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Top 11 things to do as a first time visitor to Charlevoix!

Planning a trip to the Charlevoix in the near feature? Whether you are visiting for the first time, or are a seasoned Charlevoix guest, below is a list of things we highly recommend visitors see, do, and explore. Let us in on the fun and be sure to tag us in your pictures and videos by using #VisitCharlevoix.

  1. Shop downtown Charlevoix
    Charlevoix’s small-town charm and boutique shopping has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a great book, specialty food items, Charlevoix memorabilia, new clothing, artwork, and sweet treats- you can find it here. Check out The Mercado for many new additions to the vibrant downtown scene.
  2. Family Friendly Zip Lining Experience
    Wildwood Rush is a family friendly high ropes and ziplining course through the treetops of scenic Charlevoix. With over 7,000 feet of zip line courses, thrill seekers will love the fast-paced zip lines and great views of Lake Charlevoix.
  3. Beach Goers Rejoice
    It’s no secret that Charlevoix has great beaches on Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan. You can easily access Lake Michigan Beach along the pier from downtown and making it perfect for a leisurely stroll. Ferry Beach is family friendly, situated on the shores of Lake Charlevoix, offering a shallow swim area, playground, and large sandy beach perfect for building sandcastles. For info on the many other local beaches visit our website.
  4. Find a Petoskey and Charlevoix Stone
    One of our favorite pastimes is looking for Petoskey and Charlevoix stones. Two of the best places to find these stones is Fisherman’s Island State Park and Lake Michigan Beach. You can spend hours hunting for these iconic stones!
  5. Skydive Charlevoix
    Do you want to check skydiving off your bucket list? If so, you need to book a tandem skydive with Skydive Charlevoix. They specialize in first jumpers, making sure everyone is comfortable while creating exciting lifelong memories. While you soar over Charlevoix, you could see Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, Mackinac Bridge, and Lake Charlevoix.
  6. Lake Living
    Charlevoix is all about its fresh water! When you visit, we recommend you get out on the lakes with a kayak, sailboat, motorboat, or stand up paddleboard. Also, experience a paddle down the Jordan River. Choose to take it easy by having a guided raft or if you’re experienced go for canoes or kayaks. This is a fun activity for friends and families.
  7. Mushroom House Tour
    A trip to Charlevoix would not be complete without a tour of Earl Young’s mushroom houses. This self-taught architect designed houses out of large boulders and cedar shakes, creating whimsical designs. To learn more about the interesting history houses take a guided tour.
  8. Step back in time at Castle Farms
    Stop by Castle Farms to view the restored historic buildings, majestic gardens, large model train collection, and countless historic exhibits. Be sure to stop by 1918 Cellars to try a great selection of Michigan wine. Be sure to check out our events calendar to see what’s happening at the Castle.
  9. Where will you go?
    Whether you’re looking for trails along Lake Michigan’s shoreline or a scenic inland trail, Charlevoix’s got some great options. We suggest the Mt. McSauba Recreation AreaCharles Ransom Nature Preserve, and Fisherman’s Island State Park. Each of these natural areas has amazing views of Lake Michigan and miles of trails.
  10. Watch the Drawbridge
    This bascule drawbridge is a quintessential Charlevoix gem. During summer months, the drawbridge will go up every half hour when boats are present, so you can’t miss it! Be sure to capture of video or picture of this fun spectacle.
  11. Catch a Lake Michigan Sunset
    A Lake Michigan sunset is world-class, and the South Pier Lighthouse is the perfect place to capture a painted sunset. Every sunset is a unique kaleidoscope of colors, so be sure to see it every evening you are in Charlevoix.