Round Lake, Michigan, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Round Lake MI — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Round Lake MI cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Round Lake MI

Fireworks burst in the sky over Round Lake lighting up the skyline of Charlevoix. The city encircles the lake holding it like a treasure, the best natural harbor on Lake Michigan. Over the years its value, originally mostly economic, has expanded to include recreation. Every year thousands of visitors flock to the waters of the northwest Michigan lake to boat, fish, and explore. During one special summer week, Round Lake blooms with the colors of boat parades on the water and fireworks in the air. The Venetian Festival started in 1931 as a candlelit boat parade. Today it has grown into a larger than life week-long celebration including concerts, fireworks, and boats.

It wasn’t the festival, however, that first drew people to Round Lake. The lake sits between Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Charlevoix to the east, connected by the channel of the Pine River. Its value as a natural harbor was discovered early, and by 1873 attempts were being made to enhance the route’s navigability. Lake Charlevoix’s 17,262 acres of water outflow into Round Lake which in turn flows into the Pine River and on into Lake Michigan. In order to move timber and other freight from one lake to the other, the series of pools and rapids that made up the Pine River were dredged and widened until they created a 35 foot wide, 12 foot deep channel between Round Lake and Lake Michigan. Almost immediately, however, builders realized the waves coming off Lake Michigan would silt up the opening of the channel. Piers were constructed to break up the waves, and in 1884 a lighthouse was built on the end of the pier. The two-way current, flowing in from Lake Michigan and out from Round Lake, is one of the things that makes the Pine River Channel, also known as the Island Lake Outlet, special. It is also the site of one of the few draw bridges operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Named for French explorer, Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, the village of Charlevoix was established in 1871. It grew to completely surround Round Lake, and in 1905 it officially became a city. By that time, Round Lake was already known as a resort community with clubs and summer homes sprouting along the sandy shores of the lake. Vacation rentals still line the shore, and there is real estate available for sale. Charlevoix offers any amenity a visitor might want. The nationally recognized East Park sits on the shore of the lake and hosts families on weekends and bands during festivals. The park also has municipal docks, and there is a paved walkway that runs around part of Round Lake to the Charlevoix Lighthouse.

Both commercial and recreational boat traffic is still significant from Lake Michigan through the Pine Channel; with Round Lake and Lake Charlevoix spread before boaters, there are thousands of acres of water to explore. Anglers will find plenty of steelhead and brown trout in the channel, and abundant populations of smallmouth bass and walleye can be found in the lake.

Round Lake’s position as a natural harbor on Lake Michigan ensures its future as a recreation destination. Surrounded by the City of Charlevoix, it is uniquely situated in an urban center, but with access to thousand of acres of the beautiful waters of northwest Michigan. People have been coming to enjoy the lake’s water for well over a hundred years and are sure to continue to play on Round Lake far into the future.

Things to Do at Round Lake MI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating

Fish Species Found at Round Lake MI

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Round Lake MI

If you’re considering a Round Lake MI lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Round Lake MI Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Round Lake MI lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Round Lake MI Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 55 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 581 feet

Maximum Depth: 60 feet

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Round Lake MI Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Round Lake MI Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Round Lake MI Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Round Lake MI Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Round Lake MI article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!