Wander Charlevoix's Castle Farms

Start your adventure in downtown Charlevoix by snapping up picnic essentials at Scovie's Gourmet Deli & Bake Shop (111 Bridge St., 231-237-7827). The just-baked-today goodies here are fit for a queen – carrot cake, key lime pie, lemon bars and rich turtle brownies laced with fresh caramel. Pick your pleasure and a sandwich to-go; the Cool Runnings wrap is a thrill with Jamaican-jerk chicken, curry-mayo, coconut, oranges, celery, peanuts and Napa cabbage tossed in roasted sesame dressing.

With your picnic basket packed, drive south up Bridge Street and veer left onto M-66 toward East Jordan. A few miles up the road, the regal mien of Castle Farms (5052 N. M-66, 231-237-0884, castlefarms.com) looms to your left. The stone castle and barns here were once part of a 1,600-acre farm built by Albert Loeb, former president of Sears, Roebuck & Company. Since its creation in 1918, the farm has served widely varying purposes – dairy farm, storage facility, artists studio, rock concert hall and, now, backdrop for picturesque weddings, conventions and day trips like yours.

Enter at the King's Pavilion, where you can watch a quick film documenting Castle Farm's history and pick up a map for a self-guided tour. Wander the grounds as you please, making sure not to miss the 1918 Museum – stocked with WWI memorabilia and grainy photos of the original Loeb Farm – and the airy Queen's Courtyard, where you can pose like a princess next to the artesian spring-fed fountain. Your kids will love playing a game of oversized checkers in the gardens or getting lost in the Hedge Maze; when they finally work up an appetite, just plop down on a sunny spread of lawn with your picnic and let the feasting commence.

Emily Bingham is assistant editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. [email protected]

Note: This article was first published in May 2007 and was updated for the web February 2008.

You cannot copy content of this page.

We're In This Together

MyNorth.com is part of our mission to keep you connected to the beauty, people and places we all love in Northern Michigan. We've delivered those stories for free online so that anyone who wants to engage with Up North, can. Today we are asking you to help us by making a donation so we continue telling those trusted stories we all need now more than ever.

{"popup_ID":917449,"popup_goal":"target-url","popup_type":"popup-modal","gen_btn_text":"DONATE","email_subject":"","email_heading":"","thank_you_msg":"","email_message":"","fullscreen_popup":"0","when_popup_appear":"","delay":"2","disappear":"0","exptime":"1","hideclsbtn":"0","clsonesc":"1","slider_slide_time":""}
X
X