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Fall color season—its peak now through mid-October—is a perfect finish to our recent summertime weather. And, thanks to Charlevoix’s unique physical layout and its collection of century old neighborhoods, one can enjoy the season’s beauty without even leaving town. Downtown, Bridge Street is lined with slender linden trees, whose foliage turns to lighter shades of lime green and yellows. The adjacent Round Lake harbor itself is ringed with blazing reds and oranges and offers a beautiful view from East Park. Choose a bench and enjoy the view.
Stroll Park Street from the drawbridge all the way to its intersection with Grant Street, where it overlooks Lake Michigan. Continue on to see the stunning collection of Earl A. Young’s “mushroom houses.” Or take the walkway along the Pine River Channel pier linking Round Lake harbor to Lake Michigan. All display their brightest fall colors. Three historic avenues: Dixon, Michigan, and Belvedere, are some of the oldest neighborhoods in town and provide a canopy of brilliant color. It’s old Charlevoix at its colorful best.
Take the Bike
Cyclists of the pedal and motor variety enjoy the Breezeway of Charlevoix County. This well-marked stretch follows the gently rolling countryside, through small towns and villages, and along sections of the waterfront. The Breezeway is an off-the-beaten-path favorite and has garnered state accolades. Choose from three distances or take the whole ride.
Enjoy Fair Weather
Some autumn days are still warm enough to be on the water. Bring the boat or rent a craft and take the water route around the 56 colorful shoreline miles of Lake Charlevoix. A 2012 USA Today poll ranked Lake Charlevoix second, behind Lake Tahoe, as readers’ favorite lake. You can’t do much better than that!
Hit the Road
The car is still the conveyance of choice for many leaf peepers. Routes throughout the region are like treasure maps of some of the Midwest’s most stunning fall beauty.
For more information about autumn happenings, contact the Charlevoix Convention & Visitor's Bureau at 800.367.8557.
Charlevoix is a four-season destination, its particular charms as varied as the seasons themselves. Summer is active, vibrant, busy, and ultimately fleeting; enjoy it while it lasts. But there is so much more to the Charlevoix experience.
Try the quiet seasons. You’ll like them; we guarantee it. A variety of special lodging rates and incentives, plus wintertime activities make a weekend trip even more attractive.
Temperatures cool, snow flies, and a new season takes over. Lake-driven winds send waves crashing over the Lake Michigan pier and around the lighthouse, slowly but relentlessly creating layers of ice that soon overtake the structures. Surrounded by water, winter in Charlevoix is full of a certain type of awesome beauty that makes one take notice. Nature can be unforgiving, but this city knows how to make the most of it. Downhill and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, skating, and snowmobiling are big attractions for those who enjoy playing outside. When temperatures cooperate, as they did last winter, Lake Charlevoix becomes a smoothly perfect venue for iceboating.
For those seeking a more relaxed winter escape, Charlevoix is the ideal locale for a leisurely breakfast at the crêpery or local diner, a daytime gallery tour around Lake Charlevoix, and an evening out at one of several quaint eateries and brew pubs. Bring a date, celebrate a special occasion, plan a girls’ weekend—ahhh…the options are endless.
And Then Comes Spring
Sometimes the wait seems interminable, but when spring finally arrives, it presents Charlevoix visitors with a new array of possibilities. If the snow pack lasts, winter activities can still be enjoyed in milder temperatures. At the same time, the grass appears, trees bud, early flowers bloom, and the forested hills yield delicate trilliums and the coveted morel mushroom. The Charlevoix Depot and Castle Farms are perfect for checking spring garden growth, while cherry and apple blossoms can be spotted throughout northern Michigan.
For more information, contact the Charlevoix Convention & Visitor's Bureau at 800.367.8557.
After all, what better way to feel like a princess who has won her prince than by exchanging vows and celebrating in a real life castle? Castles are romantic, fantastical, and unique. And, while in days of old they served a more practical purpose—a fortified stronghold to protect the inhabitants, to ward off plundering hordes, or discourage the neighboring warlord—today, when we think of a castle we think of Cinderella, of romance, of fairy tales and dreams-come-true. Castle Farms is the wedding setting of your dreams.
COWS IN THE CASTLE
The story behind Castle Farms, however, is not one of medieval knights and kings and queens, but it does hold an important place in Charlevoix’s history. Loeb Farms was built in 1918 by Chicagoan Albert Loeb, acting president of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., as a model dairy farm complete with the latest Sears, Roebuck equipment. Ninety employees took care of the fields, gardens, orchards, 13 pairs of Belgian draft horses, and 200 head of prize-winning Holstein-Friesian cows. In the 1920’s, Loeb Farms was the largest employer in Charlevoix County.
EVERY CASTLE HAS A HISTORY
But why put cows in a castle, you might ask? Loeb, a world traveler, was especially taken with the architecture of Normandy, France, and the design of Loeb Farms was closely modeled after a farm that Loeb had seen in the French countryside. The buildings were fashioned in the Romanesque style of architecture, with towers, dormers, cupolas, rounded arches and windows, and massive soaring ceilings with exposed beams, much of it fashioned from the native fieldstone of the Charlevoix area. But, Loeb Farms was a short-lived: in 1924 Alfred Loeb died, the farm closed, and the majestic buildings began their slow decline, exposed to the elements and seemingly forgotten over the next four decades. Forgotten, but, as it turned out, not unnoticed. In 1966 the castle housed a working artist’s studio and gallery; in the 70’s and through the early nineties it was a showcase for some of the best musical groups of the time—The Beach Boys, Doobie Brothers, Willie Nelson, Moody Blues, Sting, and many more. And then, in 2001, the property was purchased by an individual who truly loved castles and saw the hidden potential in the crumbling architecture. Today, Castle Farms is busy year round with fairs, exhibitions, tours, events, and yes, weddings, many, many weddings. After all, every love story deserves a castle.
Writers and wedding planners interested in additional Castle Farms and Charlevoix-area wedding venues and information are welcome contact the Charlevoix Convention & Visitor’s Bureau at email@example.com or 800.367.8557.