offers art, sculpture, antiques and more between April and December. Elements Art And Gifts offers pieces by over 150 artists including many from the local area. This means you can find a truly unique piece to remember your time in Charlevoix. The Bier Gallery offers pieces from over 60 artists from the region and nationwide.
Much of the art captures the feeling of Northern Michigan, so you won’t forget your time in the region. Aartvark Studio and Gallery is a 40 year old photography studio that has won a Kodak Gallery Award. They offer photography services, custom framing, as well as selling beautiful photos for your home. If you want to see more of the local art scene, Artsy One Tours offers tours of the local art scene tailored to your interests.
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 tap rooms 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 the south arm of Lake Charlevoix. The mouth of the Jordan River passes through the town. If you love fly fishing, the Jordan River is a great choice for it. The Raven Ridge Nature Preserve has 140 acres of wooded ridges and open land to explore. Student archaeologists can visit and dig at the old homestead located here. The Sleepy Hollow Nature Preserve has 55 acres of second growth forest growing around the remnants of logging operations. A stream has brook trout. You can find a more of easy washing trail here.
Stonehedge Gardens is an event space of recently revived cottage gardens to enjoy. You can host events here, or just walk and shop at the gift shop full of one of a kind items made in Michigan. If you’d like to golf, the Mallard Golf Club is open to the public and has 9 homes with a par of 36.
If you love antiques or hand-blown glass, East Jordan has a glassworks as well as several antique shops to browse. If you’re looking for dining, there are many options in the city or you can visit a local farm to sample fresh produce.
For those who love fiber arts, Stonehedge Fiber Mill has both a fiber shop and the ability to process your fiber into batts, yarn, or roving. Anyone who loves knitting or crochet should add this to their itinerary.