What can I say about this place?
One of the first things you notice once you step off the ferry is the silence. With a permanent population of just under 500 people, this island has kept it’s old world charm by banning all motorized vehicles.
No scooters, no cars, no motorcycles. Nothing.
No taxi cabs clogging the sides of the roads, all lined up for a fair. No horns beeping. No exhaust to choke on. Nothing.
So what does one do if they want to get around this 8.3 mile island? Well…you can walk, rent a bicycle, rent a horse and go on horseback, take a horse and buggy tour…
Or do what we did and rent your own horse and buggy from Jack’s Livery Stable and drive yourself.
That was certainly a highlight of our trip. How often can you say that you drove yourself by horse and carriage around an old Victorian island? Not often I imagine.
If you don’t feel like your up to driving your own horse and buggy, you can always hail a taxi.
Yup…they do have taxi’s on the island. But this is what you’ll get.
If you want to stay a few days or so on the island there are lots of B&B’s, hotels and motels. The largest I’ve seen and seemingly the most popular was the Grand Hotel. Little factoid for ya… this was also the backdrop to the famous 1980 movie, Somewhere In Time.
Imagine this. You get off the ferry. The hotel staff takes your luggage from the ferry staff and loads it on a horse and buggy. The hotel has their own hotel “shuttle” for the guests.
They really go all out for the transportation back and forth to the hotel.
The drivers wear top hats and tails and the horses are all dressed up to the nines.
It’s just beautiful watching them clickity clack down the street.
Along our route we saw this beautiful little stone church from 1899. It’s a popular spot to get married.
An old Military Cemetery dating back to the mid 1820′s.
About 80% of the island is a Michigan state park. It’s just beautiful going through all the treed areas,
then rounding a corner and seeing this…
This particular trail led us past some beautifully kept up 1800′s Victorian homes.
We also saw some beautiful vistas.
Part of the trail led us to “Arch Rock“. They had a great place to pull over the carriage and view it.
The parks system also had a wonderful walkway you could easily climb and view the surrounding area. We had to keep reminding ourselves we were looking at the Straits of Michigan, which is the waterway connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan and not the ocean. It really looked like the ocean.
Once we were done with our carriage ride, we wandered around town, on foot, and went shopping.
Mackinac Island is famous for their fudge. But let’s face it, this whole area is known for their fudge. So yes, of course, we had to buy more fudge. We found Sander’s Candies which has been making fudge and candy since 1875!
And no…we did not eat it all. We were told that it freezes well. So that was our plan. Eat a little, then freeze the rest. And yes, we stuck to this plan and our freezer has fudge in it right now.
Although I can not guarantee it will be their long.
We found America’s oldest grocery store.
Although no one is really around to dispute this fact. So I’ll take their word for it.
Their are lots of cute mom and pop places. In the mist of all these cute shops we found a Starbucks.
And no, we did not go in and get coffee. We found an independent place and David had a wonderful Iced Mocha Latte.
Then we came across this really pretty place on the water.
Here’s a close up picture of their doorway.
What a cute entrance way. At least we thought so. Everyone really keeps their properties up here really well. I suppose that’s par for the course living on a tourist island though. I can only imagine the stern letter you’d get from the town about not having your lawn kept up.
We had a wonderful and peaceful time on the island. This is definitely worth the drive over here, then a quick 15 minute ferry ride to the island, if you find yourselves in Michigan. We met all sorts of people who were from different areas of Michigan that come up here to this area for some R&R.
So that must mean something.
We look forward to getting back to this part of Michigan some day…
…And enjoying more fudge of course.