First-Timers Guide to Lake Charlevoix

Posted by Brook Walsh on Thursday, July 30th, 2020 at 3:09pm.

Looking for a quintessence experience during your next vacation? Then Northern Michigan is the place to visit for its beautiful scenery coupled with awe-inspiring sunset and sunrise views.

There is a large, sandy shoreline accenting this waterfront community and eye-catching beaches that highlight the vantage area. As you stroll the 60-mile shoreline, you’ll come across the gorgeous sailboats anchored at the busy harbor. Besides, the unique architecture in this Lake Michigan area creates landmarks that highlight the classic vacation points you might want to visit.

Here are some of the vacation ideas for first-time Lake Charlevoix visitors!

1. Visit Boyne city

Looking to try some of the best delicacies in the U.S? Then Boyne City is the place to visit for its wide variety of dining options. Whether you’re in love with Italian cuisines or are just driven crazy by Mexican foods, there’s a restaurant in Boyne just for you.

While in Boyne, you might want to visit the Youngstate park if you’re into outdoor sports like swimming, hiking, fishing, or skiing. With approximately 560 acres, the Youngstate park has enough space for family picnics and hiking trails to keep you active.

Boyne is also home to recreational areas like the Avalanche Preserve and Wildwood Rush Zipline Canopy. It's also the place to be during winter to attend the Boyne Brew-Ski festival, Walloon Winterfest, or engage in fast and furious fat bike racing!

2. Don’t miss out on the East Jordan vibe!

This is a four-season destination where you get to enjoy the Maine coastal area during summer or spring seasons. In Winter, you’ll experience Canadian vibes across the scenes as you enjoy the sight of snow-capped trees and icy waters.

While in here, you can go paddleboarding, winter rafting, or partake in other water actives. While floating down the scenic Jordan River, you’ll love its flow for a perfect summer day out.

You can enjoy a cup of chocolate during the winter days and choose from the array of dining options that range from American to French and Mexican cuisines.
Get some beach time

For beachgoers, the Ferry beach is a must-go-to destination as it provides a shallow swim area perfect for families. There’s also a large playground on the sandy beach for your kids to build sandcastles as you sunbathe! You can travel to lake Michigan for more beaches and fun activities.

All the beaches around Michigan are of the right water depth and water temperature, so kids can swim safely.

3. Hunt for Charlevoix and Petoskey stones

These iconic stones are made of fossilized coral and their uniqueness makes them valuable. While enjoying your stay at the Island State Park, you can pass time fishing for these precious stones.

4. Skydiving

Are you an adventurous risk-taker? Then skydiving in Michigan should be on your bucket list. For first-time jumpers, you can book a tandem skydive which will ensure your comfort for a memorable experience.

While soaring over the lake on the skydive, you might get a view of the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island, and Beaver Island.

5. Spot the mushroom houses

While in this part of Michigan, don’t skip a trip to the mushroom houses built by Earl Young. He’s a renowned stone house architect who introduced the Cotswold designing style and first constructed hobbit houses in America. In his project, Young used huge boulders alongside cedar shakes for a whimsical appearance. The city's Visitor Center features this architectural design with houses available for tours and others for rent. You can book your stay in a hobbit house with a creatively thatched roof.

6. Visit Castle Farms

Castle Farms was developed in 1918 to showcase a dairy farm model. It features stylish French Normandy boulders built by Sears Roebuck Co. in an attempt to display Sears farm implements.

Castle Farms is a historical site and comes with an American theme after restoration. You’ll find marvelous gardens and breathtaking historic exhibits. As such, it has been used a rock concert venue in the past as well as for housing an artist colony. Today, you can book a tour of Castle Farms or a venue for your wedding! While at it, stop by the 1918 Cellars to taste the best Michigan wine you’ll come across!

You’ll get to see one of the largest model railroads along with an all-inclusive artifact collection. For weddings, you can utilize the exclusive wedding cake toppers collection available at Castle Farms.

7. Take to the trail!

One fact about Michigan is the wide trail that covers miles of extensive beauty. Whether you are a runner, biker, hiker, skier, or love snowshoeing, there’s plenty of ground for you.

You can also take to the Lake Michigan shoreline for nature walks along with the little wheel ways. There're plenty of other nature preserves, parks, and recreational areas to explore around and near the lake.

From the other side of the lake, you can easily access Lake Michigan to enjoy the alternative shoreline. Or better yet, take for the scenic inland trail to check out Mt. McSauba Recreation and the Little Traverse Wheelway. Other excellent options are the Fisherman’s Island State Park and Charles Ransom Nature Preserve.

8. Fruit shopping anyone?

The countryside around Michigan is filled with orchards and farms where you can get fresh fruits. You’ll find fruit stands located near these mecca farms with options for ready to eat stuff or fruit to pick. Some of the goodies you’ll find on these fruit stands include jams, pies, juices, cookies, etc.

The East Jordan market has a lot of local organic produce depending on the season. You can also expect to find home-made goods baked by some of the top chefs in Michigan. Arnotts Honey, Knipes Farm, Olds Farm, and Turtles kitchen are some of the must-visit joints.

When you plan on going home, stop by the Outdoor Beerdsmen, Peninsula, and 52 Up North Weekends for some souvenirs. The brands you find here are extraordinary and elegant yet come at an affordable price.

9. Sail to Lake Michigan

The lake of "the beautiful" connects to Lake Michigan, so a sunset sail from the former will take you to the latter. You'll find charming boats around the lake and you get to choose the sailor you want to share your experience with. While taking in the charm, you can capture your adventure through pictures for memory.

If you’re into water sports, this lake will give you an awesome experience kayaking or canoeing. You can sail with a motorboat, paddleboard, or sailboat for that life experience.

If you sail through the channel to Lake Michigan by evening, you can catch the sunset for that amazing kaleidoscopic view from one of the lighthouses!

While in North Michigan, you might want to take the ironton ferry which crosses the 650-foot south arm of the lake. The ironton ferry makes the shortest ride in America and it allows visitors to experience firsthand the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” history.

After a long, exciting the lake, you can visit the landings in Ironton cove for something to eat and drink! While at the landings, you can try awesome, mouth-watering American dishes alongside craft beverages

10. Watch the Drawbridge

The Drawbridge is a scenic landmark in Michigan with its bascule design catching the eyes of numerous local and foreign tourists. In summer, the Drawbridge is automated to shift up every 30 minutes since boats are on the water. You can bring your camera to capture this spectacular moment on video and don’t forget to take a picture too!

11. Book an interactive tour to Round Lake

This part of Michigan is the point of departure for all the ferries to Beaver Island because the round lake has the largest harbor around. You'll find various recreational boats passing through the round lake channel to get to East Jordan and Boyne City. The channel to lake Michigan also connects to other thrilling tourist attraction sites.

12. Aboard Train de Charlevoix

Book a tour-to-remember on the Train de North Michigan for a view of the fantastic landscape covering the countryside. While Michigan may be covered with remoteness, you’ll be surprised at how grandiose the mountains, hills, and sea are from the rail cruise!

North Michigan is indeed filled with a bountiful experience thanks to the extraordinary getaway places in the area. Traveling to the city will get you to the famous Lake Michigan that offers the best tour memories.

As you’ve seen, there’re plenty of outdoor water sports you can engage in like swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddling, skiing, sailing, etc. Also, you can opt for outdoor activities like hiking or taking to the trails to try out your fat bike.

If you're in Michigan as a family, you can sail on the sea or take the train as you relaxing breathing the fresh air while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Better yet, sunbathe on the beaches while enjoying the waterfront view! Afterward, choose one of the luxurious restaurants in the area to try some of the tastiest cuisines in the area!

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