Charlevoix is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 2,994. It is the county seat of Charlevoix County. Charlevoix Township is a separate municipal entity that completely surrounds the city and has 1,697 year round population. Typical of Northern Michigan towns, Charlevoix has a significant seasonal tourist population in the summer.
The city is situated between Lake Michigan and the western end of Lake Charlevoix, which drains into Lake Michigan through the short Round Lake/Pine River complex in the heart of downtown Charlevoix. The Charlevoix South Pier Light Station marks the opening of the channel onto Lake Michigan. Charlevoix's Round Lake has been called the best natural harbor on Lake Michigan. The only way to get from Lake Michigan to East Jordan, Boyne City and other sites on Lake Charlevoix by boat is via Charlevoix. As a result, much commercial, industrial, and recreational boat traffic passes through Charlevoix.
U.S. Coast Guard Station:
The city of Charlevoix has a U.S. Coast Guard station located in its vicinity. Station Charlevoix has served in the waters of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan for over one hundred years. The station originated in 1898 on the south break wall of the Pine River Channel, leading into Lake Michigan. It was officially commissioned as a United States Lifesaving Service Station July 5, 1900. During the early 1960s, the station was relocated to its present day location along the Pine River Channel's Lake Charlevoix end. The area of response for Station Charlevoix runs from Cross Village down to Leland, extending into Lake Michigan through Beaver Island and the North and South Fox Islands, and covers numerous inland lakes and waterways. Spring through late fall the 41' UTB and the 25' RB-S are in operation and during the winter months, the 14' ice skiff is put into operation. There is also a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla based at the Station. There are some USCG Auxiliary surface facilities occasionally moored at Station Charlevoix.
Regular intercity passenger train service ended on September 1, 1962 after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) discontinued Traverse City, Michigan - Charlevoix - Petoskey, Michigan service. Freight rail service ended between Charlevoix and Williamsburg, Michigan in 1982 after Chessie System abandoned the track. The state of Michigan purchased the track between Charlevoix and Petoskey, Michigan from the Chessie System Railroads and contracted Michigan Northern Railway to operate it. This section of track was removed in the 1990s because of a series of washouts and no rail freight customers in Charlevoix. Sections of this rail line now serve as a bicycle trail. The Charlevoix railroad depot now serves as a museum for the Charlevoix Historical Society.
Charlevoix bills itself as "Charlevoix the Beautiful" on its promotional literature and on municipal signs around the city. This moniker was also the name of a book by prominent local "stone house" architect Earl Young.
Nearby Northern Michigan tourist destinations are:
- Beaver Island
- Lake Charlevoix
- Petoskey, Michigan
- Harbor Springs, Michigan
- Horton Bay, Michigan, childhood stomping grounds of Ernest Hemingway
- Traverse City, Michigan
- the Ironton Ferry
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore
Common annual festivals in Charlevoix are:
- Venetian festival
- Apple Festival
- Waterfront art fair