Ever since we got back from our cruise adventure, I have been pining for Mackinac Island. And for all of you people who have never heard of this place, it’s pronounced Mackinaw. We went there last summer on our belated honeymoon (we had been married in January). We had booked our hotel room there in mid January. We decided to go at the beginning of their tourist season so we could get a cheap rate. Our room was only $90/night! So then on January 28th, we got married. We were in the process of buying our townhome that we live in now so there was a lot going on all at once. We closed on the townhome on March 2nd (first anniversary of that coming up on Saturday!) and decided to paint all of the walls first, before moving furniture in. So my mother-in-law was pulling out the fridge to clean and paint behind it and you’ll never guess what we found stuck to the back of that fridge! A magnet from Mackinac Island!
We couldn’t believe what a coincidence that was! To this day we still have it on our fridge.
So anyways, the night before we were going to leave, our friend Josh came over to help us put our bike rack on the car. He grew up around everything bikes so he knew exactly how to have it so that it would hold the bikes steady and not damage the car. There are no cars allowed on Mackinac so the only means of transportation are carriage, bike or walking. They have many bicycle rental places but they tended to be a little expensive. Since we were going to be there for 4 days, we decided to bring our own bikes since it only cost $8 extra to bring them over on the ferry. The next morning, in order to make the last ferry at 6:00 ET, we left MN at 5:00 AM. The journey would take a little over 10 hours plus tack on an hour for the time change. My husband hates driving on highways so I drove the whole way. We had a really fun drive. We alternated listening to music and Adam Carolla’s books on cd (which are hilarious if you’ve never heard/read them).
We would be boarding the ferry in St. Ignace, MI and we made it there just in time to watch the 4:30 ferry depart the docks. We couldn’t wait to get on the island! We bought our tickets for the ferry and waited around. It was chilly and windy that day but that didn’t stop us from looking around outside. Before long, we were loaded onto the ferry and we decided to sit on the top deck. We were the only ones haha. Since it was the last ferry, we figured it was mostly island residents who were going back, especially since there weren’t that many people. We had a great time cruising across Lake Heron with me snapping photos left and right.
Star Line Ferry
The Grand Hotel
We chose the Star Line Ferry (there were 2 other ferry lines to choose from) mostly because their dock was almost right across the street from our hotel (which is the yellow building in the “Downtown” photo). We got off the dock, grabbed our bags and bikes and met the porter who brought our bags to the hotel. He helped get us checked in and showed us where our room was.
The Windermere Hotel
The rooms at this hotel have no TVs, which we were excited about. We were looking forward to spending a few days without a lot of technology. The first night we did some walking around the downtown area and along the shore a bit.
Best pizza ever!
We ate dinner at Goodfellow’s Wings and Things. Best pizza ever!
Our bikes and M-185
The next few days we spent exploring as much of the island as we could. We walked A LOT! We didn’t ride our bikes as much. We did ride the entire perimeter of the island on the “highway” called M-185. It was very easy as most of the road was flat. The entire length was paved. We would stop along the way to see the different sights both on the water and on the island. It was very fun! We tried to do it again a different day but our butts were so sore we could only make it part way haha. When we explored the interior of the island, we always walked.
My favorite variety of lilac
There were lilacs everywhere! A few weeks into the tourist season they have a lilac festival! They were all so pretty and the smell was incredible!
The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel carriage
One of the things that the Grand Hotel is most famous for is their porch. At 660 feet, it is the longest in the entire world! Parts of the movie “Somewhere In Time” with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour were filmed here too. Around the island they have markers,noting where certain scenes were filmed. Unless you are a guest of the hotel, you have to pay $10 just to walk on their grounds! Their horse drawn carriages are the fanciest on the island as well.
View from Fort Mackinac
The view from Fort Mackinac is incredible! It overlooks Marquette Park and the marina. The Fort itself was a very interesting place to visit.
Walking by a carriage tour
View from Arch Rock
Crack In The Island Trail
The Crack in the Island
The Crack in the Island was a sort of eerie place. Even though you were in the middle of the woods, the only sounds you could hear were the leaves moving in the breeze. There were no animal sounds, no people sounds. Back in the day, the Indians and fur traders who lived on the island steered clear of this place. They felt it was an evil place and would not eat any animal killed near this place.
I realize this post has been pretty long, but I have been missing Mackinac for so long it only felt right to go back and share some of our photos and experiences from it. We don’t have any official plans to go back yet but I’m hoping we don’t wait too long!
My favorite photo of us on Mackinac
To see more photos from our trip, check out my Shutterfly share site! The album title is Honeymoon 2012.
For more information on any places I’ve mentioned in this post, check out the following websites!