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No matter what option you choose to get to the island, we offer a free shuttle service to The Retreat. Coming by Ferry? We’ll meet you at the dock. Flying over? We’ll pick you up at either airport. Or, you can simply book a rental car from Duffy! Just let us know your time of arrival and we’ll be there or Duffy will have a car waiting for you wherever you choose.

Enjoy the beauty of Lake Michigan and travel to Beaver Island with Beaver Island Boat Company. The trip to Beaver Island on either the Emerald Isle or the Beaver Islander is a relaxing two hours and ten minutes. You can check out their schedule online. Passenger tickets are purchased the day of departure at the Ferry office (no reservations needed) but if you’re bringing your car across, you’ll need to book far - and we mean FAR - in advance. Reservations for cars open the end of January.

Not bringing your car across? To park your car on the Charlevoix side, you’ll unload your luggage at the dock, then park your car a short drive away at the Charlevoix Airport for $5/ day. From there, a shuttle will bring you back to the Ferry. When you return, the shuttle will take one person to your car and you can return for passengers and luggage at the Ferry dock.

Increase your time on the island by taking a short 12 minute flight from Charlevoix to Beaver Island via Fresh Air Aviation or Island Airways. Flights leave multiple times throughout the day so you’ll be able to catch a flight at almost any time you choose. Simplify your planning by adding a flight to your booking and we’ll take care of the rest. Or, you can book directly.

Want to bring your own boat to the island? Great idea! St. James has two marinas where you can moor your floating transport. Call ahead to ensure a slip.

The easiest place in the world to rent a car is Beaver Island. No hassle, no waiting, no worries. Rental cars are limited so be sure to book early. You can rent a car directly from Duffy’s Car Rental or add it to your booking with us and we'll make sure you're covered. There isn't an additional charge to add it to your reservation with us, we're just happy to make it easy for you. Your rental will be waiting at the airport, ferry dock, or your tent when you arrive.

The answer is YES! You can fly into Traverse City and we’ll help you book a charter flight via Fresh Air Aviation to the island from there. The Charter is a flat rate and can include up to five people with the flight lasting 35 minutes.

The Safari Tents are designed to hold two adults very comfortably. Our Safari Tent with mini-glamping tent offers additional accommodation for up to two adults or two children and is highly recommended for ages 5 and up. 

The platforms and tents are carefully engineered and designed to prevent bugs and mosquitoes from disrupting your stay. The tent is completely sealed and bug/ mosquito free. Applying practical behaviors such as closing the tent flap at your entrance regardless of how long you need to be in the tent ensures a complete seal without any concern. Additionally, we use Hogarth’s Pest Control to spray an all-natural, chemical free mosquito eliminator that reduces the population at The Retreat.

The layout of the campground was designed to allow for the greatest outdoor experience with as much privacy as we can offer. Tent Sites are actually more than 2X’s the requirement by law totaling well over 2500 sq. ft. per site. Most sites have up to 5000 sq. ft. of privacy. As we've continued to grow and make adjustments, we have been able to increase the distance between sites to provide the ultimate outdoor, private experience.

The bath houses, facility and pavilion are all about a 2 minute walk at an average pace from the farthest site on the property. Most tents are less than a 1 minute walk. Once on site, guests immediately recognize the distance to the shared bath houses are not a problem or concern. The bath houses are completely private, individual houses so once you close the door, it's all yours!

The pavilion is a common area and open only to guests of The Retreat 24 hours/ day, with quiet hours from 10pm - 8am. The pavilion is a great place to hang out, play board or card games, and enjoy a drink around the fire.

The pavilion is also where guests will find a fully equipped bar for mixing drinks. We don't provide alcohol or mixers but we do provide you with the equipment to mix or make your favorite drink.

The pavilion is open only to guests staying at The Retreat unless prior arrangements are made with management. 

The guest facility is where you’ll find the fully equipped gourmet kitchen and the laundry, open and available only to The Retreat guests, 24/7, at no additional cost. We even include the soaps!

The guest gourmet kitchen includes almost everything that you would need or have in your own home, including two large refrigerators, induction burners, counter top oven, microwave, small appliances, commercial ice maker, double stainless steel sink, baking dishes, commercial cookware, towels, organic soap, scrubbers, and cooking utensils. We provide you with over 35 spices, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and professional knives. This is also where you can wash dishes and grab more place settings, etc. If guests don't feel like using the propane burner or charcoal grill at the site, they can pop into the kitchen and whip something up to feed their gang.

The guest laundry is where you find extra linens, blankets, pillows, towels, table clothes, and other items you might like for your stay as well as a washer and dryer with all-natural soaps by Moon Works included. We don’t offer linen service, but you are welcome to change and replenish your tent from the guest laundry as you need.

A bath houses is a private, individual 8’X10’ full bathroom that is designed for a single person to use. They are not community bathhouses where multiple occupy the space simultaneously. The Retreat boasts four with one being ADA compliant. Located on the North end of the Facility, the bathhouses are tastefully designed and equipped with a rainfall shower head, custom vanity with waterfall faucet, rustic lighting, and a full size, flushing toilet. Each bathhouse is stocked with luxury bath towels, bath mats, hand towels, and all natural soaps. The bath houses are exclusive to Beaver Island Retreat, designed specifically to elevate your vacation experience to glamorous. The bath houses are less than a two minute walk from the farthest tent.

Queen Log Bed
Solar Power Powered Bed Side Lamps
Two Nightstands
Clothing Stack
Vanity with Mirror
10’ Memory Foam Mattress
Bamboo Sheets
Four Pillows
Down Alternative Comforter w/ Duvet
King Size Quilted Blanket
Two Flashlights
USB Port
Bluetooth Speaker
Custom Designed Douglas Fir Chairs w/ Cushions
Broom w/ Dustpan
Luxury Bath Towels (1 per guest)
Beach Towels (1 per guest) Mini-Spa Package
Bamboo Toothbrushes (1 per guest)
4 in 1 RedBudSuds Travel Bar (1 per guest)
Spa kit with fun inclusions for our guests

Custom Designed Douglas Fir Loveseat with Cushions
Picnic Table with Moveable Benches and Checkered Cloth
Charcoal Barrel Grill with Thermometer
Charcoal Bucket (unlimited lump charcoal included)
Grill Accessories 
Grill Glove
Grill Lighter
Propane Burner (unlimited propane included)
Kitchen Cart
Large Cooler (unlimited ice included)
Cast Iron Frying Pan
Stainless Steel Pot
Bottle/ Wine Opener
Stainless Wine Glasses
Ice Bucket
Stainless Steel Coffee/ Water Carafe
Retractable Clothing Line
Collapsible Carrying Bucket
Telescoping Campfire Forks
Fire Bowl on 4” of Gravel
Firewood (unlimited for your stay)
Fire Poker

Live-edge Hand Built Bar
Commercial Ice Maker
Custom Designed Douglas Fir Bar Height Furniture
Custom Family Size Dining Tables
Fire Bowls
WiFi Connection
Charging Stations including cords for most cell phones
Fully Stocked Bar/ Equipment (alcohol/ mixers not included)
Corn Hole
Giant Jenga
Cards/ Board Games
Dart Board with Professional Darts
Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Beach Umbrellas

Enamel Dinnerware (plates, cups, bowls)
Full Size Refrigerators/ one with a freezer
Crown Berkey Water Filtration System
Custom Designed Prep Table w/ Stainless Steel Top
Secondary Prep Table w/ Stainless Steel Top
Induction burners
Countertop Convection Oven
Air Fryer
Rice Cooker
Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Cast Iron melting pots
Cast Iron Woks
Array of Stainless Steel frying pans and pots
Commercial Coffee Maker
 - Coffee, Tea, 6 types of sweeteners
Electric Water Pot
35 Various Spices
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Professional Knives
Oven Mitts
Double Stainless Steel Sink
Dish Clothes/Towels/Scrubbers
Stainless Steel Scrubbers
All-Natural Dish Soap
An Array of Gadgets
Beach Coolers

Moon Works All-Natural Laundry Soap
Linen Exchange
Bath Towel Exchange
Beach Towel Exchange
Comforter/ Blanket Exchange
Sleeping Bag Exchange
Mini-Library with Various Books

Nope. There are not. The most dangerous nature or wild "thing" on the island is poison ivy. You can expect to see some pretty cool creatures, but none of them are harmful.

This is probably the 1st or 2nd question that people ask when coming to the island. YES! There is an amazing grocery store on the island! McDonough's Market is a fully stocked, excellent shopping experience. They have absolutely everything you can imagine, including a fresh meat counter, deli, daily needs, over the counter medications, frozen name it! And, they have wine, beer, and spirits as well. We also have to mention the excellent customer service. As a matter of fact, the complimentary wine given with each reservation was carefully researched for us by the McDonoughs upon our request for a unique option for guests.

Not only is The Retreat ADA compliant, it was one of the first commitments we made in structuring our business model; ensure that all people, regardless of disability, can experience nature and the beauty of Beaver Island without constraint. One of the four bath houses is ADA compliant and Tent #25 has parking and a ramp allowing easy access to the tent. Inside the tent, we can accommodate guests with assist rails and a direct connection to electric. In addition, the laundry and kitchen are completely accessible.

For any guest that requires electric for a health condition, we can supply direct electrical access or a connection to power. We have no additional fee or requirements. Simply make your request for an electrical connection in the notes at checkout and we are happy to accommodate your need. Please note that availability is limited for our portable generators and is filled based on order of request and in order of booking date. 

We are conscious of our clean water and unspoiled land which is why we include for our guests all-natural soaps; a 4-1 travel bar from Red Bud Suds for each guest and laundry soap from Moon Works. Our dish soap and bathroom hand soaps are also all-natural. And, we only clean with all natural soaps to limit guest exposure to harmful chemicals. Of course, you may bring your own if you'd like, but why pack more when you can pack less?

Our minimum number of nights is two for either weekday or weekend nights for the entire season. We do not have blackout dates for any event or time frame during the season.

No problem! Beaver Island Retreat is a place where you can come to get-away and be comfortable doing nothing but "being." We've had guests come and never leave their tent location, it's so rejuvenating. We hope you take advantage of a slower pace and find time to unplug, relax, and recharge.

Yes! Beaver Island has a beautiful, modern medical facility. The BI Rural Health Center is a located on the South end of St. James and is staffed year round by a resident Doctor and two Nurse Practitioners. Beaver Island also has a staff of exceptionally well-trained emergency personal.

As parents ourselves, we love kids! However, The Retreat is designed as an adult experience. We have some games to entertain children, but The Retreat is not designed to occupy and engage younger ones. So, if you are able to secure one of our limited number of sites that allows children, it's important to come prepared with their potential needs and always monitor young children, limiting roaming on site for safety reasons. Please note that the pavilion is closed to anyone under the age of 21 after 8pm every night of the week. 

Beaver Island has an enormous amount for families to enjoy. From nature walks, hikes, and beaches to the public playground, toy museum and shops, there are plenty of places to wear out those younger ones.

Yes, but you probably want to be an avid bike rider if you do. With only one paved road and the rest gravel/ aggregate, please also note the appropriate bike is needed to traverse the island. We are approximately 4 miles south of town and the road is generally flat (with a couple of small hills here and there). Airports? We are approximately 2-2.5 miles from either airport. 

Beaver Island Boat Company to Beaver Island Retreat
Fresh Air Aviation to Beaver Island Retreat
Island Airways to Beaver Island Retreat


Before deciding to traverse the island with bikes, please consider the terrain, your experience, and the weather. 

Absolutely! Every single picture on our website was taken on site at Beaver Island Retreat or somewhere on the island. Even the pictures of food and people are authentic. The pictures of the stars over the tents and pavilion were taken exactly as you see them, and we think it's pretty incredible!

If you enjoy the outdoors and want to be crazy comfortable at the same time, then The Retreat is the right place for you! Glamorous Camping, more commonly referred to as "Glamping," is a way to enjoy the outdoors without leaving behind the everyday amenities and comforts you’re accustomed to.

We have carefully selected and designed a luxury experience in the heart of nature with complete convenience and comfort in mind. Unlike traditional camping, you don’t need to pack and lug equipment to a campground. Other than personal items, we provide everything you need so that you can travel light and focus on how to capitalize on the island experience.

Most importantly, by providing guests with so much, we are able to more easily protect the natural setting and beauty of Beaver Island, supporting our greater desire to protect the environment and promote a Green experience. Leave No Trace. 

We are one of only two Glamorous Campgrounds located on an island in the continental United States. Beaver Island is considered to be one of the most remote locations in the country, making Beaver Island Retreat a unique experience by location. Getting here is part of the adventure!

Beaver Island Retreat’s location also makes it easy to get to Charlevoix by car from most major Midwest cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Springfield, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh. Driving to Charlevoix where you'll cross to the island can cut carbon emissions by up to half and help protect the environment.

Finally, our amenities and inclusions significantly reduce the cost of your experience. We provide you with unlimited firewood, unlimited ice, and unlimited lump charcoal to name a few. There is no charge to use the kitchen or the laundry and all-natural soaps are included. When you add it all up, our thoughtful inclusions and location provide guests with an affordable, unique experience.

This is a great question! We can't answer for you but we can encourage you to try it! Almost all of our guests are new to glamorous camping and our return guest percentage is higher than the hospitality industry average indicating a choice well made! Most people are a little nervous when they arrive because they just simply don't know what to expect and are concerned about being comfortable. Most guests express the experience was better than a hotel, better than a rental house, or the best vacation they had taken in years. This includes couples in their mid-twenties all the way up to our oldest guests in their 80's. We have paid extremely close attention to the details in all guest areas to ensure it meets the needs of even the most particular traveler. The Retreat is designed to exceed expectations, although we admit that everyone is different and some may not enjoy it as much as others. What we can say is that guests state they were unexpectedly crazy comfortable! If you still have questions, let us know! We're happy to help!

Our goal at The Retreat is to provide a well-rounded incredible experience while being conscious of maintaining the beauty and natural gifts of the island. We are not certified green, but we work to design our processes and guest experiences with respect for the environment and in an attempt to keep the land and water free of contaminants.


First, we encourage our guests to bring a reusable water bottle instead of bringing or buying bottled water. This keeps waste off of the island and helps reduce emissions to transport unneeded trash. In support of this, we offer guests water that has been filtered by The Crown Berkey, a renowned water filtration system that removes chemicals, metals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics leaving pure drinking water for our guests.


We offer all-natural soaps for our guests. Every guest receives a personal travel size 4in1 bath bar from RedBudSuds; Shampoo, Conditioner, Body, and Shave. “Thoughtfully Clean,” RedBudSuds connects with our desire to “protect and connect this beautiful world.”


Our laundry soap is all-natural and supplied to us by Moon Works. The soap leaves clothes surprisingly fresh while protecting our water system as well as Lake Michigan. Additionally, we offer the option to line dry clothing to save energy if guests are willing to give it a try.

Kitchen soap is currently Seventh Generation All-Natural. We are still looking for a private maker of liquid soap but gladly use Seventh Generation to meet our current needs.

Our bathrooms are cleaned with Seventh Generation All-Natural cleaning supplies to prevent exposure to chemicals and irritants. Additionally, we use peroxide to disinfect public areas and ensure the safety of guests.


Every tent is provided with a bucket lined with a composting bag for food waste. In 2020, we were able to designate a composting area in a private area of the property with a more rigorous procedure in place for composting, with the goal to use the compost to feed a guest garden.


Providing guests with all-natural lump charcoal is a much greener and healthier option than standard charcoal briquettes. Lump charcoal is made from only wood, no additives or preservatives. Briquettes can contain several chemicals such as limestone, borax, sodium nitrate, sawdust, and lighter fluid, to name a few. By providing guests with lump charcoal free of charge, we eliminate waste from the island, prevent chemicals from briquettes being released into the air when burning, and provide guests with a healthier experience to BBQing.

ECO Wood Treatment:

The platforms for the deck are untreated pine, and the campground furniture is Douglas Fir, all stained/ sealed with ECO Wood Treatment. This is a non toxic wood stain, treatment, and turns all wood a high end aged look. No harmful substances to the environment, including air, water, soil, and plants/trees. It contains no solvents and no chemicals.  The natural weathering process results in high UV protection.  Eco Wood Treatment is safe to use around children and in playgrounds / play areas.


Every tent will has a retractable drying line for towels and clothing. This reduces laundry for those willing to reuse bath and hand towels as well as provides guests with the option of line drying their laundry.


All tents at Beaver Island Retreat have solar capability. The solar allows power for interior LED lighting and and guests can recharge cell phone at their tents, making the experience at The Retreat even better!


Our kitchen is equipped with all natural cleaning supplies, including the addition of compostable kitchen loofahs. Our commitment to the island, the property, and our guests is to take as many steps possible to reduce waste and feed the land we love. Compostable loofahs is one more step in that direction!


Our compost bags are compostable! Need we say more?


The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors. Although Leave No Trace has its roots in backcountry settings, the Principles have been adapted so that they can be applied anywhere — from remote wilderness areas, to local parks and even in your own backyard. They also apply to almost every recreational activity. Each Principle covers a specific topic and provides detailed information for minimizing impacts.

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Absolutely! We love dogs and hope you decide to bring yours so we can make a new furry friend. You can add up to two dogs per reservation but if you have more, contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your pet needs.

Your pet will be treated to a glamorous camping experience of their own! We provide an orthopedic pet bed for each pet, stainless steel water and food bowls on a pet mat, doggie mess bags, and a surprise treat bag so they'll feel just as special as you staying at The Retreat.

Please see our Policy Page for a more information on your pet's experience at The Retreat. Please note that pets cannot be left unattended in or outside of the tent at anytime during your stay.

Grill Shack:
We're so excited to be adding an outdoor grilling shack. We have the equipment in hand, now we just need to give it a home! Inside the shack, you'll find a 36" Blackstone grill, a 24" propane grill, and an 18" ceramic charcoal grill. Also included will be prepping counter tops and all the implements needed to grill up that perfect spread!




We don’t like policies or procedures because we want you to experience the island in the absolute most positive, relaxed atmosphere. But, our insurance agent and lawyer tell us that we have to. So, here we go...

Protect your deposit with Deposit Assurance

If you cancel your reservation for any reason within 30 days of your arrival, without Deposit Assurance, you will lose 100% of your deposit. Refer to our Standard Cancellation Policy. For $11 per night, you can secure your deposit.

What is Deposit Assurance?

Deposit Assurance protects your deposit against unforeseen last minute events where you will be forced to cancel. Deposit Assurance can be purchased at the time of your reservation or within 72 hours of making your initial deposit. Deposit amounts are between 25% and 45% depending on the time of the season. 

Why choose Deposit Assurance?

Deposit Assurance applies between your day of arrival and up to 29 days before arrival. When you book a reservation 30 days or more prior to arrival, Deposit Assurance guarantees that if you cancel your reservation 100% of your deposit will be secured for you to use towards a future stay anytime within 365 days of the original arrival date.

  • Deposit Assurance can be purchased at the time of booking but must be purchased within 72 hours of your original reservation
  • Cancellations: Bookings that chose to include deposit assurance will have 100% of their deposit refunded, including the cost of the Deposit Assurance, if cancellation is received 30 or more days prior to arrival, minus the $25 cancellation fee, and minus 3.5% credit card fees charged by our vendor. Cancellations received within 30 days of arrival can be rebooked within 365 and the full amount of the deposit minus the Assurance fee will be secured for your use. 
  • Changes to the number of nights in your reservation will change your Deposit Assurance amount per the number of nights added or subtracted. 
  • Group reservations will be charged per each individual room in the reservation.
  • Rebooking must be for the same number of days as the original booking. If you rebook for fewer days, you will lose the deposit for the number of days that have been reduced in the new booking. 
  • Deposit Assurance is transferable. If you are unable to rebook, you may transfer the reservation to another party. The original named guest is solely responsible for collecting the deposit from the substituting guest.
  • Deposit Assurance is non-refundable and considered part of your reservation, unless cancellations are received 30 days or more prior to your reservation date
  • Deposit Assurance is not travel protection/insurance and rates are subject to change when rebooking. The full amount of the deposit is applied to a changed reservation, for the same number of days, for a future stay within 365 days of the original arrival date

A $25 cancellation fee will be charged for any cancellation at any time after a reservation is made. 

Beaver Island Retreat may have to cancel your reservation due to unforeseen circumstances related to the safety of Beaver Island residents. If this is to occur, your deposit will be fully refunded minus a $25 fee.

Standard Policy - Single Unit booking:

  • A 25% - 45% deposit is collected at the time of booking when made 30 days or more before arrival. Deposit amounts vary depending on availability and dates of your request.
  • Your deposit is fully refundable minus 3.5% credit card fees/admin fees and a $25 service fee for any reason 30 days or more before arrival.
  • Your deposit is 100% non-refundable for cancellations received 1-29 days prior to arrival.
  • You may not change or reschedule your dates in order to protect your deposit unless you have purchased the Deposit Assurance. See policy above. 
  • There is a 21-30 day waiting period for refunds to appear in your account.
  • Full payment is collected at the time of the reservation if made with less than 30 before arrival. For reservations made between 1-29 days of arrival, the entire booking amount is non-refundable.

Standard Policy - Multi-Tent Reservation

  • A 25% - 45% deposit is collected at the time of booking when made 30 days or more before arrival. Deposit amounts vary depending on availability and dates of your request.
  • Your 25% - 40% deposit is fully refundable minus credit card fees/admin fees and a $25 service fee for each tent in the reservation for any reason 30 days or more before arrival.
  • You cannot change the reservation date to protect your deposit unless you purchase the Deposit Assurance. See the above policy.
  • There is a 21-30 day waiting period for refunds to appear in your account.
  • Full payment is collected at the time of the reservation if made with less than 30 before arrival. For reservations made between 1-29 days of arrival, the entire booking amount for every tent in the reservation is non-refundable.


Fires are probably the biggest danger to Beaver Island due to thick forests, winds and deep roots covered in sandy soil that can allow underground fires that spread. Beaver Island Retreat uses fire bowls on four inches of gravel to dramatically reduce the chance of fire. We also ban fires at tents when the risk is "very high" according to the Fire Chief. Each tent comes with a fire extinguisher as well. Even with precautions in place, however, we do have policies that are common-sensical and easy to follow. Click here for more information.

We reserve the right to extinguish a fire at anytime during your stay if safety is a concern for you, the property, or others. 

It is glamorous camping and we want you to feel great when you leave! So, we have a simple checkout policy in place that we think you’ll like. You can read more here.


Pets at Beaver Island Retreat

We love your furry family member and are so glad that you’ve brought them along! In order for your camping experience to be positive for all guests at the Retreat, please note the following:

  • Well-behaved pets are free to run on the campground as long as they do not interfere with other guests or pets
  • We provide water/food bowls, pet mat, and doggie baggies for their business, all of which are all replenished as needed
  • Pets are permitted in tents and expected to sleep inside the tent with the family on the pet bed that we provide with your stay
  • Pets are never to be left unattended in the tent. If you leave your pet unattended in the tent and damage occurs, pet owners will be responsible for the full replacement value of the damaged items and agree to this when making a reservation that includes a pet. Pets are never to be left unattended on the campground and should travel with their owners during excursions on the island
  • Pets that have altercations with other pets or campers will be required to be leashed for the remainder of their stay
  • Pets must be leashed within the town limits of St. James

Please note:

We suggest that your pet be leashed during the night if they leave the tent for business. This is to protect your pet from running off to that interesting sound in the woods or sustaining potential injury by other animals on the island. 

Can't find the answers you're looking for?

If you still have questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you! You can reach us via phone, email, or text.