cheboygan crib light

Discover the Best Experiences in Cheboygan, MI

Cheboygan, MI, with its breathtaking landscapes and picturesque beaches, stands out as one of the most captivating beach towns in Michigan. Nestled along the Straits of Mackinac on Lake Huron, this enchanting town remains an underrated gem among northern Michigan’s vacation destinations.

Named after the Cheboygan River, which gracefully flows through the city and acts as the gateway to Lake Huron from Mullett Lake, Cheboygan holds a special place in my heart as a favorite summer vacation spot.

The town offers an abundance of activities to indulge in. From sun-soaked days at Aloha State Park’s pristine beaches to kayaking adventures on the scenic inland waterway, from exploring the nearby hiking trails to immersing yourself in the charm of downtown Cheboygan City, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re drawn to boating or eager to explore the bountiful stands of fresh fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market, Cheboygan is the perfect destination for a memorable summer getaway.

Keep reading for our curated list of the top 15 things to do in Cheboygan, ensuring an unforgettable family summer vacation.

beach in cheboygan

Discovering Cheboygan, MI

Despite its small size, Cheboygan often receives unjust criticism. It’s a place that truly comes alive when experienced firsthand, revealing why it’s so much fun. Surrounded by lush hardwood forests, inland lakes, and the grandeur of Lake Huron, Cheboygan boasts natural beauty that entices visitors even during the winter and fall seasons, attracting those embarking on fall color tours.

With a rich Native American history, Cheboygan serves as the county seat and hosts the popular Cheboygan County Fair held annually in August.

Situated less than a half-hour’s drive from the majestic Mackinac Bridge, Cheboygan enjoys excellent proximity to some of Michigan’s top tourist destinations, including Indian River, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island.

15 Irresistible Reasons to Visit Cheboygan, MI

The Enchanting Cheboygan River

The Cheboygan River stands out as one of the town’s most impressive features. Meandering through Cheboygan County, it attracts numerous tourists during the summer months. Boaters can dock along the river and savor a delightful meal at one of the several excellent riverside restaurants. If you don’t have a boat of your own, worry not, as there are boat rentals and marinas available for you to embark on a water adventure.

Part of the inland waterway, the Cheboygan River connects to some of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan, such as Burt Lake, Mullet Lake, and Black Lake. With an average depth of five feet, the river is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, offering prime spots to catch salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, bass, walleye, and sunfish.

Cheboygan Brewing Company

101 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI, 49721

Established in 1872, the Cheboygan Brewing Company proudly stands as one of the town’s oldest and most cherished eateries and breweries. The brewery underwent renovations that successfully blend a modern ambiance with the preservation of its original charm. With its delightful outdoor seating and a wide selection of ales and IPAs, the Cheboygan Brewing Company has become a local favorite and an absolute must-visit for culinary enthusiasts in the area.

PRO-TIP: Michigan is home to some of the finest craft breweries in the state. Consult our comprehensive guide to Michigan craft breweries for more information on where to find these delectable beverages.

Gordon Turner Park

1101-1183 N Huron St, Cheboygan, MI, 49721

Gordon Turner Park offers an array of outdoor activities suitable for the whole family. The park features several access points to the beachfront and Lake Huron, allowing visitors to enjoy the soothing waters. Additionally, the park boasts excellent hiking and biking trails that lead to Crib Lighthouse, an extraordinary experience that makes you feel as if you’re walking on water.

The park also includes a classic play structure where children can frolic and have a great time, while you soak in the scenic views of Lake Huron and the lush greenery of summer. The best part is that the park is dog-friendly, allowing you to bring along your beloved four-legged family member.

aloha state park michigan

Aloha State Park

4347 Third St, Cheboygan, MI, 49721

If you’re searching for the perfect lakeside camping experience, look no further than Aloha State Park. This idyllic park offers various camping options, accommodating campers with tents, campers, rustic cabins, fully-furnished modern cabins, and even teepees! Boating enthusiasts will appreciate the convenience of a nearby boat launch, and there’s a basin where campers can store their boats throughout their stay.

Aloha State Park boasts two sandy beaches, perfect for swimming and engaging in water games. When you’re not indulging in water activities, you can enjoy a game of volleyball or basketball. The park also borders the North Eastern State Trail, providing an opportunity for scenic hikes or bike rides.

Cheboygan Farmer’s Market

Festival Square – Downtown Cheboygan

Every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer, the Cheboygan Farmer’s Market comes to life from 8 am to 1 pm. This vibrant market showcases an array of locally grown and made products, ranging from jams, jellies, vegetables, and fruits to flowers, spices, syrups, and more. It’s an excellent way to procure fresh produce while mingling with friendly locals and discovering delightful new flavors.

North Eastern State Trail

Stretching across 70 miles from Cheboygan to Alpena, the North Eastern State Trail offers an exciting biking or hiking adventure with several scenic stops and state parks along the way. Immerse yourself in the coastal lake views as you traverse forgotten places amidst farmlands, historic sites, and picturesque river crossings.

golf course in cheboygan

Cheboygan Golf and Country Club

1431 N Old Mackinaw Rd, Cheboygan, MI 49721

Take a swing at the Cheboygan Golf and Country Club. This public 18-hole golf course presents breathtaking views throughout the front and back nine. The front nine features a “Scottish” style layout with few trees and undulating green mounds, while the back nine showcases the classic beauty of northern woodlands, adorned with abundant trees and scenic vistas.

The course is easily walkable and not overly long, but the smaller, well-maintained greens pose enough challenges to keep experienced golfers engaged. The club also provides a comfortable lounge, a snack shop, and a fully-equipped pro shop to cater to all your golfing needs.

Kingston Theater

406 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI 49721

Step into the vintage charm of the Kingston Theater, where classic meets modern. Its exterior features a timeless marquee that proudly displays showtimes for the latest films. Conveniently located in downtown Cheboygan, it’s hard to miss while driving by. Perfect for a rainy day activity in Michigan’s unpredictable weather, the theater provides a delightful cinematic experience.

Mulligan’s Restaurant

320 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI 49721

Mulligan’s unquestionably holds the title of a local favorite in Cheboygan. This establishment serves delectable American pub-style cuisine that will leave you wanting more. With outstanding service and an interior reminiscent of a classic Irish pub, Mulligan’s offers a warm and inviting atmosphere.

The menu features a wide selection of food and drink options, including several local and Michigan brews on tap. They are also mindful of dietary restrictions, ensuring everyone can find something to savor. For a fantastic end to a day spent on the water, Mulligan’s is the perfect choice. And don’t forget to grab a Mulligan’s “Good Food. Bad Shots” shirt as a memento!

cheboygan crib light

Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse

The Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse provides some of the most breathtaking views in the city. Not only is it an ideal spot to capture stunning sunsets, but it also offers a unique vantage point to observe boats entering and exiting the Cheboygan River en route to Lake Huron. On weekends, you can even take a tour of the lighthouse and, if you’re lucky, catch sight of a U.S Coast Guard ship in the port.

Remember to bring your camera along, as the Crib Lighthouse is one of the most picturesque locations in Cheboygan.

Cheboygan State Park

4490 Beach Rd, Cheboygan, MI 49721

Similar to Aloha State Park, Cheboygan State Park provides a fantastic campground for families, couples, and solo travelers seeking a tranquil retreat. The park offers various accommodation options, including tent sites, camper sites, rustic cabins, fully-furnished modern cabins, and even teepees!

With a boat launch in Duncan Bay and excellent fishing opportunities, anglers will find their paradise here. The state park grants campers access to the beach, hiking trails, and scenic viewpoints. Throughout the park, you’ll encounter numerous rare wildflowers, adding to the park’s natural beauty.

Create unforgettable family memories at Cheboygan State Park, and you’ll find yourself returning year after year to make new ones!

Nautical North Family Adventures

123 S Main St, Cheboygan, MI 49721

For all your summer family fun activities, Nautical North Family Adventures has got you covered! Embark on shipwreck tours aboard glass-bottom boats, providing an incredible view of shipwrecks without getting wet. You can also join river tours and lighthouse tours, exploring the various rivers and lighthouses in the Cheboygan area. Private group tours can also be arranged for a more personalized experience.

If you’re seeking a more hands-on adventure, Nautical North offers kayak rentals, scuba diving opportunities, and guided distance swimming in the Straits of Mackinac alongside the majestic Mackinac Bridge.

Rogers City

Looking for a captivating day trip from Cheboygan? Head about an hour south along US-23 to Rogers City. This charming town offers quaint charm and beautifully manicured lakefront parks that are a joy to explore. Known as “The Nautical City,” Rogers City boasts a large harbor adjacent to a sprawling grassy park with a stunning Lake Huron beach.

The crystal-clear water at Rogers City exhibits the most enchanting shade of bright aqua, inviting you to don your swimsuit and frolic along the shores after exploring the downtown area.

Explore Bois Blanc Island

Just southeast of Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc Island offers a secluded retreat for nature enthusiasts. With minimal population and limited amenities, this Michigan island provides an immersive experience in the midst of nature. Bois Blanc Island serves as a peaceful contrast to its popular neighbor, Mackinac Island, and is a favored destination for day trips. Explore the island’s natural wonders by biking, kayaking, or walking. Keep an eye out for Midwest’s treasured wildflowers, migratory birds, and the elusive white deer that roam the island.

Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island

No visit to Cheboygan would be complete without experiencing the nearby attractions of Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. Mackinaw City offers a lively downtown area with shops, restaurants, and a vibrant waterfront promenade. Take a stroll along the shores of Lake Huron and enjoy stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge.

A short ferry ride away, Mackinac Island awaits with its iconic horse-drawn carriages, historic sites, and a ban on motor vehicles. Explore the island’s charming downtown area, indulge in some famous Mackinac Island fudge, and take a bike ride around the island to appreciate its natural beauty.

lake huron lighthouses

Conclusion

Cheboygan, MI, is a hidden gem in northern Michigan, offering a myriad of activities for visitors of all ages. From the picturesque beaches and water adventures to the delightful dining experiences and nearby attractions, this charming town has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, a relaxing beach vacation, or a cultural exploration, Cheboygan is the perfect destination for an unforgettable summer getaway.