A Guide to Your Perfect Vacation in Northern Michigan
If you are looking for the perfect retreat for your next vacation to northern lower Michigan, you will find it at The Pointes North Inn in Charlevoix MI. This boutique-style condominium suites hotel, located at 101 Michigan Avenue, sits in the heart of downtown Charlevoix, just north of the drawbridge, and steps away from amazing restaurants, first class shopping, and gorgeous beaches. With the wide array of amenities and attractions offered both on property at North Pointes Inn, and within the surrounding areas, this is the perfect choice for a romantic get-away or family vacation.
Let’s talk first about Pointes North Inn and what you have to look forward to when staying here. We will then walk outside the doors of the Inn and talk about all the amazing things to do, see and eat in and around town and beyond.
Pointes North Inn Offers family-friendly, comfortable and cozy condominium style luxury suites with one or two bedrooms. Each suite boasts a large living room, a mini-sized or full-sized kitchen, two person jetted tubs (in most), an electric fireplace (in most), an outdoor balcony or screened-in porch, queen size sleeper sofas, central heat and air (in most), and flat screen televisions. Each condominium offers its own unique decor, so every visit can feel a little different. The Inn also offers the convenience of washers and dryers. This is such a convenient offering when you have an extended stay, or your family likes to do a lot of different activities.
Your family can swim year round at The Inn with both indoor and outdoor pools. And don’t worry about leaving your furry family member at home. Pointes North Inn also welcomes your pet with the availability of pet-friendly units. Make sure to call ahead and let the staff know you plan on bringing a pet.
Rooms at Pointes North Inn are available to rent on a nightly basis or long term with leasing options available. The superb staff at Pointes North Inn wants to make your visit memorable and is ready to assist you with your special occasion celebration, or meeting, or any other special requests you might have.
Visitors to Pointes North Inn have commented on its great value for the price, the proximity to shopping, restaurants and bars, the nice staff, and its comfort and convenience.
Your family will surely make themselves comfortable at the inn, so let’s step outside its doors into one of the most beautiful and picturesque towns in Northern Michigan…and perhaps, the world. Charlevoix is known as one of the finest four season vacation destinations in the country. On one side of the town, you have Round Lake and passage to Lake Charlevoix. On the other side, you have Lake Michigan. If you are into life on the water, Charlevoix MI is pure heaven.
A great example of the unique charm and beauty of this city is Operation Petunia. Operation Petunia began in 1982 with the goal of adding more beauty to the city. Every year, citizens gather to plant these flowers and celebrate the community. Operation Petunia currently consists of 450 plus petunia flower baskets hanging along the streets of Charlevoix. The aroma and beauty of the petunias makes this experience quite special indeed.
Charlevoix was founded in 1852 by Pierre Francois du Charlevoix. Charlevoix was a French explorer who traveled the Great Lakes and was believed to have spent the night on Fisherman’s Island during a storm. Fishermen’s Island is not an island but actually a 2,678 park with miles of shorelines along the lake. The city of Charlevoix is located between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. Lake Charlevoix drains into Lake Michigan through The Round Lake/Pine River Complex. This complex is located in the heart of Charlevoix.
There are so many activities you and your family can engage in year round in Charlevoix. With all that is offered here, there is bound to be something each and every member of your family will enjoy.
In the winter, Charlevoix is home to many great ski resorts and tons of mountain winter enjoyment. You can try cross-country skiing, or ski and snowboarding lessons. You can experience dog-sledding, or catch a scenic ride on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. You can try some in-air adventures with a hot air balloon ride or paragliding. Or you can experience some of the winter standy-bys with ice-skating or snowmobiling. None of those suit your fancy? How about an ice climbing tour, tubing, or snow biking?
In addition to enjoying all the gorgeous beaches, the summer offers some great activities too. If you like adventure, white water rafting, ziplining, or paragliding might be right up your alley. If you are looking for something a little more relaxed, you could try golfing, fly fishing, or hiking. Check out the farmers market on Thursday mornings on Bridge Street from May through October, or Monday afternoons at Ferry Beach from June through September. You could also try horseback riding, or grabbing a ride on a guided jeep tour, or a hot air balloon ride.
One of the highlights of vacationing in Charlevoix in the summer is experiencing the much-loved Venetians Festival in late July. The Venetians Festival started over eighty years ago as a candle-lit boat parade. It has grown into a week-long event that highlights the summer season and attracts thousands of visitors of all ages every year. Most of the events take place within the waterfront parks or around the lakes.
The free events at The Venetians Festival include daily music, parades, activities for children, and fireworks. During the festival The Venetian Games offer tournament style activities for kids and teens in golf and tennis, soccer, running, sailing, volleyball, basketball and boarding. Your musically inclined kids can participate in the battle of the bands.
There is also a Kids Day at the lake which offers many kid-friendly activities like fun with bubbles, pony rides, crafts, and inflatable climbs.
You won’t want to miss the nightly boat parades at the festivall. These animated, decorated and lit-up boats are quite a sight. Also, Round Lake hosts Aqua Palooza which is a super fun boating party.
The festivall culminates in the crowning of a Charlevoix Venetian Festival Queen with a lot of fun festivities around this event. And if you like street parades, you won’t want to miss this one as thousands of people line the streets to watch the floats and experience two nights of fireworks.
Charlevoix also offers many truly unique attractions for its visitors. The Mushroom House Tour is one of its most unique. If you like whimsical and historical architecture, you will want to check out this collection of private residential homes designed by Earl Young, a self taught architect. These unique structures look like they are straight out of the pages of your favorite fairy tale and are often referred to as mushroom homes or hobbit homes. An avid nature lover, Young constructed each house from stones and boulders that lined the shorelines of Northern Michigan.
Castle Farms, located at 5052 M-66, is another stop you will want to make on your visit to Charlevoix. This historic property, built in 1918, serves as the ultimate wedding venue in addition to offering tours through its exquisite castle and extensive grounds. Countless photo opportunities await you here. While visiting Castle Farms, you can experience over 2500 feet of track with Michigan’s largest outdoor model railroad track. Castle Farms also has a wonderful War I Museum complete with photos, toys and documents from this era.
Castle Farms is also home to the 1918 Cellars Wine Tasting Room and Bistro. 1918 is located in the Queen’s Tavern of Castle Farms and offers wine tasting, and glass and bottle purchases of their own label of Michigan-produced wines.
Speaking of wine, if you are in the mood for some adult fun, a Petoskey Wine Region Tour may be the perfect answer. In 2016, the U.S. government declared this region a viticultural area of national significance. The Petoskey Wine region consists of fourteen distinct family-run wineries, one of which is 1918 Cellars at Castle Farms. The wineries in this area specialize in unique, award-winning deep-flavored wines made from cold-hearty grapes that flourish in the colder weather.
In addition to the idyllic vineyard setting, the wineries of this region offer wonderful midwest hospitality. You can tour the wineries on your own, at your own pace, or book one of the several guided tours available in the area.
While you are in Charlevoix, you will also want to make a stop at The Charlevoix South Pier Light Station located at 2 Grant Street. You can walk out to the lighthouse there and experience the great views of the lake while watching the boats travel in and out of the channel. The pier is also a great place to catch a fish, or catch a view of stunning sunsets. Make sure to grab your fishing license.
With all the activities you are sure to experience in Charlevoix, you and your family will definitely work up an appetite. And no worries, just a short walk from Pointes North Inn are some amazing dining establishments offering unique and delicious locally-sourced food and beverage..
Smoke on the Water is less than a half mile from Pointes North Inn and is located at 103 Park Avenue. If you like barbecue, you will love the slow cooked meats offered at Smoke on the Water. They slow cook their meat in their own smoker right outside the restaurant. Smoke on the Water offers delectable, made-from-scratch, foods like the Challah bread in their drunken french toast.
Scovie’s Gourmet is another place to stop when you are ready for a wonderful bite. Located at 111 Bridge Street, Scovie’s is less than a quarter mile from Pointes North Inn. Scovie’s Gourmet is an old world style cafe offering home cooking in a small town atmosphere. Visitors to Scovie’s talk about its great small-town vibe, the reasonable prices, and delicious food.
Stafford’s The Weathervane Restaurant is just steps away from Pointes North Inn and is located at 106 Pine River Lane. If you enjoy an unparalleled view of the water, you will definitely want to try Stafford’s. The architecture of Stafford’s is quite unique as it was originally built as a grist mill. Their signature and regional cuisine is offered in a relaxed atmosphere along the Pine River Channel in downtown Charlevoix.
That French Place is another unique and delicious stop for satisfying your appetite. That French Place is located less than a quarter mile away from Pointes North Inn at 212 Bridge Street. That French Place serves crepes as you would purchase on the streets of Paris. You are welcome to sit and enjoy your crepes on-site, but the crepe cones, in which they are served, allow you to stroll through the town or to the beach while enjoying this authentic French fare. Guests of That French Place can enjoy breakfast crepes with offerings like spinach and mushrooms, eggs and cheese, onion and swiss, or ham and cheese. Sweet crepes come in flavors like homemade caramel, chocolate and coconut, nutella and banana, and apple and cinnamon. Guests at That French Place comment on the excellent service, amazing crepes, and great atmosphere.
When you are craving something sweet, Brian’s Ice Cream Experience located at 220 Bridge Street should be your next stop. Brian’s offers homemade, from scratch, small-batch ice cream and macarons. In fact, a lot of their ingredients are sourced from the adjacent farmers market. Some of their unique ice cream flavors include salted caramel, vanilla rhubarb bourbon, or salted caramel. Visitors to Brian’s rave about their creative and yummy flavors and fresh ingredients.
If you are ready to change things up from Charlevoix, Petoskey, and all it has to offer, is just twenty minutes away. Petoskey is a coastal resort community known for its natural beauty, Victorian architecture, and its historic shopping district. Petoskey would make a great day trip from Charlevoix with its marinas, boats rentals, waterfront parks, specialty shops, galleries, coffee houses, ice cream shops, restaurants with live entertainment, and multiple breweries.
Have we convinced you to visit Pointes North Inn in Charlevoix yet? Your family will love all the convenience and luxury of your own condominium suite with so many amenities to keep all comfortable and entertained. And with its ideal location in the heart of Downtown Charlevoix, just brimming with so much to do and see, you will never be bored or hungry. In fact, it would be almost impossible to experience everything Charlevoix has to offer in just one visit. Charlevoix is a fantastic place to do those activities you love doing, and try some new experiences, which might very well become your new favorites.
Come visit Pointes North Inn in Charlevoix, along the shores of one of the most beautiful Great Lakes, and make it your next vacation destination. You will create many happy and lasting memories here!