Uncommon, Uncrowned, Unspoiled Beaver Island

Roasting marchmallows - Courtesy of Midwest LivingGet away to the most remote island in the Great Lakes, where silence reigns, broken only by the screech of swooping gulls and the gentle slap of waves against the sandy shore. Discover the secret of Beaver Islands unspoiled, uncrowned, uncommon but, uniquely splendid lure.

Beachcombing, bird watching, biking, camping and fishing Michigan's unspoiled, uncrowned, uncommon Beaver Island offers the perfect summer getaway. We invite you to discover the secret that lures vacationers back year after year.

Beaver Island greets visitors without fuss. In St. James, you can stroll the harbor road, relax in the Shamrock Restaurant & Pub, which provides a warm and casual atmosphere for everyone. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and you can enjoy the harbor view from the deck. Other popular eateries include the The Restaurant at the Beaver Island Lodge and the Dalwhinnie Bakery & Deli.

After dinner, its time to hike to windswept Whiskey Point to admire the 19th century lighthouse.

Beaver Island LIghthouse - Courtesy of pamnurse58The towering Beaver Head lighthouse has a fascinating history and is significant as probably the third oldest extant lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It was built in 1851 by John McReynolds, a Detroit contractor at a cost of approximately $5,000. The Fresnel lens used in the tower is believed to be the second oldest in the United States by lighthouse historians. In 1962 the lighthouse was decommissioned and replaced by an automated radio beacon tower.

Across town, the Mormon Print Shop and Museum offers an absorbing peek at the islands most notorious historic figure, James Jesse Strang. In 1848, James Strang set up a colony for his followers--dissenters from the main body of Mormonism. Strang crowned himself "King James" in 1850. Aversion of the sect by non-Mormons led to the Battle of Pine River in 1853 at present-day Charlevoix. On June 16, 1856, because they hated his authoritarian rule, some of Strang's subjects mortally wounded him. Later in the summer, mainlanders drove the Mormons from the Island.

Most visitors look forward to the Islands abundant nature and solitude. There are also fine museums, gift shops, art galleries, a golf course and island tours. This beautiful remote haven is home to over 100 miles of scenic roads and too many old trails to count. Exploring is slow going. But, thats part of the allure. The island is accessible by ferry service from Charlevoix, charter boat, or airplane.