The Cheboygan area has a great deal to see and do. Whether you’re up for a little adventure, viewing historic sites, a leisurely stroll, or a great live performance, there are all kinds of options you are sure to enjoy.
The Cheboygan Opera House
The Cheboygan Opera House is a Victorian theater in the heart of downtown. The first opera house in the community was constructed in 1877 but destroyed by fire just a few years later. The current structure, completed in 1888, has gone through its fair share of struggles over the years. From a fire at the turn of the century to nearly being torn down a few decades later, the structure today stands downtown proudly as a beacon to the arts in the Straits of Mackinac region. Performances are scheduled throughout the year, and tours of the historic building are available daily.
Lighthouse lovers will find plenty to see in Cheboygan. The historic Front Range Light, owned and operated by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers, is open for tours as it undergoes restoration. This represents a unique opportunity for lighthouse lovers to view the restoration in progress. For an entry fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children, visitors will be able to tour the lighthouse and learn of its rich history from volunteer GLLKA keepers. The lighthouse also features a gift shop stocked with a large assortment of Great Lakes lighthouse-related books, apparel, and gifts, with all proceeds to be applied directly to the restoration of the lighthouse. Arrangements can also be made to visit and enter the Cheboygan Crib Light with volunteers working at the lighthouse.
Two other lighthouses – Fourteen Foot Shoal and Poe Reef Light – can be seen from Cheboygan at Gordon Turner Park. In nearby Cheboygan State Park, a quick hike can take the curious to see the remains of the Cheboygan Main Light and some beautiful views of Duncan Bay and the Straits of Mackinac.
Historic Jail and Museum
The Cheboygan County History Center is a local museum like none other. While many communities have places where they proudly show their local history, not many can claim that theirs is the former County Jail and sheriff’s residence. The center’s complex consists of five buildings, four of which house artifacts and historic exhibits of the past, along with beautiful flowering gardens and the Memorial Rose Garden. The buildings in the complex include: a Native American log cabin originally located on Burt Lake in a local Indian Village, the Cheboygan County Sheriff residence constructed in 1882, the old Jail, attached to the Sheriff’s quarters and built in about 1912, the decorative Cement Block Garage built in the 1940s, and Spies Heritage Hall, an exhibit hall featuring Native American, lumbering, industrial, maritime, and schoolroom exhibits.
Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw
Great Downtown Shopping
Shopping in Cheboygan is anything but run-of-the-mill. No endless array of T-Shirt shops here but rather quaint gift stores, antiques, home decor, kitchen gadgets, ladies’ wear, books, jewelry and more.
While you’re out and about, great local restaurants are proud to offer you everything from fine dining, casual grill and bar, meals prepared with fresh local ingredients, and more.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
Outdoor activities about in the Cheboygan area. Both the North Central and North Eastern State Trails intersect in Cheboygan, gateways to over 100 miles of crushed limestone trails. Easy to ride with very little grade, the trails are perfect for running or biking in the summer and are groomed for snowmobiling in the winter. Other trails in the area, such as those at Black Mountain Recreation Area, can be used for ORV riding, cross country skiing, equestrian, or hiking. You’d be hard-pressed to find more trails anywhere else in Michigan.
Cheboygan is also home to some great beaches on Lake Huron. Visitors to Gordon Turner Park can enjoy a sandy beach and views of the Cheboygan Crib Light on the shore, go for a swim, take a walk out on the breakwall, or explore the boardwalk. Just a few miles away at Cheboygan State Park guests can enjoy camping, hiking, and of course take a swim in the pure waters of Lake Huron. Other parks and facilities are located throughout the city and provide opportunities for baseball, softball, basketball, fishing, skateboarding, ice skating, or just a stroll along the river.
Boating as it’s meant to be!
Cheboygan is ideally located for any kind of boating adventure. Our location on the Straits of Mackinac makes getting to Lakes Huron and Michigan a breeze for an excursion out on the big lakes. But for a truly unique experience, the famous Inland Waterway offers a trip of incredible scenery and unrivaled beauty. Running through three rivers and three lakes, the 40 mile trip takes the voyager through inland lakes and rivers and quaint communities with places to stop for a bite to eat or to enjoy the view.
Exploring the depths
While there is plenty to see above the waves, beneath them there lies a whole other world to discover. Over fifty known shipwrecks are just a quick ride away from Cheboygan, with several minutes from shore. The wide variety of shipwrecks and sites means that divers of all skill levels can enjoy the opportunity to dive these historic sites. Great lumber schooners that once plied the Straits of Mackinac are within easy reach, while more experienced divers can explore more famous shipwrecks like those of the Cedarville. From snorkelers to Master Divers, there is something for everyone.