Summer Getaways in Petoskey, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Boyne City
Boyne City: A quiet inland alternative with an artsy streak
In a word Peaceful. Boyne City hides just 15 miles from Lake Michigan on Lake Charlevoix. Long a blue-collar community that suffered from the big lake's magnetic effect on tourism dollars, Boyne City has reinvented itself as a laid-back version of the shore towns.
Your kind of town? A lone angler casts a line from his boat, silhouetted against a sky that has melted into pools of gold. A few kids eat ice cream; the tiny downtown stands silent. It's a 25-minute drive to busier Charlevoix or Petoskey, yet you'll return to a town that feels largely your own. If that sounds idyllic, Boyne City will delight you. But if you crave the wide beaches, rolling waves and sealike air of Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix (vast as it is) can't compete.
Waterfront steal Within walking distance of downtown, the Water Street Inn offers 23 clean (if not chic) condos with full kitchens and spacious balconies overlooking Lake Charlevoix, plus a private beach and on-site laundry room. The price? Just $199 nightly.
Creative class. On a quiet June morning, a garden club member unloads flats of flowers for the downtown planters. That grassroots spirit shows up all over Boyne City. The Local Flavor Bookstore wisely added a coffee bar. Historical plaques inspire self-guided walking tours. And the colorful gallery Freshwater Studio hosts concert nights and a summer festival to promote the fledgling SoBo arts district.
Pictured: Most visitors enjoy a sunset stroll along Lake Charlevoix while staying in Boyne City.