Things To Do in Charlevoix

Castle Farms is home to Charlevoix, a quaint, lakeside tourist town in northern Michigan.  Northern Michigan is known for its premiere beaches, lively summer atmosphere, and friendly faces.  What can guests expect to do in a place like Charlevoix before or after your wedding day?  The possibilities are endless!

*Local Charlevoix businesses have done so much to accommodate to COVID-19 policies.  Activities that are safe to participate in while social distancing are annotated with an asterisk (*).


What better activity is there than to spend an afternoon taking in the beautiful local scenery while enjoying a nature walk?  There are plenty of trails in Charlevoix, including Fisherman’s Island State Park, North Point Nature Preserve, McSauba, or Susan’s Creek, to name a few.  Stop alongside the water to take in the fresh air and search for Petoskey Stones.  Climb up to a lookout in the middle of a sand dune.  Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in the sun.

Photo: Rockhill Studios

*Bike on the Little Traverse Wheelway

The Little Traverse Wheelway is a 26 mile long trail from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs.  It’s the perfect trail to get some fresh air and exercise, however you see fit.  Whether you bike, walk, or rollerblade, this trail offers so much scenery to enjoy along the way.

*Go to the Beach

There are a number of beautiful beaches all over the area.  Take your family to Ferry Beach and sit back, relax, while your kids jump off their pier into crisp, quaint Lake Charlevoix.  Right downtown, you’ll find Michigan Beach on Lake Michigan.  Complete with sandy beaches, a playground, and a lovely view of the lighthouse, Michigan Beach is the perfect local getaway.  On the north side of town is McSauba Beach, a rustic beach graced with sand dunes providing breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.  Lastly, Depot Beach, on Lake Charlevoix, is located at Charlevoix’s historic Train Depot & Museum on the north side of town.  While you’re at the beach, spend some time looking for some Petoskey stones!

Photo: Michael Murphy IV Photography

Camp at Fisherman’s Island State Park

This rustic campground features many wooded and spacious sites!  Reserve a waterfront site just steps away from Lake Michigan to fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing.  Hike their trails and swim at the beach for an unforgettable camping experience.

Enjoy Downtown

If you’re looking to stay in an area that’s a little livelier, take a walk downtown.  You might find yourself in a sweet, small shop or enjoying a local brew.  A few staples include Murdick’s Fudge, The Taffy Barrel, Harwood Gold, Bridge Street Tap Room, or eating waterfront at the Weathervane Restaurant.  You could simply plant yourself on a bench in the park and watch the boats float across Lake Charlevoix.  Downtown, there’s something for everyone!

Photo: Always Photographic

Visit Art Galleries

Another underrated attraction that Charlevoix offers is a variety of art galleries.  One of which is Bier Art Gallery, located in a unique schoolhouse setting, which inspires how art can be better displayed in the home.  On the other hand, North Seas Gallery is home to European art and antiques, from statues, to oil paintings.  Charlevoix offers all kinds of unique art displays all around town!

*Tour the Mushroom Houses

Charlevoix is known for many things, but one Charlevoix staple is the Mushroom Houses.  These eleven houses were designed by architect Earl Young, beginning in 1919.  You can listen to a tour guide on an hour-long tour through the neighborhood or *explore them yourself using this map.  These houses are straight out of a story book, full of character and whimsy.  The best part?  Wedding parties can even rent a Mushroom House of their own for the weekend!

Photo: Jacquelyn Genevieve Photography

Visit McSauba Ski Hill

If you’re having a winter wedding and have guests that are looking for some activities to do in the cold, Mt. McSauba is the place to be.  At Mt. McSauba, different options include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe trails, a sledding hill, and even a skating rink.  Whatever winter sport suits you, all are offered at Mt. McSauba.

Rent a Boat, Paddleboard, or Kayak

Every Michigander loves a lake day.  Plan your own by renting a boat on Lake Charlevoix or Round Lake.  Pack a picnic or order local takeout and bring it on board with a couple friends or family.  Go for a dip or just enjoy the sunshine.  It’s the perfect care-free day!  Summertime Rentals offers everything from boats to jet skis.  If you or your guests are interested in fishing, look to Whitecap Charters for everything you need to know from a local fishing expert.  Sunshine Charters offers trips around Round Lake on a cruising yacht, a fun activity for friends and family of all ages!

Photo: The Weber Photographers

Go to a Festival

Charlevoix’s downtown takes a turn when festivals come around.  Charlevoix holds several festivals annually, including the Venetian Festival in the summer, Apple Festival in the fall, Shadowfest in the winter, and more.  These festivals consist of all kinds of activities, from boat parades, fireworks, carnival games, artist booths, and more!  There is surely something for everyone at each one of these events, no matter the time of year!

*See the Charlevoix Lighthouse

The Charlevoix South Pier Lighthouse overlooks Lake Michigan.  You can follow the channel from the bridge in downtown Charlevoix and walk right up next to the red lighthouse.  It’s the perfect place to watch a sunset or take photos.  The lighthouse encapsulates Charlevoix, representing its breathtaking beauty and waterfront views.

Photo: Chris Van Winkle Photography

Go to the Movie Theatre

Who doesn’t love going to the movies?  Once you’re done exploring downtown, wander over to Antrim St for a movie.  Grab some popcorn with an ice-cold drink, and spend an afternoon or evening watching a new film at our theatre, Charlevoix Cinema III!

*Explore the Castle’s Grounds

What better way to enjoy a Castle Farms wedding than coming back for a self-guided or guided historical tour?  You can spend the day exploring the many gardens, strolling through courtyards, or listening to the fascinating hundred-year-old history.  Enjoy a glass of wine right in the heart of the Castle.  The Queen’s Tavern is a stunning, cozy backdrop, perfect for sipping on a glass of Visionary or Reflection, and is home to our 1918 Cellars tasting room.

Photo: The Weber Photographers

We may be biased, but there aren’t many places better to have a wedding than beautiful northern Michigan!  Give your guests the opportunity to spend a few days exploring Charlevoix, a true Michigan treasure.

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