Nestled in the heart of downtown Boyne City, the recently renovated Boyne Schoolhouse Lofts are a one-of-a-kind Northern Michigan vacation retreat.

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A sophisticated top-to-bottom renovation has given new life to an old school—and boy, are we glad that class is back in session.

Constructed in 1912, the building began as a six-room schoolhouse and served as an organ-manufacturing facility in the ’60s before transitioning to private ownership. By the time it was purchased in 2021 by Boyne City transplants Eddie and Lesa Louch (also of Crooked Tree Nursery and Landscaping), it had been sitting vacant for several years. “I’d always been fascinated with the property,” says Eddie Louch. “It was a fun challenge to bring it to life and turn it into something that people would want to follow.”

Along with a team of 40 skilled staff, the pair joined partners Dave and Carolyn Hendricks to strip the building down to its studs, reimagining the former classroom spaces as modern and elevated vacation rentals (think exposed brick walls, granite countertops and crisp white trim to offset the high ceilings). Each flat is equipped with a full kitchen and stainless-steel appliances, while updated living spaces boast warm-industrial decor, a gas fireplace and flat-screen TVs. On summer evenings, private patios beckon; or collapse into cozy, queen-size beds after a busy day of exploring.

boyne schoolhouse lofts building, three level building with decks and awnings, summer trees and landscaping

Photo by Dave Weidner

The garden level holds the building’s two smallest units, which are about 1,000 square feet each. One offers accessible accommodations, complete with its own entry ramp, and both are equipped with a bedroom and ensuite bath. Up the staircase, the first floor houses another two units with one or two bedrooms. At the top of the complex sit the penthouse suites (with views of Lake Charlevoix), which have an added second-level loft with a sleeper sofa and a third bathroom, making them ideal for larger families or groups.

Outside, guests relax on three acres of expertly designed greenery with a fire pit and grill perfect for s’mores and locally made brats (get the goods at Grain Train Natural Foods Market).

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo by Dave Weidner

Things to Do Near Boyne City

Of all the Boyne Schoolhouse Loft’s amenities, proximity to downtown tops the list. At just a few blocks from Boyne City’s center, it sits within easy walking distance of the marina, family-friendly parks and a sturdy list of Boyne City restaurants. “You can walk to these places, have a good evening and come back to catch a sunset right off your patio deck,” Louch says.

To make the most of your getaway, he recommends grabbing a bite at European-inspired Café Santé or Sommerset Pointe Yacht Club’s The Pointe Fish & Grill, which overlooks Lake Charlevoix. Cap off your night with a cocktail at Provisions Lounge.

The endlessly charming Horton Bay General Store, established in 1876, is a go-to for ice cream, espresso, wine and gifts. Another must-visit is nearby Lavender Hill Farm, home to workshops, kids’ events and tours—not to mention 30 varieties of the fragrant flowers. For the outdoor adventurer, Louch suggests Avalanche Mountain Preserve and its 300 acres of hiking and mountain biking trails, or let Boyne Watersports set you up with a pontoon rental for a day on the water.

His favorite rec for guests? Day trips to Charlevoix and Walloon Lake. “They’re the old goodies, and have such a unique environment,” Louch says. “You really can’t beat this setting.” Find the Boyne Schoolhouse Lofts at 411 North East St., Boyne City.

Anna Faller is a Traverse City-based freelance writer and interviewer with a passion for good books, great food and Michigan travel.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner