25 Epic Things to do in Charlevoix MI for Summer, Spring or Fall


Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI

If you’re looking for a darling Michigan summer vacation destination with historic roots, you need to make the trip to Charlevoix, MI.

Even though Charlevoix is a bite-sized city (population under 2,500), it still offers a king-sized amount of fun and adventure. 

Charlevoix is a little Lake Michigan harbor town with a channel to Lake Charlevoix. The main road through town – US 31 – has a drawbridge that periodically raises to let big boats in and out. Downtown is cute and busy.

Lake Michigan Charlevoix MI
Michigan Beach Park, Charlevoix MI

Use this guide to fill your next trip with wonderful things to do in Charlevoix.

*This article contains affiliate links

25 Things to Do in Charlevoix MI

Mushroom houses, rock hunting, beaches, shopping… “Charlevoix the Beautiful” is a Michigan destination you don’t want to overlook.

1 – Hunt for the Mushroom Houses – and Stay in One!

Downtown Charlevoix, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Mushroom Houses are whimsical artisan homes featuring wavy rooflines and stonework that were designed by architect Earl Young between 1919 and the 1970s.

Young built 26 houses and several commercial properties using mostly stone (limestone, fieldstone, and boulders) found throughout Northern Michigan.

Each structure is unique, but you can easily tell that Earl Young was the architect behind the building. If you’re in Charlevoix and you see a house with wavy eaves, a cedar shake roof, or something that resembles a gnome home, you’re looking at Young’s work.

Self-guided or guided Mushroom House tours are available. Most houses are located in the Boulder Park Area or the Park Avenue Area.

Don’t forget to look for Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant and Weathervane Terrace Inn & Suites on Pine River Lane, and Hotel Earl on Michigan Avenue – they’re also his creations.

If you fall in love with the mushroom houses, you can even stay in some of them (see pics below).

mushroom houses charlevoix michigan
Earl Young Thatch House
Earl Young Mushroom House Charlevoix
Earl Young Mushroom House
Earl Young Architecture Charlevoix MI
Earl Young Mushroom House

Hobbit House Vacation Rental

This adorable 3-bedroom mushroom house overlooks Lake Michigan.

2 – Get a Room at Hotel Earl

120 Michigan Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
A friendly destination, Hotel Earl is Earl Young’s Lodge reimagined as a boutique hotel. It’s within walking distance to the beach, downtown shopping, and dining.

Recently renovated with a modern twist and contemporary vibe, you are going to want to stay here again and again.

They did a good job on the reno: classy amenities were added while preserving original, important architecture and design elements.

Good Vibes Found Here

From the lobby lounge to the outdoor experiences, Hotel Earl radiates good energy and fun times.

Hotel Earl Lobby
Hotel Earl – Charlevoix, MI
Hotel Earl Bar
Hotel Earl – Charlevoix, MI

The Rooms are a Hit

There’s a reason Hotel Earl is featured on the Most Romantics Getaways in Michigan list: they take care of the details.

Plus, the rooms are modern and well-appointed. Experiences here are thoughtfully crafted.

Hotel Earl Room
Hotel Earl – Charlevoix, MI
Hotel Earl Suite
Book a Suite for a Romantic Getaway

Enjoy the Extras

The hotel bar, heated pool, and outdoor hot tub are just some of the things you need to experience at Hotel Earl.

In the winter, take advantage of the outdoor heated igloos. In the summer, don’t miss rooftop cocktails.

Hotel Earl Heated Indoor pool
Heated Pool
Outdoor hot tub at Hotel Earl
Outdoor Hot Tub
Rooftop cocktails hotel earl charlevoix MI
Rooftop Cocktails at Hotel Earl

hotel Earl

Welcoming cosmopolitan boutique hotel with architectural flair in Charlevoix.

3 – Hang Out Downtown: Shop. Play. Hunt for Magical Tiny Doors.

Downtown Charlevoix, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Filled with boutique shops and unique dining, you can spend an entire day or a leisurely afternoon in downtown Charlevoix.

Watch the boats pass through the channel as you shop and peruse Main Street.

In addition to shopping, try these fun things to do in downtown Charlevoix:

Downtown Charlevoix MI

Stay and Enjoy the Summer Concert Series

Into live music? On Thursday evenings, you can catch the summer concert series Charlevoix Live on the Lake.

Thursdays 7 – 9 PM at East Park Odmark Performance Pavilion. June 27 – August 15, 2024. FREE

Pose for Pics with the Charlevoix Landmark Mural

The Charlevoix Landmark Mural, located on the side of the Central Drug Store (301 Bridge St, Charlevoix, 49720) depicts historical Charlevoix from 1901 to 1970.
– The first panel, set in 1901, shows a lady with a parasol with a Lake Michigan steamship in the background.
– The second panel, set in ~1925, features the lighthouse and pier.
– In a nod to 1949, the drawbridge and Round Lake are the focus of the third and fourth panel.
– Earl Young’s Mushroom houses are the subject of panel number five. This scene was set in ~1970.

Charlevoix Landmark Mural by Katherine Larson

Magical Tiny Doors Scavenger Hunt

Hunt for Magical Tiny Doors, located at different businesses downtown and throughout the city. If you locate at least four, you can enter a drawing for a small prize.

Magical Tiny Doors scavenger Hunt  Charlevoix MI

Get Fresh at the Farmer’s Market

Pick up local produce, meats, and fine artisan baked goods while enjoying musicians at the market.

Thursdays on Bridge Street 8 AM – 1 PM from May 23 – October 31, 2024.

Charlevoix Farmer's Market
Thursday Morning Farmers Market – Charlevoix, MI

Play Giant Chess in Hoop Skirt Alley

Charlevoix  Hoop skirt alley
Hoop Skirt Alley

4 – Watch the Drawbridge & Walk the Channel from Downtown to the Lake Michigan Lighthouse

210 State St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
It’s fun to watch the drawbridge open in downtown Charlevoix from Bridge Park.

Every half-hour, when needed, the bridge will open to allow large boats to travel between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix.

Charlevoix MI Channel to Lake Michigan
Pine River Channel Walkway – Charlevoix, MI

Walk the Channel to the Lighthouse

After you’ve watched the drawbridge, take a short walk along the Pine River Channel to Lake Michigan and then out onto the pier to the South Pier Lighthouse.

Watch the boats pass through the channel from your perch, and maybe even see the Beaver Island ferry pass.

Pine River channel Charlevoix MI
Pine River Channel Walkway
Charlevoix MI Lighthouse
South Pier Lighthouse – Charlevoix MI
Bridge Park to South Pier Lighthouse via Pine River Channel Walkway

Enjoy Michigan Beach Park

Michigan Beach Park (95 Grant St, Charlevoix, MI 49720) is also nearby. Its sandy beach is great for spending time in the water and rock hunting, too.

This park has a playground, benches and picnic tables, and public restrooms as well.

This is also the perfect place to end your day. Stay and watch the sunset over the clear waters of Lake Michigan. Capture the picturesque view of the sun setting behind the lighthouse.

Charlevoix MI Lake Michigan Beach
Michigan Beach Park – Charlevoix MI

5 – Explore Castle Farms

5052 M-66, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Noted as one of Michigan’s premier historical attractions, visitors to Castle Farms will be met with a variety of cool things to see and do, including:

Delightful Grounds & Gardens to Explore

Choose a guided or self-guided tour and make your way through the historic grounds.

See the train, play in the hedge maze, feed ducks in the reflection pond, and take a tram tour (weather permitting). Details.

Castle Farms in Charlevoix MI

Exterior view of Castle Farms – Charlevoix, MI

Michigan’s largest outdoor railroad

Come see two train lines with more than 70 trains on 2,500+ feet of track.

Climb the observation towers to get a bird’s eye view of 1890s-era steam locomotives and 1950s-era model diesel locomotives, as well as the whimsical Fantasy Railway.

The trains run from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Weather permitting, trains will run into October.

Castle Farms model railroad – Charlevoix, MI

Dragon Encounters

Norm is the Dragon in Residence at Castle Farms. You’ll find him guarding the Dragon’s Lair garden on the front lawn of the castle.

This fire-breather has over 6,900 scales, clawed feet, humongous wings, and razor-sharp teeth and is made from 100% recycled metal.

Take a photo with him, if you dare.

Norm the Dragon at Castle Farms
Norm the Dragon at Castle Farms – Charlevoix, MI

Splendid Events

Fairy Garden Make & Take Classes, Wine Down Wednesday, Coffee at the Castle, Prince & Princess Story Time, and specialty dinners are just some of the fun planned for summer 2024. Full event list.

castle Farms Charlevoix Michigan
Castle Farms – Charlevoix, MI

6 – Prowl for Charlevoix Stones & Petoskey Stones at Fisherman’s Island State Park

16480 Bell’s Bay Rd S, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
If you can find a Petoskey stone or Charlevoix stone, you’re in possession of a treasure typically only found in northern Michigan.

Petoskey stones and Charlevoix stones are patterned stones made from ancient fossilized corals.

At one time, millions of years ago, the land that is now Michigan was under warm seawater and filled with sea creatures, including coral.

Charlevoix Stones

Charlevoix Stones are similar to Petoskey stones, but their pattern is a bit different. The Petoskey stone has a broader shape with a dark spot in each hexagon, whereas the Charlevoix stone has a smaller, more honeycomb-like pattern.

You can typically find Charlevoix stones in the same spot you find Petoskey stones: gravel pits, inland lakes in Northern Michigan, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Charlevoix stones
Three Charlevoix Stones

Petoskey Stones

Petoskey stones are the state stone of Michigan. They’re also pre-historic fossilized coral with a distinctive pattern. They can be found in Petoskey, as well as other parts of northern Michigan.

Petoskey stone pictured on the lower right

How & Where to Find Charlevoix Stones & Petoskey Stones

You are more likely to find Charlevoix and Petoskey stones at rocky beaches.

Fisherman’s Island State Park is a large rec area with six miles of rocky Lake Michigan shoreline just southwest of Charlevoix MI. Don’t be surprised if you find Petoskey or Charlevoix stones here to take home as a memento of your trip.

Michigan Beach Park in Charlevoix is another good local spot to hunt for these collectible stones.

New stones are tossed on the beach after a big storm or a lot of wave action; try to look for stones right after the weather clears.

Another good time to hunt for stones is when it’s raining. That’s because Petoskey stones and Charlevoix stones are easier to see when they’re wet. 

If you’re stone hunting on a dry day, take a spray bottle with you or wade in the lake to make searching easier (wear water shoes.)

Petoskey Stone Rock hunting at Fisherman's Island State Park
Rock hunting at Fisherman’s Island State Park

7 – Book a Lighthouse Air Tour

6918 Old Norwood Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
There are numerous lighthouses in Northern Michigan that are awesome to see from the air. The Charlevoix lighthouse is no exception.

Fresh Air Aviation offers 30 minute to 1-hour private air tours for up to five passengers. See up to 11 unique lighthouses – most of them rarely seen.

They are open seven days a week, making this an easy and accessible event to add to your list of things to see and do.

Call (231) 237-9482 to schedule your tour.

Fresh Air Avaition - Skillagalee Lighthouse
Fresh Air Aviation – Ile Aux Galets Light (also known as Skillagalee Lighthouse)

8 – Take the Ferry to Beaver Island & do the Island Tour

103 Bridge Park Dr, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
The Beaver Island Ferry will take you 30 miles across Lake Michigan to Beaver Island. The ferry company offers passage for vehicles and passengers, as well as island tours.

Why visit Beaver Island?
Beaver Island (population ~650) is the third largest island in Lake Michigan. It’s much more secluded than Michigan’s famous Mackinac Island. Visitors are drawn to Beaver Island’s rich history and beautiful nature.

Explore the myriad of beaches and inland lakes.

Among some of the top things to do on the island: visits to the toy museum, the Beaver Head Lighthouse, the Marine Museum, and the Old Mormon Print Shop.

If your wanderings have you parched, grab a seat and a drink at Whiskey Point Brewery.

Beaver Island Boat Company
The Emerald Isle docking in Beaver Island at Paradise Bay
(Pic: @anna.ellerbroek)

Beaver Island Tour

You can also schedule an island tour. The tour is 1.5 hours long.

This guided van tour will take you through the northern portion of the island. It’s the perfect introduction to Beaver Island and still leaves enough time to explore on your own before boarding the Ferry back to Charlevoix.

Beaver Island Boat Company - Charlevoix, MI
Beaver Island Boat Company – Charlevoix, MI

Spend the Night

Want to stay for more than the day? The Beaver Island Retreat offers island glamping opportunities in custom-designed, furnished hotel safari tents for two, plus mini-glamping tents for up to two children.

Safari Tent on Beaver Island, MI

9 – Ride the Ironton Ferry

10122 Ferry Rd, Charlevoix, MI, 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Lake Charlevoix is long – and it has a south arm that makes driving its south shore even longer. It’s definitely quicker to drive the north shore.

But if you’re not in a hurry, take the south shore route and go through the tiny town of Ironton. That’s where you’ll find the open-top Ironton Ferry.

As of April 2024, single ride passes are $5. Credit cards are not accepted. Purchase passes online.

The Ironton Ferry operates mid-April through mid-November, across the south arm of Lake Charlevoix. Operating hours are 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM.

Ironton Ferry Lake Charlevoix

The line gets long during peak season, but there is a restaurant at the dock if you need to get out. Riding across made everyone in our car smile.

Crossing Lake Charlevoix in Ironton, MI

10 – Hike through the Dunes to Lake Michigan at Mt. McSauba Rec Area & North Point Nature Preserve

9223 Mt. McSauba Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Mt. McSauba Rec Area offers picture-worthy views of Lake Michigan, short dune hiking trails, a beach, and a disc golf course in the warmer months. The beach is tucked away and is a local favorite.

In the winter months, Mt. McSauba offers skiing (both downhill and cross-country), sledding, snowboarding, and ice skating.

North Point Nature Preserve, adjacent to Mt. McSauba, has 1.5 miles of trails on 28 acres of woods and sand dunes. Animals that live here include deer, porcupines, various shore birds, and occasionally loons, eagles, and great blue herons.

North Point Nature Preserve Map

11 – Make Plans to Go to the Charlevoix Venetian Festival

309 Petoskey Ave, PO Box 120, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Charlevoix transforms into the ultimate celebration destination during the annual weeklong Venetian Festival.

Including concerts, street & boat parades, Venetian games (croquet, tennis, cornetian corn toss, beach volleyball, disc golf), Aquapalooza beach & boat party, fireworks, a block party, and kid’s day, this festival is practically non-stop.

Kid’s Day includes a petting zoo, balloon artist, touch-a-firetruck, a photo booth, and more. Purchase an armband and participate in the following: pony rides, crafts, bounce houses, and a rock wall.

Carnival rides are also available via Arnold Amusements.

Their schedule of events has something different happening each day and looks like it will be one you won’t forget!

Venetian Festival Dates:
July 20-27, 2024

12 – Visit the Lavender Farm

7354 Horton Bay Rd, Boyne City, MI 49712

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do near Charlevoix MI:
Perhaps one of the most inviting lavender farms in Michigan, Lavender Hill Farm is not to be missed. It’s one of the largest lavender farms in Michigan with 30 varieties of lavender.

Plus lavender ice cream, soap, soda – in addition to the most gorgeous working farm. Be sure to check out the labyrinth if you go.

Lavender Hill Farm is home to Italian honeybees and a restored century-old barn where they hold many events including live music performances, weddings, and more.

Visitors can sign up to dine in the lavender fields. Enjoy a lavender-infused 4 course fine dining tapas menu and delectable dessert. Bring a beverage of your choice, rest, relax, and watch the sunset over the rolling hills. (Tickets required)

Events include tours, yoga, crafts, classes, and workshops during their operating season. Many classes and experiences are available for kids, too!

Prime blooms season is late June to mid-July.

Lavender Hill Farm in Michigan
Lavender Hill Farm Boyne City, MI

13 – Spend an Afternoon at Hungry Ducks Farm

4580 M-66 N, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Spend some time outdoors with fluffy chickens, baby rabbits, and miniature goats. These animals are only the beginning of the animal friends you will meet on the Hungry Ducks Farm.

Get a wristband and enjoy unlimited rides, petting farm, a children’s museum, and much more. Plus catch and release trout fishing for an extra charge.

You can find the farm located one mile from Castle Farms.

Hungry Ducks Farm - Charlevoix, MI
Hungry Ducks Farm – Charlevoix, MI

14 – Find Your Way to Raven Hill Discovery Center

4737 Fuller Rd, East Jordan, MI 49727

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do near Charlevoix MI:
If you’re visiting the area with kiddos Raven Hill Discovery Center will be one stop they love. Expect snakes, lizards, and plenty of hands-on fun.

Outside, you can spend some time in the music garden, on the Jurassic Trail, playing in the schoolhouse, or exploring the treehouse.

Inside, there are loads of fun, educational toys and games like a giant magnet table, bikes you can pedal to power light bulbs, plenty of instruments, old-fashioned toys, and much more. A highlight is the rescue animal area. Classes and workshops are also offered.

Founder Cheri Leach is informative, patient, and kind. She loves to teach kids about animals in a way that is accessible to them. Oh, and she might even let them hold the snakes and lizards!

Raven Hill Discovery Center
Raven Hill Discovery Center – East Jordan, MI
Raven Hill Discovery Center
Raven Hill Discovery Center – East Jordan, MI
Raven Hill Discovery Center pyramid
Raven Hill Discovery Center – East Jordan, MI

15 – Visit East Park & Let the Kids Play in the Fountain of Youth

400 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
East Park is a Charlevoix MI hot spot.

Located in the center of downtown with easy access to shopping and dining, this park has an expansive lawn used for festivals and concerts, Earl Young-inspired architecture, lakeside views, and an inviting, interactive splash pad.

Dubbed the Fountain of Youth, the splash pad overlooks the picturesque harbor of Lake Charlevoix.

There are benches for parents to rest as the kids play in the water. Adjacent to the splash pad is a trout pond where kids can watch and feed the fish.

The splash pad is accessible from 10 AM – 9 PM. From 9:30 – 11 PM, it switches to a display mode where onlookers can enjoy the fountain’s choreographed light and music shows.

Charlevoix MI Fountain of Youth
Fountain of Youth Splash Pad
Charlevoix MI East Park (1)
East Park
Earl Young Inspired Design at East Park

16 – Make a Splash at Ferry Beach Park

224 Ferry Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Ferry Beach Park is home to a favorite Lake Charlevoix beach.

The sandy swimming area gradually deepens and the water tends to be warmer than that of Lake Michigan. The beach is located right next to the city boat slip, and offers paddle board rentals.

The beach has two separate swimming areas that are open seasonally.

All in all, this park has the perfect combination of playground equipment, sports courts, grassy areas, sand, shade, and amenities to complete a summer beach day.

This beach is just a five minute drive from downtown shopping and dining.

Ferry Beach Park – Charlevoix, MI

17 – Go Sailing

Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Sailing on the lake can provide an adventure for the whole family to enjoy and remember for a long time to come.

Some local sailing companies offer either private charters or learn-to-sail experiences.

For a charter sailing experience, check out Pure Mish Sailing. This company operates out of the Sommerset Yacht Club and sails on Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan.

Choose from trips ranging from one day (about 6 hours) up to trips lasting a few days!

Or, learn the ropes with Sail Charlevoix. They offer learn-to-sail lessons for adults and children on Lake Charlevoix.

Sailing on Lake Charlevoix - Charlevoix, MI
Learning to sail with Sail Charlevoix – Charlevoix, MI

18 – Raft, Tube or Kayak the Jordan River

311 N Lake St, East Jordan, MI 49727

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do near Charlevoix MI:
Sign up for a time slot with Jordan Valley Outfitters and get ready for a good time.

Book a raft in the summer for up to eight people, or get tubes for those really hot days.

Kayaking and canoeing are also options.

Jordan Valley Outfitters River Rafting
River Rafting on the Jordan River near Charlevoix, MI

19 – Visit John Cross Fish Market

209 Belvedere Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
This third-generation, family-run business has been providing fresh fish and seafood to the community since 1945. Customers rave about the delicious fish they get from John Cross Fisheries.

If you’re looking for fresh smelt, smoked fish, fresh whitefish, or gourmet seafood, this is the place to get it.

John Cross Fish Market - Charlevoix, MI
John Cross Fish Market – Charlevoix, MI

20 – Little But Mighty Bridge Walk

210 State St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
On Labor Day weekend, take part in the 35th Annual Little But Mighty Bridge walk in Charlevoix. It will be about a five mile walk across the drawbridge.

The organizers sell t-shirts with the proceeds being donated to charity.

While you’re in Charlevoix in September, take advantage of the cool air and colorful trees.

21 – Visit for the Apple Fest

400 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
The 45th Annual Apple Fest is happening October 11 – October 13, 2024. Nothing says “Welcome Fall,” like apple orchards and crisp autumn air.

Enjoy the farm market, art and craft show and kids activities. Hosted downtown at East Park.

Apple Fest Charlevoix FB

22 – Run the Charlevoix Marathon/Half Marathon

209 Belvedere Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Always occurring in June, this annual Boston qualifier race happens this year on June 15, 2024.

The course is an easy down-and-back course and quite possibly one of the most beautiful. It leads you through town and along the glittering lakeshore.

An added perk of the starting line being right by the city’s hotels means you can roll out of bed and walk right up to the starting line.

If a full marathon isn’t your thing, opt for a half-marathon, 10k, or 5k.

Marathon Starting line Charlevoix FB
The Marathon starting line is literally steps away from many hotels

23 – Play Disc Golf at Mt. McSauba Disc Golf Course

09223 McSauba Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
Located at the Mt. McSauba Recreation Area, this disc golf course is free and open to the public.

Enjoy the beauty of Charlevoix, while participating in this fun and interactive sport at this really tough, championship-level course.

There are lots of dramatic elevation changes, but you are rewarded with the best ‘Big Lake’ water views of any course in Michigan!

Mt. McSauba Disc Golf Course in Charlevoix

24 – Discover the Library’s Hidden Gems

220 West Clinton St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do in Charlevoix MI:
The Charlevoix Public Library is a treasure.

Libraries are always great places to find free or affordable community activities and events. This one is no exception! Be sure to check out:

The Music Garden and Playscape for Kids

Gramma Geri’s Children’s garden includes inventive, interactive musical instruments, a waterfall pond, a giant kaleidoscope, and more whimsical play stuff. This stop is a fenced-in wonderland for families.

Outdoor story times occur on Thursdays at 10:30 AM. Other youth programming may also be available.

Charlevoix MI Sound Garden Public Library
Musical Garden at Charlevoix Public Library – Charlevoix, MI

Visit the Main Library

This building started out as a schoolhouse. It was built in 1927, operated as a school for 75 years, and became the town’s library in 2006.

Charlevoix MI Public Library

Charlevoix MI Public Library (1)
Interior views of the Charlevoix Public Library – Charlevoix, MI

25 – Food & Drink

Don’t let the adventure stop with activities! Charlevoix has many opportunities to experience some lovely and delightful restaurants.

The Cantina

101 Van Pelt Pl, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Known for their Mexican cuisine with farm-to-table roots, The Cantina sources fresh produce and ingredients from the local farms and purveyors of Northern Michigan. The bar offers artisan tequilas & handcrafted cocktails.

Open seven days a week and offers both indoor and outdoor seating and dining options.

The Cantina – Charlevoix, MI
Food Options at The Cantina – Charlevoix, MI

That French Place

212 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

To-die-for French pastries, crepes, and coffee.

Go early; it’s worth the wait. Or order online.

That French Place

That French Place Charlevoix
That French Place – Charlevoix, MI

Pita Cruiser Food Truck

101 Van Pelt Pl, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Located behind the Cantina, Pita Cruiser offers Mediterranean street food. A few staples include cucumber-lime refresher, gyro pita, chicken shawarma pita, and sides like fries and fiery pita dip or pita chips and hummus.

The Pita Cruiser Food Truck – Charlevoix, MI

Hardwood Gold Cafe

230 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

“The sweetest spot in downtown Charlevoix,” this shop and cafe offer tidings of maple syrup products. Owned and operated by fifth-generation sisters.

The cafe offers a vast array of yummy foods including hand pies, salads, wraps, and more. Stop in for a coffee break or a delicious meal!

Hardwood Gold Cafe - Charlevoix, MI
Hardwood Gold Cafe – Charlevoix, MI

HotDoggers Charlevoix

117 Antrim St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

HotDoggers is a Coney Island restaurant offering American Cuisine. The menu offers premium Coneys, fresh made burgers, gyros, French fries, loaded Coney-cheese fries, and much more!

HotDoggers - Charlevoix, MI
HotDoggers Diner in Charlevoix, MI

Places to Stay

With so many things to do and see in Charlevoix, why not stay overnight? Check out our list of local places you will love.

Weathervane Terrace Inn and Suites

111 Pine River Ln, Charlevoix, MI, 49720

Another Earl Young Hotel! Overlooking the channel, close to the beach, close to downtown, and with a fabulous outdoor pool, this hotel is a fantastic place to stay.

Charlevoix House

202 Michigan, Charlevoix, MI 49720

This charming Victorian bed and breakfast offers a complimentary continental breakfast each morning and is located just steps from downtown.

Sitting in between the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, the house has eight rooms, each with a different theme. The rooms are equipped to house anywhere from two – six people. It’s a lovely destination for couples.

AmericInn by Wyndham

11800 US 31 North, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Conveniently located off of US 31 with easy access to Downtown Charlevoix or for venturing around nearby towns. They offer comfortable rooms, free breakfast, an indoor pool, free WIFI access, and pet-friendly accommodations.

Bridge Street Inn

113 Michigan Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Located just steps from Lake Michigan with gorgeous sunsets visible from the wrap-around front porch. The Victorian bed and breakfast is equipped with eight different guest rooms.

Guests are invited to come and experience the history of Charlevoix, in the comfort of their modern rooms and amenities.

Charlevoix MI FAQs

Where is Charlevoix, Michigan located?

Charlevoix is located in northern Michigan along the coast of Lake Michigan. It is nestled between the Big Lake and Lake Charlevoix.

Charlevoix is an easy, beautiful, one-hour drive north from Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, MI.

How do you pronounce Charlevoix?

Charlevoix is French and is pronounced, “Shaar-luh-voy.”

What is Charlevoix, Michigan known for?

The Charlevoix area is full of local history, art, dining, and shopping experiences. Many public figures have ties to the area such as Ernest Hemingway and Earl Young.

Charlevoix prides itself on its natural beauty. Its slogan is “Charlevoix the Beautiful.” 

It also has its own special rock – the Charlevoix stone.

Outdoor enthusiasts love Charlevoix as it is surrounded by freshwater and offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding. It also has many wonderful hiking and biking trails. 

What towns are near Charlevoix Michigan?

Nearby cities include Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Elk Rapids, and Boyne City. They are about 20-30 minutes away by car.

An hour’s drive will get you to Mackinaw City or Traverse City.

charlevoix michigan map

Visit these Nearby Northern MI Destinations


Waterside views, Petoskey Stone hunting, beaches & more beaches, delightful downtown.

Mackinac island

Vacationing on an island with no cars is pretty unique!

torch lake

 The deep aqua and turquoise colors of Torch Lake make this one irresistible destination.

Traverse City

Beaches, fruit, festivals, winery tours, you name it, it’s probably happening in Traverse City in the summer.

boyne mountain & avalanche bay waterpark

This resort is home to a mega waterpark, epic ski and golf facilities, an outdoor zipline course and more.

1 thought on “25 Epic Things to do in Charlevoix MI for Summer, Spring or Fall”

  1. #15 . Thank you so much for featuring us in your article! Sail Charlevoix is a non-profit charitable, educational organization committed to supporting the development and access to sailing opportunities for our community. And we also welcome our northern Michigan visitors. Check us out at http://www.sailcharlevoix. org

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *