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Doggone Good Time in Charlevoix, Michigan

It all started on Twitter. One day I got a tweet from @K9cusine asking if we were going to be traveling through northern Michigan. If so, we were welcome to visit the Holloway family at their summer hideout in Charlevoix. Well, when you don’t have a plan you can travel anywhere you want. So a few weeks later, we rolled into Charlevoix. We went from never hearing of the place to not wanting to leave this incredible, dog friendly town.

Sniffing Around

Charlevoix is situated on the upper east shore of Lake Michigan. Ernest Hemingway spent his boyhood summers in the area, setting many of his Nick Adams Stories on or near Lake Charlevoix. The town bills itself as “Charlevoix the Beautiful” in its promotional literature and on municipal signs around the city. This moniker is helped along just before each Memorial Day weekend when hundreds of residents gather to plant tens of thousand of petunias along the five miles of road that span the town’s northern to southern entrances.

What We Did

Charlevoix is the archetypal lake shore town … a marina, beaches, fudge and coffee shops, restaurants, beautiful homes. And all ready for you and your dog to see on your own “beach time.” This is what Anthony had to say about the town in his blog post about our visit:

“Pet-friendliness” was certainly one of the key factors, which attracted us to Charlevoix in choosing our family’s vacation destination. I’d never visited a community where so many people were out with their dogs – dogs downtown, dogs in restaurants, dogs at the beach, dogs on the boats, – well behaved dogs everywhere.

Here’s some of our pics. Tell me you can’t see yourself here with your dog?

Charlevoix, MI

The marina

Charlevoix, MI

Homes with a view

Charlevoix, MI

East Park along Bridge Street

Charlevoix, MI

Drawbridge on channel connecting Lake Michigan and Round Lake

Charlevoix, MI

Dogs wanna go boating, too

Charlevoix, MI

The west pier along the channel

Charlevoix, MI

Max Halloway taking flying leap off of east pier

Charlevoix, MI

Friday is the Farmer’s Market on Bridge Street

Charlevoix, MI

Our tour guides – Anthony, Kate, and Max Holloway

One of the highlights of our stay were visits to dog friendly Dunes Beach at the end of Mt. McSauba Road. While Ty believes water is only for drinking, Buster loves playing along the shoreline.

Dunes Beach - Charlevoix, MI Dunes Beach - Charlevoix, MI Dunes Beach - Charlevoix, MI

Where We Stayed

We camped at Uhrick’s RV Park right on Route 31. The facilities were spartan, though we hardly noticed because we spent most of our time happily pawing around town.

Next Time

If we’re ever within a few hundred miles of Charlevoix, we will certainly visit again. One event that we would really like to catch is the Venetian Festival, which took place after we departed.  Activities include a battle of the bands, a street and boat parade, fireworks, and much more. And it’s all free.

Say It Ain’t So

Not for Ty and Buster’s eyes ..

Charlevoix, MI

Amy caught cheating on the boys!

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  • I’d be happy to, Steve … except it this was taken on a little point-and-shoot before I got my nice camera. I’m afraid blowing it up at all would be impossible. Sorry I can’t help you out, but thank you for the nice complement.

  • I love your picture of the marina up above. We are looking for a picture to hang in our ‘Charlevoix Conference Room’. Would you be willing to email it to me and allow me to us it?

  • Thanks for the tip, Jim! We’ll definitely check it out the next time.

  • Jim McDowell says:

    next time, try the sleepy little town of St. Ignace, we have two dogs, and the area is very dog friendly, even at the local ice cream place!

  • Mary Haight says:

    The marina and lakeview homes are beautiful and the farmer's market looks inviting!

  • Roxanne Hawn says:

    Looks like fun. I would have kissed that pup too.

  • Thank you for the post Rod. You visit was the highlight of our summer. We had so much fun. Come again soon.

    • Thanks for saying! I'll take you at your word on that. Your hospitality was made us very comfortable and our visit with you (and to Charlevoix) will be a favorite memory of this road trip.

  • michelechollow says:

    I visited a friend there a long time ago. Others there said it was “the best kept secret.” It truly is a special place.

  • Peggy says:

    I see here that Amy got busted but how could she resist with such a cutie! Kelly is part doxie too, so she understands how this attraction could happen.

  • Lifewithdogs says:

    My brother continues to yell at me and tell me to come visit him so I can see this part of the state. Now I see why. It's a veritable playground….

    • Tell your brother there is no need to yell … a phone call or email will work just fine. Seriously, Charlevoix is a great pet friendly town – so much so that many summer homes are passed down from generation to generation. But it does get COLD in winter. Literally, right next to Dunes Beach is a snow boarding slope!

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