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Hidden Gems in Charlevoix, MI

There’s something exciting about getting off the beaten path and discovering something new. Visitors often ask about under-the-radar places they should explore while they’re visiting the Charlevoix area. These lesser-known attractions and eateries are awesome places you need to discover for yourself. We hope you enjoy these hidden gems as much as we do.

1. Largest Cherry Pie
Did you know that Charlevoix once held the world record for making the world’s largest cherry pie? There was a friendly rivalry between Charlevoix and Traverse City where both cities would compete for the world record of the largest cherry pie. This competition involved thousands of pounds of cherries! You can view Charlevoix’s world-record pie plate and oven. Get a photo of the pie plate and tag us in your photo on Instagram @visit_charlevoix.

2. Hidden in Plain Sight
There are so many great places to eat in Charlevoix. A trip to Northern Michigan would not be complete without freshly caught whitefish from John Cross Fisheries. Two of our favorite menu options include the whitefish pate and sausage. Looking for a good sandwich or cup of soup? Try Andy’s Party Store located in a south-side neighborhood. It’s known for great options to craft your own sandwiches and yummy soups and they also have an impressive selection of beer and liquor.

3. It’s time to paddle
Tucked in the rolling countryside, the Jordan Valley River is a paddler’s dream come true. Whether you need to rent a kayak or raft from Jordan Valley Outfitters or bring your own equipment, this inland river is guaranteed to be an epic adventure. If you’re feeling adventurous, bring your fishing pole and try your luck at kayak fishing. We highly recommend that you wear water shoes because the current is fast, and the river would love to steal your shoes (and sunglasses).wink 

4. Epic Petoskey Stone Hunting
There’s something impressive about finding the perfect Petoskey stone. While looking for these treasures is commonplace, one of the best ways to find an epic Petoskey stone is to grab snorkel equipment and float along the beaches of Lake Michigan. This is one of our favorite under-the-radar ways to look for these unique pieces of coral. Learn more about the art of Petoskey stone hunting.

5. Recreation Paradise
Northern Michigan is home to some of the best recreation around. We want to highlight some of our favorite lesser-known places. For the tennis or pickleball player, visit Elm Street Courts (next to the Charlevoix Golf Club) or Shanahan Field. These free courts are open to the public and lined for both sports. For a fast-paced round of golf, visit the Charlevoix Golf Club. Located five minutes from downtown, this nine-hole walking course is a community favorite for its ability to challenge avid golfers while being family-friendly. Finally, visit the Lake to Lake Trail to view both Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. This trail is 3.5 miles (one way) crushed limestone trail is flat and it lets you set your own pace to explore some of Charlevoix’s prettiest natural settings.

6. Cultural Corridor 
The Charlevoix Cultural Corridor, consisting of the Charlevoix Public Library, Circle of Arts, and Charlevoix Historical Society Museum, is a collaboration of the best cultural exhibits Charlevoix has to offer. Located in the heart of Charlevoix, along Clinton and State Street, the Charlevoix Cultural Corridor is attracting visitors through art, literature, music, and history. These off-the-beaten-path community gems are often overlooked by first-time visitors but should not be missed!

At the Charlevoix Public Library listen to free jazz concerts, participate in daily kid’s activities, read a great novel in front of the fireplace, and take in the breathtaking architecture of the building. Head over to the Charlevoix Circle of Arts which hosts ever-changing art exhibits which will inspire repeat visits and they offer a year-round class schedule that will please everyone from novice to expert artists. The Charlevoix Historical Society Museum is home to thousands of historical Charlevoix photos (and yes they are for sale!), unique historical exhibits and programming as well as expert curators of information on all things Charlevoix. This is the place to get all the Earl Young Mushroom House history.

Request a travel planner today. 


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