Top Things to Do in Cheboygan, MI
Picturesque Cheboygan, MI is one of the prettiest beach towns in Michigan. Set on Lake Huron’s Straits of Mackinac, this charming town is truly one of the most underrated northern Michigan vacation destinations.
Named after the Cheboygan River, which runs through the city and is the gateway to Lake Huron from Mullett Lake, Cheboygan is one of my favorite summer vacation spots.
There’s so much to here. From splashing on the beaches at Aloha State Park to kayaking the inland waterway; from hiking Michigan’s trails in the area to exploring downtown Cheboygan City, you’ll find something for everyone. Whether it’s boating or exploring the stands of fresh fruits and veggies at the local farmers market, Cheboygan is just a perfect destination for a summer getaway.
Read on for our top 15 things you should do in Cheboygan on your next family summer vacation destination.
About Cheboygan MI
This quaint town gets a lot of flak for being so small. It’s one of those special spots that you have to see for yourself to discover why it’s so much fun. Surrounded by thick forests of hardwoods, inland lakes, and Lake Huron, Cheboygan Michigan’s natural beauty is a draw for visitors during the winter and fall, too, who stop on their fall color tours.
With a rich native American history, Cheboygan is also the county seat and location for the popular Cheboygan County fair, held every August.
Located less than a half-hour from the Mackinac Bridge, Cheboygan offers great proximity to some of Michigan’s top tourist destinations including Indian River, Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island, too.
15 Top Reasons to Visit Cheboyan MI
The Cheboygan River
The Cheboygan River is one of the town’s greatest features. It runs throughout Cheboygan County, and brings many tourists who visit during the summer.
Boaters can stop along the river and enjoy one of the several great restaurants. If you don’t have your on boat, there are several boat rentals and marinas along the river, so you can get out on the water, too.
. Part of the inland waterway, the Cheboygan River is connected to some of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan including Burt Lake, Mullet Lake, and Black Lake.
With an average depth of five feet, the river also has some of the best fishing in Michigan. You can catch fish such as salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, bass, walleye, and sunfish here.
Cheboygan Brewing Company
101 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI, 49721
The Cheboygan Brewing Company is one of the town’s oldest restaurants/ brewers, considering it was first established in 1872. The brewery has since been renovated to have a modern feel while still keeping some of the original aesthetic intact.
Cheboygan Brewing Co. has beautiful outdoor seating and a wide selection of ales and IPAs, making this a local favorite and a must on your list of restaurants in the area.
PRO-TIP: Northern Michigan’s breweries are some of the best in the state, be sure to use our guide to Michigan craft breweries for more information on where to find these delicious drinks.
Gordon Turner Park
1101- 1183 N Huron St, Cheboygan, MI, 49721
Gordon Turner Park offers many outdoor and family-friendly activities. There are several points along the trails where there is beachfront/ water access into Lake Huron. The park also has an excellent hiking and biking trail leading to Crib Lighthouse, where you will literally be walking on water!
Gordon Turner Park also has a traditional park favorite: A play structure. The kids can run around and have fun while you enjoy the scenic views of Lake Huron and the beautiful greens of summer. The best part? The park is also dog friendly, so there is no need to leave the four-legged family member behind!
Aloha State Park
4347 Third St, Cheboygan, MI, 49721
If you are looking for the perfect lakeside campground/site, then Aloha State Park is your place! Not only can you bring your camper, but feel free to bring your boat, and no need to worry about where to launch it. There is a boat launch right near the campsites. Along with the launch, there is a basin where campers are allowed to store their boats throughout their stay.
Aloha also has two sandy beaches perfect for swimming and water games. When you aren’t out on the water, you can enjoy the volleyball and basketball courts. The state park also borders the North Eastern State Trail so that you can enjoy a scenic hike or bike!
Cheboygan Farmer’s Market
Festival Square- Downtown Cheboygan
The Cheboygan Farmer’s Market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm throughout the summer. While at the farmer’s market, you will view several booths with locally grown and made products. Jam, jelly, vegetables, fruits, flowers, spices, syrups, etc. The Cheboygan Farmer’s Market is a great way to get fresh produce and meet wonderful new people!
North Eastern State Trail
North Eastern State Trail is a 70-mile trail that runs from Cheboygan to Alpena, with several scenic stops and state parks along the way. You can bike or hike this trail and go as far down as you would like. While on the trail, you will enjoy coastal lake views and ride/ walk through forgotten places in the farmlands, historic sites, and a beautiful river crossing.
Cheboygan Golf and Country Club
1431 N Old Mackinaw Rd, Cheboygan, MI 49721
Get a few swings in at Cheboygan Golf and Country Club. This 18-hole golf course is open to the public and has picturesque views throughout the front and back nine. The front nine is described as a “Scottish” style course with few trees and rolling mounds of green. The back nine is classic northern woodlands with many trees and even more scenic views.
The course is easy to walk and not too long, but the club says that the smaller, smoother greens still pose enough challenges for more experienced golfers. The club also offers a lounge, snack shop, and a fully-equipped pro shop.
406 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI 49721
The Kingston Theater is a vintage theater with a modern touch. Outside there is a classic marque with showtimes of the newest films listed. It’s located directly downtown and is hard to miss when driving by. With Michigan’s unpredictable weather, it’s the perfect activity on a rainy day.
320 N Main St, Cheboygan, MI 49721
Mulligan’s is, without a doubt, a Cheboygan local favorite. Their American pub-style food is to die for. They have outstanding service, and the inside of the bar has a classic Irish pub feel.
They have a wide selection of booth food and drink options. They have several local and Michigan brews on tap and are mindful of dietary restrictions. If you are looking for a great way to end a good boat day, Mulligan’s is the place to go! Don’t forget your Mulligan’s “Good Food. Bad Shots” shirt on the way out!
PRO-TIP: Don’t miss The Black Sheep Baa and Grill, located on Straits Hwy, either. Their Fish Frydays are legendary in the area.
Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse
Crib Lighthouse in Cheboygan has some of the most scenic views in the city. It is not only a great place to catch sunsets, but it’s also a great spot to watch boats come in and out of the Cheboygan River to Lake Huron. The lighthouse has tours on weekends, and you are more than likely to see a U.S Coast Guard ship in the port.
Bring your camera, too. The Crib Light is one of the city of Cheboygan’s most picturesque spots.
Cheboygan State Park
4490 Beach Rd, Cheboygan, MI 49721
Like Aloha, Cheboygan State Park is the perfect campground for families, couples, or even a soul trip. They offer several rooming accommodations, whether it’s tent sites, camper sites, rustic cabins, modern, fully-furnished cabins, or teepees!
There is a boat launch located in Duncan Bay, where fishing is also available. The state park allows campers beach access, hiking trails, and scenic views. You will also be able to see several rare wildflowers throughout the park.
Cheboygan State Park is a place where you will make family memories that will last a lifetime and will have you going back each year to create more!
Nautical North Family Adventures
123 S Main St, Cheboygan, MI 49721
Nautical North Family Adventures has all the summer family fun activities you will ever need! They offer shipwreck tours on glass-bottom boats giving views of shipwrecks without getting into the water! They also offer river tours and lighthouse tours of the several rivers and lighthouses within the Cheboygan area. You can also reserve a private group tour!
Are you not wanting to go on a tour and looking for something more exciting and hands-on? Well, that’s ok! Nautical North also offers kayak rentals, scuba diving opportunities, and guided distance swimming in the Straits of Mackinac alongside the mighty Mackinac Bridge.
Here’s a master plan for a day trip from Cheboygan: head about an hour south, along US-23. Rogers Citys quaint charm and beautifully manicured, lakefront parks are fun to explore. Also known as “The Nautical City,” you’ll find a big harbor nest to a sprawling, grassy park complete with a Lake Huron beach.
The water is the prettiest shade of bright aqua here; be sure and bring your swimsuit to splash along the shores after you’ve explored the downtown area.
Explore Bois Blanc Island
Just southeast of Mackinac Island, this Michigan Island offers more of a secluded trip for those looking for something more immersed in nature. Bois Blanc Island is barely populated, with only a couple of offered amenities and stores on the island.
Serving as a much-needed contrast to its popular neighbor of Mackinac, this island is popular for its day trip visits to enjoy Michigan nature, by bike, kayaks and walking. All the Midwest’s treasured animals such as bald eagles, foxes, bobcats, and even rattlesnakes, are popularly observed and appreciated on the island.
Take your trip to Bois Blanc Island to relax off the grid and ground yourself with its quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Annual Cheboygan Music Festival
Held the last Friday and Saturday in downtown Cheboygan, this popular festival is a free-admission celebration offering all different types of music. there’s nothing quite like a summer festival in Michigan, so be sure and mark it on your calender!
Where to Stay in Cheboygan
The Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce has up-to-date listings of campgrounds, motels and private cottage rentals in the area.
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About The Author ~
Emily Lance is a Content Creator for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the small town of Dexter, Michigan, just outside of Ann Arbor, and is currently attending Michigan State University. She majors in Journalism with a focus in Sports journalism and Media Relations and a minor in Media Photography. Emily loves writing and taking photographs/videos of her surroundings and travels. Emily likes to explore new places, kayak, ski, and go boating in her free time.