The city has four beaches, two on lakes Charlevoix and Michigan, as well as a State Park beach. All of the beaches do not have lifeguards so make sure to go about swimming in a safe manner. The Lake Michigan beaches (Lake Michigan, Mount McSauba, Fisherman's Island) offer a perfect opportunity to find the official State of Michigan stone, the Petoskey Stone. This stone can only be found in the Little Traverse Bay region of northern Michigan.
Lake Michigan Beach
Michigan Beach offers white sand, good stone hunting; wooded trails and children's play equipment. There is also a café, picnic areas, and restrooms. This beach is a short walk from downtown, along Park Avenue or the Pine River Channel. It is also an excellent location to view the lighthouse and the stunning sunsets over Lake Michigan.
Mount McSauba - North Point Natural Area
This is a natural area with rolling dunes that culminate in a wide sandy beach on Lake Michigan shoreline. Behind the dunes is a series of well-kept trails through a beautiful canopied wooded area. There are no facilities.
Those enjoying this beautiful area are encouraged to pick up any trash or waste generated while visiting to help maintain the pristine beauty of this hidden gem!
Depot Beach on Lake Charlevoix is adjacent to the old train depot, which is now an historical museum. This beach usually has warmer water than Lake Michigan and the waves are calmer. Depot Beach is located at the end of Mercer Boulevard off U.S. 31. The Depot Beach also has playground equipment, restrooms and picnic areas.
Ferry Avenue Beach
Ferry Beach is also located on Lake Charlevoix. The gently sloping sandy swimming area is a popular beach for parents and their children. Ferry Beach offers playground equipment, picnic areas, and restrooms. The beach can be reached by taking Stover Road east off of M-66, or Belvedere Avenue from downtown.
Fisherman's Island State Park
Seven more miles of Lake Michigan public beach can be found at Fisherman's Island State Park, south of Charlevoix on Bells Bay Road. In addition to the beach, the park offers trails through a beautiful 3,400-acre forest. It also offers camping.