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Lake Effect

Life's Better at the Beach

Life is always better at the beach. Lucky for you, living the lake life is a breeze in Charlevoix. Whether you prefer windswept and wild, sandcastle building, or the uninhabited, Charlevoix-area beaches and waterways, by far, are the best. Surrounded by large freshwater lakes and many small inland lakes, Charlevoix offers visitors an abundance of lake effect options. If you are looking for outdoor recreation, boating, kayaking, or just a leisurely walk on the beach, you are sure to find your perfect lake vacation in Charlevoix.


Relax and unwind on anyone of Charlevoix's area beaches. Looking for easy access to the beach? Just steps from downtown Charlevoix, walk along the shores of the Pine River Channel, get a photo in front of the lighthouse, and stroll Lake Michigan Beach to find the allusive Petoskey and Charlevoix stone. You could easily spend hours wandering the Lake Michigan shoreline looking for these unique pieces of fossilized coral.

Take a walk on any one of Charlevoix's beautiful beaches. Here are some of our favorite beaches:

Mt. McSauba Recreation Area (pet-friendly)   
Remote beaches with sand dunes and hiking trails through beautiful wooded areas.   
Michigan Beach Park   
Beautiful sand and picnic areas, playground, perfect for lighthouse and million-dollar Lake Michigan sunset views. Michigan Beach is handicap accessible with a mobi mat located on the beach.   
Ferry Beach   
On Lake Charlevoix, the gently sloping sandy swimming area is popular with families.

Whether you are looking for a workout, a family friendly activity, or a leisurely way to enjoy our beautiful lakes, renting a kayak or stand up paddleboard at area beaches is a great way to enjoy a Pure Michigan summer.

Schulman Paddle Works   
Jordan Valley Outfitters   
Irish Boat Shop   
Summertime Rentals

Looking to rent a boat to get on the water? Experience Lake Charlevoix or Lake Michigan by renting a boat at area marinas. Here are several places you can rent a boat:

Irish Boat Shop   
Ward Brothers   
Summertime Rentals   
Swan Valley Marina

Do you like to fish or want to try your hand at it? Try booking a fishing charter with any one of Charlevoix’s fishing charters. Depending on the season, you can catch trout, walleye, trout, salmon, and whitefish to just name a few. Experienced guides will help you navigate the waters for the ultimate fishing experience.

Going Deeper Sportfishing   
True North Trout   
Whitecap Charters   
Ward Brothers   
Plumber’s Helper Charter Service

Experience lake life like never before.  A fun way to enjoy the beauty of Lake Charlevoix is to take a ride on the Ironton Ferry. This unique ferry ride is a bucket list item and it’s a unique way to enjoy the water. Experience the very essence of Lake Michigan by booking a sunset catamaran cruise with Sunshine Carters. This is one of our favorite ways to see the beautiful vistas of the Great Lake State.

Surrounded by three freshwater lakes, the Charlevoix area is the perfect place to get out and explore Michigan's natural beauty. After all, life on the water is always better. For more information about Lake Michigan water safety, click here. 



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