Summer Up North in Michigan: Eastport and Charlevoix

When my college roommates started an email chain to plan a reunion this summer, I was all for it. However, I have to admit that when we decided on going to the beach in Michigan, I was skeptical. Having been raised and lived most of my life in the Sunshine State, home to some of the world’s best beaches, I was not quite sure what I had gotten myself into. If we’re being totally honest, I even made a few jokes about leaving Florida and flying to Michigan to go to the beach. But in case you didn’t know, Michigan is beautiful. The Pure Michigan ad campaign is totally accurate to the region and the state is quite heavenly in the summertime. I can’t promise that I’d be as excited for a trip to Michigan in the winter, but I can promise that a weekend on Lake Michigan is a great summer getaway!

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The girls we vacationed with are some of my best friends from college and the most awesome people, so I was overjoyed that we finally got a date set for a reunion. For the last several years, we’ve only had reunions at each other’s weddings. Although I love me a wedding, they tend to not make for the best quality time with a small group and the bride and groom get left out of the small group fun while she is making the rounds to spend time with everyone else. For this reunion, we decided to bring all of our spouses/significant others and the kids along for the fun as well. There were 14 of us in all, split among two lake houses (very generously provided by my friend Ashley’s mother-in-law and her friend) right on the shore of Lake Michigan in the small town of Eastport. Below are some pictures from the weekend.

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Paddleboarding on Lake Michigan
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Alex taking some of the girls out on the paddle boat
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With my Manorites in Michigan
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So many fireworks!

Photo Jul 24, 6 13 33 PM

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Photo Jul 26, 9 53 41 PM

As you can see from the above photos, we spent most of the weekend swimming, playing in the lake, enjoying fireworks, cooking, drinking, and talking about everything under the sun. With so much quality friend time, we only left the house once to visit the charming northern Michigan town of Charlevoix for dinner, ice cream, and a walk through the Venetian festival that was taking place downtown. Charlevoix is adorable and definitely worth a visit for a walk along the harbor and some shopping if you are in the area.

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Walking along Round Lake Channel
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Charlevoix South Pier Light Station

On a visit to Charlevoix, have dinner at the Villager Pub. You can get fresh seafood from the lake, an assortment of fried foods, and famous local beers like Beards and Bells. The Villager Pub is a 30-year-old local favorite and is always packed with people having a great time. What to eat: Any of the whitefish items on the menu, jalapeno poppers.

All the fried foods at Villager Pub
We had ALL the fried foods at Villager Pub

After dinner, walk a couple of blocks down for dessert at Kilwins. Whether you’re in the mood for fudge, toffee, or an ice cream cone, Kilwins has it all. The delectable treats are made right before your eyes so if you even walk by the window, I know you’ll want something! What to eat: Mackinac Island Fudge and/or Traverse City Cherry in a homemade waffle cone.

If you happen to be in Charlevoix during July, you just might be able to take part in the Charlevoix Venetian Festival like we did. The week-long festival includes live music, sporting events, a parade, craft market, carnival rides and games, lots of children’s activities, and of course, fireworks, allowing for fun for the whole family!

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Games at the Venetian Festival

Photo Jul 25, 4 01 25 PM

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Live music at the Venetian Festival

Take home an edible souvenir at either American Spoon Foods or Cherry Republic. American Spoon Foods carries several types of jams and sauces, while Cherry Republic carries a broad array of foods including preserves, dried fruit, salsa, and candy. Even better, pick up some fresh cherries and a jar of preserves to take back with you at one of the myriad roadside stands or U-pick-em cherry farms while driving around the north of Michigan. We picked up a box of cherries on our way back to Detroit and it was the perfect road trip snack!

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend in northern Michigan. If you’re looking for one last summer weekend trip, head up north! Next up, I’ll be telling you about our quick hop across the border to Windsor, Ontario!

Thanks to my friends for sharing their photos from the weekend!

RECAP
Eat and Drink
Villager Pub, 427 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720
Kilwins, 233 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720
American Spoon Foods, 315 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720
Cherry Republic, 221 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

 

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