Lake Effect

Water Water Everywhere

Surrounded by three large fresh water lakes and many small inland lakes, Charlevoix offers visitors an abundance of lake effect options. If you are looking for outdoor recreation, boating or just a leisure walk on the beach, you are sure to find your perfect lake vacation in Charlevoix. Rest up after your adventures at one of our many accommodations options.


     Lake Michigan Beaches 

Michigan Beach- Here you will find Charlevoix's South Pier Lighthouse as well as a myriad of family must haves: playground, snack shack, restrooms, pavilion and much more. Be sure to rent stand up paddle board at this beach! 

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 and it's also a great place to bring your four legged friends.

Rex Beach & Antrim Creek Natural Area- This mile-long Lake Michigan beach just west of Atwood lies at the end of Rex Beach Road and down a two-track. Walk south along the beach to find where Antrim Creek spills into the big lake. 



  Lake Charlevoix Beaches

Depot Beach- Named Depot Beach for the adjacent historic train depot, this beach features restrooms, playground equipment, stand up paddle board rentals, and a pavilion. Make sure to see the incredible garden located behind the depot.   

Ferry Beach- Families love Ferry Beach as the sandy swimming area gradually deepens. Playground, concession restrooms, stand up paddle board rentals, picnic areas and pavilions make a day in the sun 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 and camp facilities. 


   Petoskey Stone Hunting

Lake Michigan beaches in the Charlevoix area are great locations to find many treasured Petoskey Stones. Visit our Petoskey Stone page for more details.




The Charlevoix area boasts the most beautiful lakes in Michigan, if not the world. The City of Charlevoix is bordered by Lake Michigan which connects to the downtown Round Lake via the Pine River Channel. Round Lake then spills into award winning Lake Charlevoix (the second best lake in the US). There are a number of small inland lakes that are great for paddle sports and fishing. Other notable lakes within short driving distance include Walloon Lake, Torch Lake, and the Chain of Lakes. To access the water you can rent a boat or kayak, charter a sailboat, join a tour aboard a catamaran sailboat or launch your own boat. Visit the boating page for more info.


Water, Water everywhere! Charlevoix is centrally located to Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake, Lake Michigan and many inland lakes. These beautiful lakes offers fisherman over 100 different fish species to catch. With many boat launches in the area, fisherman will no problem accessing any of these waterways. Leaving your boat behind? The Pine River Channel provides easy access to on shore fishing as well. If in need of charter fishing, Ward Brothers Charter Boats and Whitecap Charters are excellent options. Exploring Charlevoix’s natural waterways are a must for fisherman! Visit our fishing page for more details.   


Experience the waterways of Charlevoix by getting out outside and exploring the beauty of Northern Michigan. Charlevoix is a paddler's dream with numerous waterways, every paddler is guaranteed to find a new place to explore. Catch an early morning sunrise or sunset. Try a new sport or simply go for an adventure, paddling is a great way to get out on the water. 

Where to paddle?

  • Lake Michigan (any level)
  • Lake Charlevoix (any level)
  • Six Mile Lake (any level)
  • Susan Lake (any level)
  • Jordan Valley River (somewhat expert location and a good river to kayak down)
  • Walloon Lake (any level)
  • Deer Lake (any level)
  • Six Mile Lake (any level)
  • Font Lake (any level)
  • Lake Geneserath (any level)

Equipment Rentals 

East Jordan

Beaver Island

Safety Tips

When paddling, it's extremely important to remain vigilant of your surroundings, especially when you are around other motorized watercraft. If you are launching from area beaches, avoid swimming areas because you may not see someone under the water. Some of the best times to head out on the water are early morning and mid-evening. Not only will you miss high boating times, you will also avoid large wakes from motorized boats.