Todd Zawistowski

Boyne City bear hugs the east end of Lake Charlevoix, but to appreciate all this little lakeside town offers, you’ve got to cover some ground. Just $15 a day rents you a hybrid bike from North Country Cycle Sport (104 S. Park Street, 231-582-4632). Pedal 10 miles along the lake to the Ironton Ferry, where $4 gets you across the water and easy access to a lunch on The Landings restaurant’s shore-side deck (10231 Ferry Road, 231-547-9036).

Afterward, cruise back to town, park your bike and stretch those legs with a stroll through Boyne Country Books (125 Water Street, 231-582-3180). Browse for books bearing a blue dot–it’ll nab you 50 percent off–then continue your cool down at the Water Street Cafe, home of the unforgettable-on-ice house cappuccino, with orange zest, cinnamon and Callebaut chocolate.

If you’re in the mood to mosey, downtown’s got great antiques and boutiques, but if you need to chill, park your bottom on one of the city marina benches and watch the sailboats go by. Got energy? Borrow a Frisbee golf disk from the chamber of commerce–that log cabin at the waterfront–then roll to Avalanche Mountain Preserve (south on Park Street, right on Division, left at the flashing light). An 18-hole Frisbee golf course winds its way up to a fabulous mountaintop view, as do mountain bike trails, hiking trails and 360+ steps.

Take dinner on the outdoor patio at Red Mesa Grill (117 Water Street, 231-582), overlooking the Boyne River Boardwalk, then toast a day well spent at The Library Bar and Grill, a distinguished nook inside the historic Wolverine Dillworth Inn (300 Water Street), rumored to be the spot Hemingway spent his first honeymoon.

Stay the Night:

  • The Wolverine Dillworth Inn, historic hotel. 231-582-7388
  • Water Street Inn, all-suite hotel on the water. 800-456-4313
  • Boyne City Motel, clean and cozy. 231-582-6701

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski