Charlevoix County - 21 Attractions You Must Visit
About Charlevoix County
Charlevoix County, Michigan is a popular destination for tourists, especially in the summer. Surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers and the breathtaking Lake Michigan, the area is known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Boating, fishing and camping are favorite pastimes while sightseeing and exploring attractions such as Castle Farms or Round Lake Community Park make Charlevoix County hard to resist. For those looking to get a little closer to nature, there are state parks like Charl
Types of Attractions in Charlevoix County
List of Attractions in Charlevoix County
Beaver Head Light
Beaver Head Light is located in Charlevoix County,and was first lit in 1884. It stands 95-feet tall, with a brick tower covered in brick lining and completed with a black lantern room made from cast iron. The lighthouse also features a fog signal room where the foghorn can still be heard for miles depending on weather conditions. Its purpose was to guide Great Lakes shipping vessels safely through treacherous waters near Deer Park Point.
Beaver Island Harbor Light
Beaver Island Harbor Light, is one of only two surviving lights from the state's earliest range lights. It was first established in 1839 and marks the entrance to Lake Michigan for ships sailing from Peninula Point Harbor. The 45-foot tower and small attached lighthouse keeper’s house were built on a rock platform about 900 feet offshore. The light was automated in 1967 and continues to guide ships safely into the harbor at night.
Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne Mountain Resort, is a great place for a family vacation. Located just north of The Victorian-style Boyne City, the resort offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to ski or snowboard on over 1,000 vertical feet of terrain or enjoy one of the many pools and hot tubs provided, this resort has it all. During the summer months, head to Alpine Slide or take on Adventure Park with its ziplines and ropes course. There's a selection of restaurants to choose from.
Boyne River Nature Area
The Boyne River Nature Area, is a spectacular 686-acre marshland habitat, home to an abundance of wildlife including bald eagles and beavers. Spanning the entire length of Lake Charlevoix's east arm, the nature area supports a lavish diversity of flora and fauna habitats. Its numerous hiking trails are popular with outdoor enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike. Standing at 45 feet above sea level, hiking the Boyne River Nature Area gives visitors spectacular elevated views over the lake.
Boyne Valley Trailway
1 Day Treks
The Boyne Valley Trailway is a hiking and biking trail that stretches along 25 miles of pristine countryside. Boasting provided trails for all levels of skill, this unique location serves as ideal getaway in northern Michigan. Visitors can explore fields and forests of the surrounding area, complete with covered bridges and historically significant buildings. In addition to its natural wildlife and scenic views, the trailway offers birders a stunning variety of bird watching opportunities.
Castle Farms provides a remarkable experience for all visitors. The castle is an architectural wonder from the early twentieth century originally built by Albert Loeb and was once known as "The Playground of the Midwest." Currently, it serves as one of Michigan's top attractions, offering guided tours of its historic grounds and buildings, shopping opportunities in their multiple stores, and seasonal festivities such as their Victorian Holiday Open House and the Music on the Lawn concert series.
Charlevoix Historic Train Depot
The Charlevoix Historic Train Depot, is a unique testament to the county's long transportation history. Built in 1921, the depot was a thriving center of commerce until it closed in 1984 as Amtrak terminated its service through Michigan. In 1990, volunteers restored the depot with generous donations so that visitors may learn about and appreciate Charlevoix's railway past. The building, now on the National Register for Historical Places, serves dual purposes.
Charlevoix Historical Society
The Charlevoix Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of Charlevoix County. Through their museum, events, exhibits, collections, and research opportunities, they are committed to providing an opportunity for people to experience and better understand the amazing and unique stories of this special place. They also offer educational programming for all ages that explore the region's diverse heritage.
Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse
The Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse, has a rich and intriguing past. Constructed in 1869, this lighthouse operates as an air-controlled navigational signal aid designed to guide vessels safely through the otherwise treacherous waters of Lake Michigan. The tower consists of octagonal pyramidal design on top of an enclosed dwelling. At 105 feet tall, it is one of the tallest lighthouses in the country and can be seen across Lake Michigan's horizon.
Donegal Bay, is a hidden gem. Boasting just over three miles of sandy shoreline and crystal clear waters, it makes for a paradise escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Those who wish to venture out on the lake will find plenty to keep them busy including sailing, fishing, swimming and kayaking - with the option of guided tours or simply enjoying the peacefulness of nature all around.
Fisherman's Island State Park
Fisherman's Island State Park is a great place to spend a day outdoors. The park offers 2,678 acres of beaches, dunes, forests, and wetlands to explore. Visitors can find plenty of activities to enjoy from exploring the trails to fishing in the harbor. In addition to the beachfront recreation area, there are two campgrounds for overnight stays, offering over 300 campsites for those who want to truly immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.
Grand Traverse Bay
Grand Traverse Bay is nestled in Charlevoix County and offers a wealth of natural beauty and recreation opportunities. From the stunning sandstone bluffs that rise up high above the crystal clear waters of Lake Michigan to the quaint waterfront towns scattered around the bay, every corner of this area is alive with character and charm. Popular activities include swimming, fishing, kayaking, and camping, with many local parks and marinas catering to all visitors.
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Lake Charlevoix is an inland lake located in Charlevoix County, Michigan. This stunning lake is surrounded on three sides by the rolling hills of northern Michigan, creating beautiful vistas that visitors can appreciate no matter which way they look. With deep blue waters, diverse fish populations and gorgeous shoreline features including cottages, marinas, beaches and more, it's no wonder that Lake Charlevoix stays busy year-round with a variety of recreational activities.
Little Sand Bay Nature Preserve
Little Sand Bay Nature Preserve is a delightful park situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, the preserve covers 29 acres of majestic views and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore the nature trails, beach areas, and observation points overlooking Little Sand Bay. A wide variety of wildlife call the area home including birds, turtles, foxes, deer and more. Kayakers can spend an afternoon paddling along the bay while anglers fish for trout and salmon in Michigan's most productive fishery.
Michigan Beach Park
Michigan Beach Park is a scenic coastal retreat. It offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with plenty of gorgeous views overlooking Lake Michigan. Nature lovers can spend the day exploring various hiking trails, while beach aficionados flock to the park for its many swimming spots. The region also provides innumerable photographic opportunities, as well as plenty of recreational activities such as fishing, boating and picnicking.
Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge
The Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, is a sanctuary for some of the most unique and diverse species of wildlife. Home to more than 130 migratory, resident, and endangered bird species, the refuge also provides a safe haven for several species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Meandering through the marshy islands are old growth forests including maple-beech forest and carpets of wildflowers. The refuge offers nature lovers the ability to explore endless opportunities.
Squaw Island, located off the shore of Charlevoix County in Michigan, is a beautiful natural wonder. Surrounded by freshwater and tranquil waters, it is an ideal spot for a peaceful getaway. The island boasts numerous amenities such as kayaking, fishing, and hiking trails to explore the area's flora and fauna. Whether you're wanting to take a leisurely boat ride around the island or venture out on adventure in a kayak or canoe, Squaw Island has something to offer everyone!
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Thumb Lake is a stunning lake that all nature lovers should visit. Located on the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, It and has recreational sites located along its shoreline. The area around Thumb Lake also has stunning landscapes with gentle rolling hills, lush vegetation and abundant wildlife which makes it a great spot for wilderness enthusiasts as well.
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Walloon Lake is an iconic body of water situated in Charlevoix County, Michigan. Home to over 500 acres of clear blue waters accessorized with white pines and hardwoods, this picturesque lake has been providing locals and visitors alike a peaceful retreat for many generations. Located at a higher elevation than the rest of the area and surrounded by rolling hills, Walloon Lake makes for stunning scenery that radiates tranquility.
Whiskey Island is a vibrant coastal community known for its abundance of natural beauty as well as recreational opportunities. Located near the northern tip of Lake Michigan, Whiskey island offers ample access to charming white sand beaches, picturesque sunsets, and tranquil harbor towns. Visitors can explore public trails along the waterfront or take part in various activities such as fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, or sightseeing on a charter boat tour.