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GRDadof3

Charlevoix Photo Montage

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Got some great shots of Charlevoix this weekend, despite the overcast skies and intermittent rain showers. Charlevoix (pronounced Shar-le-voy for you fudgies) is one of my favorite harbor/channel towns along the Gold Coast of the Lake Michigan shoreline.

It was named after a French explorer named Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix. It strangely has a very Spanish/Key West flair to it. It's interesting how urbanistic principles can be found in small towns: mixed use, residential upper units, parks, outdoor seating, focal points, monuments, amphitheatres, pedestrian friendly (even despite 31, the traffic lights favor pedestrian crossings).

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It sits on a chunk of land separating Round Lake Harbor, Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan, with US-31 running right through the middle. In fact, it's similar to Grand Haven in that 31 is the only road through from North to South for over 40 miles, so when the drawbridge goes every 1/2 hour, traffic backs up for 10's of miles (shown in images later).

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Typical Summer traffic in Charlevoix

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Beautiful old early 20th Century buildings in a very walkable setting:

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LOVE the hardwood ceilings

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One of the greatest features is that Round Lake Harbor is right next to downtown, so it feels that much more like a resort town:

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Family run business GALORE!!

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Classic toy store

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More to come....

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Can't get enough of these hanging baskets! And the signs!

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Round Lake Harbor (claimed to be the finest natural harbor in the Great Lakes area)

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The second channel on to Lake Charlevoix (Boyne Highlands in the distance)

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The main downtown park between the main drag and the harbor

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Some pretty good sized boats

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Hard to believe the "small" boat parked in front is still a 30 or 32 footer :blink:

BTW: The massive blue "cottage" in the background has indoor storage for 6 boats, and only $2 or $3 Million and it could be all yours.

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Charlevoix is well known for its Cedar roofs

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The famous Stafford's Weathervane Terrace

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The drawbridge raised

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The channel out to Lake Michigan (small craft need not apply)

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Hope you enjoyed!

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I passed through Charlevoix last summer after spending a portion of a week in Petoskey. It really is a nice little town.

A few things that I found out durring my short visit:

-There were origianally buildings on the Round Lake (east) side of Bridge St. Some time in the 30s (I think) a hotel and possibly some neighboring buildings were destroyed by fire. The city decided to buy up the remaining buildings along those three blocks and create the park that exists today.

-The architect of the original section of the Weathervane Terrace Hotel, Earl Young, also designed twenty-some houses in Charlevoix. These houses are directly to the west of downtown in two groups. Most are fanciful cotages of oversized boulders with "thatch-like" free-form roofs.

(I can check, but I don't think that I have any pictures)

Oh, and I remember seeing that cool red boat house.

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I passed through Charlevoix last summer after spending a portion of a week in Petoskey. It really is a nice little town.

A few things that I found out durring my short visit:

-There were origianally buildings on the Round Lake (east) side of Bridge St. Some time in the 30s (I think) a hotel and possibly some neighboring buildings were destroyed by fire. The city decided to buy up the remaining buildings along those three blocks and create the park that exists today.

-The architect of the original section of the Weathervane Terrace Hotel, Earl Young, also designed twenty-some houses in Charlevoix. These houses are directly to the west of downtown in two groups. Most are fanciful cotages of oversized boulders with "thatch-like" free-form roofs.

(I can check, but I don't think that I have any pictures)

Oh, and I remember seeing that cool red boat house.

I think I had heard that too andrew about the fire. We've been going to Charlevoix once or twice a Summer for 8 years now. The park there really makes the harbor feel like it's part of downtown, like a real boating town should feel. Even Traverse City's downtown unfortunately cut off from the bay by 4 lanes of US-31. Grand Haven's downtown seems to be set up well too in that it "embraces" the Grand River channel and the boardwalk. It would be hard to design a better town layout.

Check out Koucky Gallery if you're there again. It's a contemporary art gallery owned by friends of my In-Laws. Wild stuff! :w00t:

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Ah, Charlevoix...The city that fought Walmart and won! Not too many tiny towns can claim that.

What, no La Croft? ;)

I loved your photos! I'm getting some ideas because I plan on going up the Lake Michigan Coast sometime this summer and hitting up Charlevoix, Petoskey/Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Mackinaw. I was up north this weekend too, but on the east side. There is definately a distinction between up north east and up north west. I come from the more rugged-natural side where the west is the more touristy-scenic natural side.

My high school teams use to play in Charlevoix and if the draw bridge was ever up, it seems like we'd always end up being late.

I also like how you use maps. I've been trying to do that for some time, but my maps always come out goofy.

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Ah, Charlevoix...The city that fought Walmart and won! Not too many tiny towns can claim that.

What, no La Croft? ;)

I loved your photos! I'm getting some ideas because I plan on going up the Lake Michigan Coast sometime this summer and hitting up Charlevoix, Petoskey/Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Mackinaw. I was up north this weekend too, but on the east side. There is definately a distinction between up north east and up north west. I come from the more rugged-natural side where the west is the more touristy-scenic natural side.

My high school teams use to play in Charlevoix and if the draw bridge was ever up, it seems like we'd always end up being late.

I also like how you use maps. I've been trying to do that for some time, but my maps always come out goofy.

Thanks Michi! Is La Croft North of the bridge? I'm trying to recollect in my mind what/where it is.

The East side is definitely different from the West. I think a lot of it is due to the abundance of sand and sand-filled lakes and harbors on the West side, which has driven a lot more tourism. Also, I think there are a lot more harbors and inland lakes along the West coast, which also drove small towns to start up in the early part of the 20th Century. I always remember, from the few times we made it to the Northeastern side as a kid that it was very rocky and very few, if any, sand-dunes.

Much of the Northwest was fed by Chicago tourists and the trains that used to travel up the coast. I'm sure you know that Charlevoix has the historic Belvedere Club Association, and Petoskey has the Bayview Association, both of which are filled with pre-1900 Victorian homes in some incredible neighborhoods. I had actually never been through Belvedere Club until this weekend, and couldn't believe the mammoth yards, the manicured boulevards and the homes set up on the hills (some of which are in the background in this picture)

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I unfortunately did not stop to take photos. :(

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Yah, La Croft is that big old condo structure north of the bridge as you round the bend on 31 up the hill.

I think your assessment of the east and west is correct. The east side never really gained much economic strength aside from lumbering and mining, but the west really banked on an eternal tourism industry.

I'm not too familiar with the Belvedere Club, but I've toured through Bay View a lot of times. When I think of Bay View, I think "Hemingway" as it seems like the kind of picture he painted in many of his writings. I will have to explore Charlevoix and the Belvedere Club more extensively the next time I am in town as it seems well worth it from your photos. :)

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Yah, La Croft is that big old condo structure north of the bridge as you round the bend on 31 up the hill.

I think your assessment of the east and west is correct. The east side never really gained much economic strength aside from lumbering and mining, but the west really banked on an eternal tourism industry.

I'm not too familiar with the Belvedere Club, but I've toured through Bay View a lot of times. When I think of Bay View, I think "Hemingway" as it seems like the kind of picture he painted in many of his writings. I will have to explore Charlevoix and the Belvedere Club more extensively the next time I am in town as it seems well worth it from your photos. :)

Yes, it's quite nice. Just turn East at the 7-11 on the South end of town. :thumbsup:

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Nice pictures, I just got back from staying at my girlfriends cabin near Gaylord and I went to Charlevoix 2 days ago. Soon I will be posting pictures from Grayling, East Jordan, Petoskey, and Charlevoix.

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