Mackinac Island (MAK-in-aw) sits in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Most of the island is covered with trails, woods, and in them, you will find the limestone Arch Rock formation. Fort Mackinac was built in 1780 on a bluff overlooking the lake and was the site of 2 major battles in the war of 1812. In the 1950’s tourism took over but much of the island has undergone historical preservation including the village and Grand Hotel. The 8.3-mile island is accessible only by plane or boat and bans almost all vehicles with the exception of ambulance and fire. Transportation on the island is primarily by horse and carriage or bicycle.
In August we set off on a little family vacation with the first destination being Mackinac Island. We spent the night by the lake and took a ferry over in the morning. Our ferry crossed under the Mackinac Bridge on the 20-minute ride to the island. We were on the top deck of the ferry and of course that was much loved by Dakota.
The island is beautiful and well worth your time to visit! We all loved our day spent there and would have gladly gone back for the 2nd day of exploring.
There was something intriguing about all the shops, bikes, horses, and carriages in the little village.
If you didn’t want to walk, you could rent a carriage or a bike to get around.
The fort overlooking the village.
All the houses are quaint and beautifully cared for. Most of the houses in the village were for tourist lodging and the locals live up on top of the island.
The Grand Hotel.
We took a ride on one of these to get to the top of the island to do some exploring.
Our trusty guide always knew where to go and what to do next.
Probably the most beautiful spot on the island was all the way through the woods at the Arch Rock. The rock was so unique but the view over the water was amazing.
We spent some time at the fort and learned a lot of new things, most of which I have already forgotten, unlike my husband and children.
From the fort looking down over the village.
We had a small cooler along with snacks and water bottles so we took a little siesta on the lawn. Of course, the 2 that had previously been tired of walking were suddenly filled with energy and wanted to go for a walk around the lawn. I could have sat for a long time and just watched everything happening.
One of our drivers said there are 17 fudge shops on the island. There is only one doctor and he specializes in fudge overdoses. The driver also said if you would rather not buy the overpriced fudge, just stop at each one and have a sample.
We rented bikes to ride around the island. Due to all the horses, there were always road apples and piddles to dodge. We were warned not to step in any “water” because it had not rained for a while and therefore it was a piddle, not a puddle.
It was a beautiful 8.3-mile ride around the island and took us approximately 1.5 hours, probably because I made them stop all the time for another picture. Eventually, I got the hang of using my camera while biking, but I was better off not being close to anyone when I tried that.
The lake was clear and warm. The kids wanted to swim so very badly.
Everywhere you looked, every time you turned around, there was something beautiful.
Hours later we were happy and tired but not quite ready to leave.
Pack up your family and go for a visit to the island sometime.
You will love it.
Quote of the day: “We didn’t really waste (spend) much money today. We just rode the ferry, the carriages, the bikes and walked around.”