Top 8 Things to Do in Charlevoix

Are you looking for a new place to visit? Located just above the 45th parallel, Charlevoix has been welcoming visitors for over 125 years. Blessed with abundant natural beauty, world-class attractions, boutique shopping, and numerous eateries, there are more than 9 reasons to visit, but below are the top 9 things to do while visiting Charlevoix:

1.       Earl Young Mushroom Houses

Hobbit houses have sprouted in Charlevoix. These unique homes and commercial properties are a popular destination for visitors to explore. Whether you are looking for a guided tour or want to wander at your leisure, these historic houses are each individually unique. Be sure to stop by the Charlevoix Visitor Center for a FREE map of the mushroom houses.

2.       Castle Farms
Built in 1918 as a model dairy farm, Castle Farms has had many purposes throughout its lifetime. Once an artist colony and rock concert venue, Castle Farms has lovingly been restored to its former glory. This one-of-a-kind castle is a must-see attraction when visiting. Offering guided and self-guided tours, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of sprawling gardens, see the largest model railroad in Michigan, and learn more about the incredible history of this iconic castle.  

3.       Charlevoix Public Library
This former high school has been carefully restored and repurposed into a public library. Welcoming thousands of visitors each year, the Charlevoix Public Library offers a variety of free programming and educational workshops for the public. If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to stop by the kid’s section of the library to partake in a variety of fun arts and crafts. Whether you are passing through or looking for a place to sit and relax for a while, the Charlevoix Public Library welcomes everyone.

4.       Charlevoix Historical Society
Step back in time with the Charlevoix Historical Society. Their newest exhibit at the Museum at the Harsha House, Charlevoix the Working World, shares fascinating stories that brought Charlevoix global attention. Be sure to ask the curators about Earl Young, Castle Farms, and other unique events that shaped Charlevoix’s history.

5.       Trails
Whether you enjoy hiking, running, or biking, Charlevoix’s extensive trail system will help you get off the beaten path and explore nature at its finest while enjoying miles of untapped natural beauty. Take time to bike along the Lake Michigan shoreline on the Little Traverse Wheelway. Spend the day hiking the trails in the Mt. McSauba Recreation Area. Choose your favorite nature preserve or park from the more than twenty options.

6.       Orchards, Farms, and Markets
Looking for locally grown fruits and vegetables? There are numerous farm stands, orchards, and farmer’s markets waiting for you. Stop by Friskes, Kings and Royal Orchards for fresh fruits, produce and homemade products. Stop by Lavender Hill Farm to enjoy the amazing smells of Michigan’s largest lavender farm. Make sure to stop downtown Charlevoix every Thursday for the weekly farmer’s market. With so many great options, it’s hard to choose which location to visit first!

7.       Boating/paddling
With three major waterways, Lake Michigan, Round Lake, and Lake Charlevoix, to choose from as well as numerous inland lakes, it’s hard to pick which waterway you want to explore first. Looking to get off the beaten path? Take a trip down the Jordan River. This inland river is guaranteed to challenge even the most experienced paddler. With fast currents and an ever-changing landscape, the Jordan River will keep you on your toes. Visit area beaches to rent a kayak or a stand-up paddle board, if you enjoy paddle sports. Wherever you choose to explore, Charlevoix is home to every style of waterway.

8.       Arts and Culture

There’s beautiful art everywhere! Charlevoix Circle of Arts, Bier Art Gallery, and downtown galleries welcome visitors to enjoy a wide array of art styles. Whether you are looking for an art exhibit or a new piece of artwork to bring home, Charlevoix has a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the mural on the side of Central Drug Store in downtown Charlevoix or visit the Charlevoix Public Library. Make sure you look up as you enter. There is a mural on the upper wall depicting a historic Charlevoix. 

Charlevoix welcomes you to explore its amazing lakes, historic buildings, charming downtown, and one-of-a-kind attractions.

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