Things to do in Charlevoix, Michigan


Two years ago, eightyfive MILES was founded as a Great Lakes inspired clothing and accessories company with a mission to educate, conserve and celebrate one of the world’s amazing natural resources. One of the greatest things about this state is that you’re no more than 85 miles from a Great Lake, but in certain places, you’re lucky to be even closer.  

Recently I had the chance to visit Charlevoix, MI and I was inspired to share some places that make Charlevoix great. First off, this town rests right on Lake Michigan, a literal hop, skip and jump down the town’s pier to the lakeshore. It’s a great Northern Michigan town that’s bounded by Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Charlevoix to the east. During the winter it’s a sleepy town, but as the calendar flips to May, the town awakens with excitement and energy, the temperatures rise, and the sun lingers late into the day on the western horizon.

It’s not all about the water in Charlevoix, they love their cherries too. The small resort town holds the record for the largest cherry pie. In 1976, a 17,420-pound pie was created, you can still visit the pan it was cooked in today. Hmm, I wonder how much vanilla ice cream would be required to make it “a la mode”? 

If cherry pie makes your mouth water, head into town and stop at Cherry Republic to taste test your favorite cherry-based food and drinks. While you’re in there, walk around and visit the wide variety of restaurants and retailers Charlevoix has to offer. You’ll find everything from fine-dining to pubs and delis that boast menus of local favorites like fried perch sandwiches, craft beer and delicious appetizers. Snag an eightyfive MILES long sleeve at our newest retailer, Harbor Wear, then walk across the street to the amphitheater that sits on Round Lake for live music, a movie in the park or to relax and watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.

Don’t forget to stop by the Charlevoix Cultural Corridor, consisting of the Charlevoix Public Library, Circle of Arts and Charlevoix Historical Society Museum. The Cultural Corridor is a collaboration of the best cultural exhibits Charlevoix has to offer. Located in the heart of Charlevoix, along Clinton and State Street, the Charlevoix Cultural Corridor attracts visitors through art, literature, music and history.

If you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the small town, head just a few minutes south to Fisherman’s Island State Park and stroll along five miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Bring a kayak and a fishing pole to try your luck at kayak fishing for local favorites like bass, pike, bluegill and more.

With so much to do in one of Michigan’s hidden gem cities, you’ll be able to find your niche. Check out Charlevoix’s calendar of events to plan your summer getaway.

Our 85 is the Great Lakes. Could yours be Charlevoix?