Monday, August 4, 2014

One of our favorite areas of Michigan

East Jordan

When I was young, my family camped several weeks each year at Young State Park on Lake Charlevoix, and tom and I also camped there many times in the past when we were in a tent, and our pop-up, and even with our Class C motorhome.  Our current beast of an RV, though, is much too big, so we had to find an alternate location for enjoying our favorite area of the state.

Arriving at the Tourist Park


We heard about the East Jordan Tourist Park on another blog, and decided it looked like a great spot for us.

After crossing the Mackinac Bridge, we made our way south and east to East Jordan, at the southern tip of the south arm of Lake Charlevoix.

We had just arrived when the sky opened up and we ended up parking the RV in torrential rain!  That’s only about the 2nd time we’ve had to do that!  Fortunately, we were on sandy soil, and the water drained away quickly – except for a big puddle in the road that all the campground kids loved riding their bikes through . . . Bryce, too!

Site 60

We didn’t quite get the beach weather we were hoping for while we were there, but we didn’t get anymore rain either . . . just clouds and temperatures not quite warm enough for the beach.

There was a nice beach, though . . .


with playground equipment,     DSC_0839


and resident wildlife.

Swans on the lake

Another swan

Ducks on the pond

This little city park is very popular, and it was full the entire time we were there – many of the campers stay for weeks, and come back year after year.     DSC_0821










Even with all those people, though, it was very quiet and peaceful.  East Jordan is a cute little town, with several shops and restaurants, a grocery store,      Overlooking the lake










East Jordan Marina












and even an ice cream shop where you might be lucky enough to get a free cone . . . if your mother named you right!

My name's Duane!

One afternoon, we needed to take Nicolas up to Petoskey to meet with a recruiter, so we left a little early to visit Charlevoix on the way.


On the way, we passed the Ironton Ferry. 



Since we were already on the Charlevoix side of the arm, we didn’t need to ride the ferry, but we have many times in the past.  This picture is from our trip to the area in 2001 . . . at least one of the boys was happy to be riding the ferry!







In downtown Charlevoix, we walked along the new waterfront area,

Charlevoix Harbor

Waterfront Park










Waterfront Park

admiring the new look and the expanded harbor area.

New Harbor Area

They can sure fit a lot more boats in the harbor now! 

There are some really beautiful cottages along the water,

Cottages on the harbor

and some beautiful boats, too!

Charlevoix Harbor

We got some lunch at Subway, and walked through several of the shops along the main street. 

Our favorite fudge & caramel store


Soon we arrived at our favorite shop – one that has been bringing my family to Charlevoix for decades . . .

only to find that it has closed!

Closed now

We were so sad and disappointed!!  Another family member has opened a new shop across the street, reportedly using the same recipes . . . and their candies were pretty good, but it just didn’t have the same “feel” to the shop!

From downtown, we walked under the drawbridge and along the channel that connects Lake Charlevoix to Lake Michigan,

Channel to Lake Charlevoix

Coming in from Lake Michigan











and down to the beach.     Lake Michigan

The boys and I were on the hunt for petoskey stones!

Looking at Bryce's finds

Hunting for petoskey stones

The water surprisingly wasn’t too cold, although the waves made it difficult to search for stones without getting wet!


It turned out to be a pretty nice day!

Found some good petoskey stones

We continued north on US-31 to Petoskey, and were glad we had chosen not to come through here with the RV . . . there was a lot of traffic, as expected, but also plenty of construction!

We still had some time to kill before Nicolas’ appointment, so we drove on up to Petoskey State Park to see if we could find some more petoskey stones.

The beach was beautiful,

Lake Michigan

Beach at Petoskey State Park











but there wasn’t a rock in sight!!

No petoskey stones!

Before we left the park, we drove through the campground loops.  Like most of Michigan’s state parks, this one is primarily suited for tents, pop-ups and small RVs, but there were about 10 sites in the very last loop that were open enough for large RVs, even ours.  I’m not sure we’d want to stay in Petoskey, anyway . . . too crowded!

We had time for one more stop on the way to the recruiter’s office . . . at the Kilwin’s Factory Store – YUM!  We got there just in time for a tour!


We saw toffee and taffy being made,

Making toffee

and the chocolate-coating machine . . . although it wasn’t currently working, it was getting cleaned.

Chocolate coating macine

At the end of the tour we got to sample a delicious “tuttle”  (like a turtle) – yum – and got a coupon to use towards a box of tuttles, but we didn’t buy any . . . it was time to get to the recruiter’s office.

Nicolas had a nice meeting and gained some helpful information about bootcamp, and then we headed back to the RV for dinner. 

We made one last stop at Fisherman’s Island State Park, and found a few more petoskey stones.  I even found one that will make a perfect pendant for a necklace!  I just have to figure out a way to polish them!

Looking for petoskey stones at Fisherman's Island State Park

We may not have had great beach weather for our days in East Jordan, but we still had a very nice stay . . . and it looks like the weather was going to improve for our next stop!


  1. Love the photo of young Nicolas and Bryce:o)) You certainly continue to make so many memories!!!

  2. What about a picture of the stones? I've never seen one :-(.


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