Charlevoix boasts some of the greatest beaches found on the Great Lakes. From family oriented beaches with snack shacks to desolate dunes for getting away from it all, you will find you favorite beach in Charlevoix!
Lake Michigan Beaches
Here you will find Charlevoix's South Pier Lighthouse as well as a myriad of family must haves: playground, snack shack, restrooms, lifeguards, pavilion and much more.
Fisherman's Island State Park
Fisherman's Island State Park offers six miles of unspoiled shoreline and numerous hiking trails through forests and sand dunes.
Mt McSauba Recreational Area
Remote and rustic beach and dune area. This beach is a favorite for locals.
Lake Charlevoix Beaches
Named Depot Beach for the adjacent historic train depot, this beach features restrooms and a pavilion. Make sure to see ther incredible garden near the depot!
Families love Ferry Beach as the sandy swimming area gradually deepens. Playground, concession, restrooms, picnic area and pavilions make a day at the beach fun and easy!
Young State Park
This 560 acre state park located on the north arm of Lake Charlevoix between Charlevoix and Boyne City offers a great beach.
Petoskey Stone Hunting
Immerse yourself into the Charlevoix rock hound culture by finding some Petoskey stones. Petoskey stones are actually fossilized coral from over 350 million years ago during the Devonian period when Michigan was covered by warm sea water. Over time the continents shifted from then, Michigan being near the equator to where Michigan now lies in the middle of the fresh water Great Lakes. When you find a Petoskey stone you hold in your hand a fossil of colonial coral which predates humans by about 300 million years.
The Charlevoix area beaches are touted as one of the best places to look for them, though they are found across the entire top third of the lower peninsula in gravel pits and road beds. Look for Petoskey stones at Fisherman's Island State Park, Michigan Beach, McSauba Recreation Area/ North Point Nature Preserve.
Choosing a time to go is important because the stones shift with the weather and waves. On windy wavy days the stones may all wash out into the lake or may wash into the shore and litter the beach. Where there are numerous rocks you can usually find Petoskeys. They are easiest to find when wet so the hexagonal pattern is visible. Don't discount going out in your rain coat when it's possible to find them yards away from the water. Remember, each person is limited to a 5 gallon bucket of Petoskey stones to take with you.
Part of the fun is hunting for your own Petoskey Stones, but they are generally for sale at many gift shops in the Charlevoix, Petoskey and Traverse City areas.