This Winter Weekend Getaway to Charlevoix Michigan is IT!

Charlevoix Candlelight Hike

Wow, What a Winter Getaway in Charlevoix MI!

Looking for a fabulous winter weekend getaway?

Do yourself a favor and consider Charlevoix MI!

This little Lake Michigan harbor town is charming in the winter. Even though Charlevoix has a bite-sized population (under 2,500), it offers a king-sized amount of fun. 

From winter river rafting to candlelit hikes, and mushroom houses, to downtown shopping and dining – “Charlevoix the Beautiful” is a Michigan destination you don’t want to overlook for a winter weekend getaway.

Charlevoix Winter
Hot Cocoa and Bonfire on the Candlelight Hike

Charlevoix MI FAQs

Where is Charlevoix, Michigan located?

Charlevoix is located in northern Michigan, about 3 hours north of Grand Rapids or 4 hours NW of Detroit.

charlevoix michigan map

What is Charlevoix like in the winter?

Charlevoix is small in size but mighty in spirit. While there is tourism, the town’s blanket of snow keeps the sunseekers away and draws in the skiers. Some downtown shops and restaurants remain open through the winter, and the hotels are open, too.

Average temperatures are in the 20-30s and the area sees about 120 inches of snow each year.

January and February are usually great months to head to Charlevoix for winter snow fun.

Bridge Park to South Pier Lighthouse via Pine River Channel Walkway

1 – Go on the Candlelight Hike to Lake Michigan

Every  Friday  5 – 8 PM
December  23, 2022  –  February  24, 2023
9223 Mt. McSauba Rd,  Charlevoix, MI 49720

Wintertime Friday evenings are magical in Charlevoix.

Bundle up and do what it takes to get yourself to Mt. McSauba by 7 pm on a Friday evening this winter.

Charlevoix Candlelight Hik

You’ll want at least an hour to tromp through the snow out to the roaring bonfire beside the frozen lake.

Snowshoe, hike, or cross-country ski on candle-lit trails on this self-guided journey. The hike begins at the sledding hill parking lot. The event takes place between 5 – 8 PM. If you start at 5 pm, you might just catch the sunset.

Charlevoix Candlelight Hike

The trail is about a mile long. Plan on an hour for this experience.

There’s no cost to participate. Volunteers go all out to make this community event special, providing hot cocoa at the bonfire stop, as well as putting out the candles and handling all of the small details that make this event a success. Donations are appreciated.

If you have any questions, please call the Recreation Department. 231-547-7183 or 231-547-3253.

2- Winter Raft the Jordan River

311 N Lake St, East Jordan, MI 49727

Sign up for a guided river rafting time slot with Jordan Valley Outfitters and get ready for a good time.

You won’t fall in – your raft comes with a guide who is in charge of making sure you have a safe, fun, dry time.

The trip is about 2 hours long. The midpoint of the trip serves as a hot cocoa stop.

If you like leisurely floating down a river under breathtaking scenery, this trip is for you.
$45/person. *Reservations required.

3 – Stay at the Earl

120 Michigan Avenue, Charlevoix, MI 49720

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

The contemporary vibe and thoughtful experiences will make you want to stay at this boutique hotel again and again. 

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.

4 – Grab Coffee & Crepes from 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.

5 – Hunt for Mushroom Houses

Downtown CharlevoixCharlevoix, MI 49720

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.

6 – Stop at Castle Farms for Wine Tasting & a Tour

5052 M-66Charlevoix, MI 49720

Noted as one of Michigan’s premier historical attractions and wedding venues, visitors to Castle Farms will be met by a variety of cool things to see and do, including:
– guided or self-guided tours through the historic grounds
– wine tasting and gourmet food in the 1918 Tasting Room

7 – Ski or Ice Skate at Mt McSauba

09223 McSauba RoadCharlevoix, MI 49720

Downhill Skiing
Mt. McSauba is a fantastic community winter park. Known as “one of the oldest downhill areas in Michigan”Michigan’s Best Little Ski Hill,” Mt. McSauba has 10 runs, four tow ropes, and a snowboard park.

Open in the evenings Monday, Thursday & Friday and during the day on Saturday & Sunday.
Non-resident lift tickets are $20 and ski rental is $14.

Ice Skating
The skating rink is lit up at night and has a warming cabin.
Open in the evenings Monday, Thursday & Friday and Saturday & Sunday afternoons.
A pass for the ice rink is $3 and skate rental is $2.

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Use of the 2K Lighted and Groomed Cross Country Trails is free. Half-day rentals are $11.

8 – Visit the Frozen Lighthouse

95 Grant St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

The ice formations on and around the lighthouse are impressive and worth a stop!


More Places to Stay in Charlevoix

With so many things to do and see in Charlevoix, why not stay overnight?

Weathervane Terrace Inn and Suites

111 Pine River Lane, Charlevoix, MI, 49720

Another Earl Young Hotel! It overlooks the channel and is close to downtown- and everything else in Charlevoix.

winter weathervane terrace hotel charlevoix MI

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 between the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, the house has 8 rooms each with a different theme. The rooms are equipped to house anywhere from 2-6 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.

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