First Timers Guide to East Jordan, Michigan

Posted by Brook Walsh on Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 12:27pm.

East Jordan
With Canadian vibes in the winter and hints of Maine coastal scenes in the spring and summer, East Jordan, Michigan is a small, but highly rated 4-season destination. Located just 15 miles south of Charlevoix, East Jordan is aptly named for the Jordan River, which meets with this lake. East Jordan offers a myriad of things to do, most notably outdoor things, that will keep anyone satisfied no matter their reason or expectations while visiting. Drive up to northern Michigan, and you'll find this little yet exciting town just miles away from Lake Michigan. With plenty of options to eat out, live and vibrant events to attend during the summer and year-round activities truly unique to the area, East Jordan will never get boring.

This area is also well known for its skiing and water actives alike. In the spring and summer, bring your family and enjoy the water at Lake Michigan. From boating to kayaking and paddle boarding, there's something for everyone. During the fall, you can enjoy the crisp air and colored trees while in the winter, a truly magical landscape appears as the trees and surrounding landscape become overcast in layers of snow. 

Farmers Market
East Jordan wouldn't be a truly midwestern town if it wasn't for its farmers market. Aptly named the East Jordan market, this little market is located at Sportsman's Park near the bridge downtown. The market runs from mid-May all the way through October on Thursdays from 9 AM to 1 PM. When visiting, you can expect to find an abundance of locally grown organic produce available according to the season.

You'll also find some homemade baked goods from infamous mom and pop shops like Turtles kitchen, Arnotts Honey, Olds Farm (who also carries amazing maple syrup, as well as Knipes Farm just to name a few. The market is also constantly looking to expand and has been welcoming more new vendors every year.

Things To Do
Aside from the farmer's market, there are also many other things to do, which will appease all types of people. One of the most popular attractions/activities in the area is Jordan Valley Outfitters. This small adventure company offers boat tours and equipment for various water actives. From candying to paddle boarding and more, the guides at Jordan Valley Outfitters interestingly offer a year-round of "eco-tours."

That's right, in the dead of Northern Michigan winters, you can jump in on a winter rafting tour and enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate as the guides take you down the Jordan river with icy water and snow-capped trees all around. This is truly a unique trip offered in the area and is especially a fun attraction in the East Jordan area.

Jordan Valley Artists
East Jordan also features some impressive local museums with collections of glasswork and poetry. Within walking distance of the marina and near downtown, enter, and you'll be shocked to see some of the glasswork produced by local glass blowers and artists featured in the Jordan Valley Glassworks building. They also host frequent workshops with instructions from one of the five resident artists. Workshops range from introduction to glassblowing to more advanced techniques to craft your skills and potentially learn—new hobby.

Annual events
In addition to outdoor adventures, the city also puts on numerous annual events like the East Jordan Music in the Park series. This includes six shows featuring local bands that play music from classic rock and blues to folk and alt-country. Most of these music shows run from early July to mid-August around 7 to 9 PM. You can also enjoy the annual breezeway garage sales, which is a series of garage sales sponsored by the entire town.

Go out on the weekend around May 22nd and 23rd, and every other house will have a sale going on! Perhaps one of the most visited events is the Portside Arts Fair on August 1st and 2nd at Elm Pointe. This fair features numerous talented local artists who work with poetry, clay, oil painting, and more.

Dining
Eating out in East Jordan is also fun, given the mixture of cuisines and restaurant experiences. You can enjoy a healthy mix of American diner/cafe classics as well as French and Mexican food. Most restaurants are also owned by small mom and pop operations who use locally sourced produce as well. One of the most popular eatery spots would be the Rowe Inn, which officially advertises itself as a French wine bar. The Rowe prides itself on providing a classy "French countryside" experience with tasty French food and exceptional wine pairings.

If you're in the mood for seafood, however, then the Strand at Somerset Pointe could be a better option. This traditional American seafood restaurant is also well known in the area for displaying local sports games while you chow down on seafood like crab, shrimp, and scallops. So, there is plenty of option for dining in the area.

Lake Charlevoix
It wouldn't be fair to mention East Jordan and not talk about Lake Charlevoix. The lake is Michigan's third-largest inlet lake located just miles from Lake Michigan. The Jordan River (which East Jordan is named after) feeds into the south arm of the lake. This lake also features an impressive gamut of activities and rather odd but fun things to see. With Fisherman's island state park and Michigan beach park, this lake offers some great outdoor adventures and scenes. The Charlevoix South Pier Light Station is especially iconic as it serves as an inland lighthouse for boats passing via Lake Michigan. You can also take tours around the unique properties called the "Mushroom Houses" on account of their unique and earthy architecture.

Real estate
Speaking of real estate, East Jordan also has some interesting and affordable housing options. You can also find both beachfront and inland properties for fair prices. A typical inland ranch style home with four bedrooms will run around the $150k to $300k price range, whereas houses with a more "cabin lake" vibe will run you $800k plus for four or more bedrooms. Not bad considering all the great local events, dining options, and events in combination with the truly beautiful area. 
Castle farms is a massive estate known as one of Michigan's best historical attractions. It's also one of the Midwest's most well-known wedding venues. This massive stone complex dates back to 1918. Portions of the grounds also feature world-class gardens, while antique toys and memorabilia from a hundred years ago are kept as a museum. This impressive feat also has a miniature enchanted forest where children and adults alike can play giant chess, or play hide and seek among the various fairy and gnome statues. Castle Farms also features an impressively long Garden Train with more than a half-mile of track. This train takes visitors around the gardens on tour.

Northern Michigan Escapes Vacation Rentals.
If you want to just check out the area and give East Jordan a try, but not commit to living there, then there's plenty of rental options available during all seasons of the year. With properties of all types, you will be sure to find a rental with all the comforts of home. You can enjoy and use a private home or condo along with complimentary concierge services, which make your vacation all that much better.

Northern Michigan Escapes strives to provide a personalized approach to every booking request. Each of the offered properties is unique and fits with specific family situations or types. These properties are quite popular, and some of them even cost less than single room hotel booking. That means you can enjoy your own rental with more space, more amenities, in a truly beautiful area with concierge services, all for less than the typical hotel rate.

Some vacation rentals offer direct ski access with slopes to hit and private hot tubs to enjoy after a long day on the slopes. You can rent out a property near the popular ski resort Boyne Mountain or go for a more water-oriented vacation near Lake Charlevoix. Northern Michigan Escapes also offers three different options for Inn's, which are all located just steps away from the water. The North Shore Inn, Pointes North Inn, and Water Street Inn also offers the best condo experience near truly world-class restaurants, events, and water-related activities. So, consider a visit to Northern Michigan and stop by East Jordan, you won't be disappointed.

Northern Michigan Escapes will also be happy to help you find some truly unique and fun actives in the area as well. That's because Northern Michigan Escapes is run by locals who have lived in the area for most of their lives. Enjoy some of the best recommendations for eating out, doing outdoor activities, visiting museums, and a whole lot more.

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