Lake Michigan’s largest and most remote inhabited isle is waiting with lazy beach walks, fascinating history lessons and so much more. The 32-mile journey from Charlevoix across open water is worth the trip. Discover the best things to do on Beaver Island. 

1. Get to Beaver Island.

By ferry or leave Beaver Island by plane. (Or vice versa! Either way, the journey is part of the adventure.)

2. Catch the sunrise.

Take your coffee and head through the morning darkness to Kilty’s Point on the island’s east side. Access the beach at Wagner Campground.

3. Catch the sunset.

At the public beach on Donegal Bay, on the island’s northwest tip. The sparkling Milky Way is courtesy of civilization-free dark skies. With luck, the Northern Lights will come out and play.

4. Believe it! Beaver Island once had a King.

James Strang, a Mormon renegade, set up a colony on the island in the 1800s and had himself crowned. The story is pretty wild.

5. Climb the 46 wrought iron steps.

Of the lonesome and lovely Beaver Island Head Light tower. Built in 1858, the lighthouse sits 20 miles from the town hub in St. James—a trek that is well worth the adventure.

6. Check out the circa 1870 Beaver Island Harbor Light.

On Paradise Bay. The lighthouse also goes by the name Whiskey Point Light, called so because of the whiskey trade that once flourished on the island.

7. Kayak Paradise Bay.

If you are a novice paddler. Experienced? Take on the 42-mile Beaver Island Water Trail that circumnavigates the island. Expect open water and sleeping on the beach.

8. Mountain or fat tire bike.

From horizon to horizon over Beaver’s quiet and scenic dirt roads. Pavement runs out five miles outside of the town of St. James! Happy Paddle can outfit you with bikes.

9. Raise a beer.

To this island’s Irish soul (its moniker is the Great Lakes’ Emerald Isle) at the Shamrock Bar & Restaurant.

10. Have the best weekend getaway. Ever. 

Here’s where to eat, sleep and get the low-down on island happenings.

Photo(s) by Frank Solle