There’s a reason that Lake Charlevoix placed second only to Lake Tahoe in USA Today’s readers poll of America’s best lakes. The beaches, the boating; they’re incredible.

A boat tour of Lake Charlevoix, the third largest lake in Michigan, will not only be a priceless part of your Northern Michigan vacation, but will also give you access to three of Northern Michigan’s best small towns: East Jordan at the bottom of the lake’s south arm; Boyne City at the eastern edge of the north arm; and Charlevoix on the lake’s western edge.

A shallow ledge, which outlines the entire lake, makes this Northern Michigan attraction ideal for anchoring and relaxing the day away. Dock near the towns to explore some of Northern Michigan’s most beautiful sandy shores and enjoy a picnic lunch.

3 Ways to Experience Lake Charlevoix:

Ironton Ferry

Take a trip on one of the shortest ferry rides in the world: the four-car cable-guided Ironton Ferry, which transports cars, people and bikes across the narrows of Lake Charlevoix has been in operation since 1876. For rates and hours:

Sunshine Charters

The Sunshine is a 45-foot cruising yacht that sails on both Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan. The tours are flexible, and you can charter your own trip according to your needs. Purchase tickets at the kiosk across from Charlevoix City Dock #1 or call 231.547.0266 for reservations.

Boat Rentals

Find everything from SUPs and kayaks to pontoon boats and water trampolines at Sunset Watersports, 231.932.1800.

3 Lake Charlevoix Beaches:

Young State Park

Visit the 560-acre Young State Park to camp or simply to enjoy the sandy beachfront. A Michigan State Parks Passport is required.

Find it: 2280 Boyne City, Rd., Boyne City, 231.582.7523.

Depot Beach

Depot Beach on Lake Charlevoix is adjacent to the old train depot, which is now a historical museum. The beach has lifeguards, playground equipment, restrooms and picnic areas.

Find it: 307 Chicago Ave., Charlevoix, 231.547.3253

Ferry Avenue Beach

Ferry Beach, with its sandy swimming area, is a popular beach for families. Find lifeguards, playground equipment, a concession, picnic areas, and restrooms.

Find it: 224 Ferry Ave., Charlevoix, 231.547.3253

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