Quick! On the count of three, give me three words that come to mind when you hear the word Michigan. Ready? One. Two. Three. Go.
Chances are… you chose one of these three words- Lakes, Nature or Fudge.
Now, you can go to all sorts of places in Michigan to enjoy these things. But, there is one place in my great state that has it all. A place that is so perfect, it’s been practically frozen in time. A place where there are no cars allowed, and you have to take a ferry boat to get there. Sounding familiar?
I’m talking about Mackinac (pronounced Mack-In-Aw) Island. One of my personal favorite summer destinations in Michigan, I can guarantee you will fall head over heels for this perfect little place. The first time I ever stepped foot on this little slice of Up North heaven, I was 10 years old. I was with the rest of my fourth grade class on our end of the year field trip ( a right at many schools in Northern Michigan). As we ran off the ferry, we could instantly smell fudge and hear the click clacking of the horse drawn carriages. Mackinac Island is the kind of place you visit and could stay a week, and feel like you just didn’t have enough time there.
The last time I had the chance to head to the island was with my Dad’s side of the family. We retraced my Grandma and Grandpa’s honeymoon trip across the UP for their 50th anniversary. It was such a special trip with my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. While we did so many awesome things, Mackinac Island was my favorite. Here are some tips and tricks for visiting this beautiful place!
Getting There: Start your journey to the island in Mackinaw City. It’s a neat little place, with all kinds of great shops, restaurants, and history. Mackinaw City is also where you will find your transportation to the island. If you aren’t lucky enough to have your own boat with you (personally, my favorite way to get to the island!) then buy some tickets for a ferry. There are two that have been trusted over the years, Shepler’s and Star Line. Do some research and choose which option is best for you. No matter which you choose, you’ll have magnificent views on your ride to the island!
Where to Stay: If you have some extra cash laying around, you HAVE to stay at The Grand Hotel. Overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, this hotel has been welcoming guests since 1887. Each room is uniquely decorated, and the entire hotel is absolutely charming. Unfortunately, this hotel isn’t in everyone’s budgets. (Including mine. But it’s on my bucket list to stay there some day!) So, if you can’t swing the steep prices of The Grand Hotel, check out some of the bed and breakfasts around the island.
Where to Eat: While there are many great places to grab a bite to eat on the island, my personal favorite is The Pink Pony… hands down. While the food is delicious, I go for the Pink Pony Punch. After a long morning of exploring the island, it’s the refreshing drink you need. Trust Me. It’s amazing!
What to Do: There are SO many amazing things that you can do on the island. My best advice for you is to check out a place like Trip Advisor, and decide what you and those you are traveling with would like to do the most. I will tell you this… don’t leave the island without renting bikes. This is my personal favorite way to see the island. There are many rental places, and the rates are really reasonable. We rented from the Mackinac Island Bike Shop and it was perfect, because it is located right where you get off the ferry. You can ride the entire perimeter of the island in less than two hours, even stopping to take lots of pictures! And I promise, you will want to stop and take pictures. This ride is absolutely stunning! Some other must sees? Arch Rock (most carriage tours will stop here, but personally, I like to hike to the top!), Fort Mackinac (all you history buffs, you’ll love this) and fudge tasting!
Still not convinced you need a little Mackinac Island in your life? Check out this Pure Michigan ad here.
Have you already been to Mackinac Island? What are your favorite things about this perfect little place?
I hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday. It looks like there is some severe weather coming in all over the country. Stay safe! If you need me, I’ll be here daydreaming of this view…