Charlevoix, Episode 3 (Belvedere Avenue and the Club)
Sometimes a detour makes all the difference. How grateful am I that on that hot July day the drawbridge in Charlevoix was up, traffic was at a standstill and I made a right turn onto Belvedere Avenue and discovered an elegant summer place.
It was my day off and I was on my way to Petoskey to visit a friend when I got stuck in traffic in Charlevoix. Drivers were all waiting for the drawbridge to come back down. It was taking longer than usual, typical for the middle of July in northern Michigan. It was hot outside and my air conditioning wasn't working but fate had things worked out in my favor. I was able to make a right turn from Bridge Street onto a street I wasn't even familiar with. That street was actually known as Belvedere Avenue. My first impression was "What beautiful homes, who wouldn't dream of living in one of them?" I wanted to park my vehicle and take a walk. I found a parking spot right in front of the Inn at Grey Gables. The inn was so lovely and it beckoned me to come in.
I walked up the path and stood on the wraparound porch of the Inn at Green Gables in awe. I was greeted by a kind and cheerful woman. "May I help you?" she asked. "Just want to take a quick peek at your place" I said to her as I admired the furnishings. I was a complete stranger to this innkeeper but I felt like a long lost friend. The woman invited me in and gave me a tour of the historic inn full of treasures. She asked me to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine. with her. She told me about the affluence of the neighborhood and that "The Belvedere Club" was exclusive to members only. We talked about the history of the Inn at Grey Gables and about summering in Charlevoix. I wasn't even a paying guest but that hour spent at the Inn at Grey Gables made me feel so special as I sipped on wine, ate made from scratch cookies, and admired the serenity of the inn.
For the next 2 hours I walked around the area, enchanted by the wealth around me. The Belvedere Club is very unique. It's only open to members and these members own the beautiful homes and have access to the gardens, golf club, tennis courts, sailing, and yacht club. There's a private beach with colorful cabanas on Lake Charlevoix, just one of of many perks of being a member of "the club."The whole neighborhood is quite extraordinary and it's an absolute pleasure to walk the sidewalks of Belvedere Avenue.
Inn at Grey Gables
306 Belvedere Avenue
Seven guest rooms in a historic setting. Peaceful and relaxing. Enjoy a free hot breakfast during your stay and daily cheese & wine tastings.
Grey Gables Inn Restaurant
308 Belvedere Avenue
Open 7 days a week. Lots of entrees to choose from. American, and International cuisine.
This small hamlet of Charlevoix known as "Belvedere" is regal indeed and worth checking out. A stay at Inn at Grey Gables is an option as is dining at Grey Gables Inn Restaurant.
I'm just an average girl who experienced a couple of hours of elegance on Belvedere Avenue in the beautiful beach town called C H A R L E V O I X.