Yes, just in case you are confused Mackinac is spelled two different ways. The island is spelled Mackinac, while everything else, the city of Mackinaw, the straits of Mackinaw and the Mackinaw bridge is spelled Mackinaw. Don’t ask me why.
From St Ignace to Mackinac Island is just a short 1 hour sail. If going by ferry you could be there in about 15 minutes. They are very fast and there are a lot of them! They ferry people between St Ignace to Mackinac Island and from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island.
Once we dodged all the ferries on the way over to the island and got settled into our slip, we spent the afternoon walking around town. We had a great lunch at the Great Turtle Brewstillery.
There are so many beautiful homes, buildings and historic shops in Mackinac that are picture worthy. One beautiful home in particular that is just ashore from the marina and currently sits right behind our boat is a bit of a sad tale. This 120 year old private summer cottage, had a house fire in May of this year due to a faulty chimney. They had to call fire crews from St Ignace and Mackinaw City to help extinguish the blaze. Unfortunately, the house has over $1 million dollars in damage. The good news is the private owners plan to completely restore the house.
Here are some additional cool historic buildings!
In case you are unfamiliar with Mackinac Island, the entire island is free of motorized vehicles. No cars, no golf carts (except on the golf course), not even electric bicycles are allowed. They only way options for getting around the island is 1) by foot, 2) by bicycle, 3) by horse. Yes, that’s right, lots of horse options. Horse taxi’s, carriages, horse back, wagon, etc. There are just a couple of motorized vehicles on the island. There is an ambulance, a fire truck and a police car. Here’s how to get around:
After exploring around town, we came back to the boat and had a light dinner and made a charcuterie platter and of course some happy hour drinks.
Mackinac Island marina had no wi-fi and there is very limited cell service in the area, so we entertained ourselves in between trips to town, eating and relaxing by playing cribbage.
The next day our agenda included a walk and tour of the Grand Hotel. This hotel is 134 years old and was opened on the same day that we visited in 1887. The views from the front porch of the hotel are spectacular! The Grand Hotel porch by the way is the longest porch in the world and is 660 feet long.
Today is also Camille’s birthday! Happy Birthday Camille!!! We had a great time making the day special for her.
The inside of the hotel is just as spectacular as the outside.
But nothing beats how awesome the porch is:
Well, except maybe the views from the porch!
We treated ourselves to a special lunch at the Carriage House after leaving the Grand Hotel. The Carriage House sits overlooking the harbor and is very upscale. It’s a birthday lunch for Camille.
We rounded out the day by hiring a private horse carriage ride to take us on a tour around the island. More spectacular homes and views! Our horses were Duke, that’s him on the left and Topper, on the right. They were great!
That’s our boat down there, photo taken from high on the hill during our carriage ride.
After all that activity, we had a quiet evening aboard the boat, some dinner and some home made brownies for Camille’s birthday!
The next day would be our last day on Mackinac Island before heading out again. Camille and I decided to do some shopping in town while Mark stayed back at the boat and filled our water tanks and did some general cleaning up. We really didn’t find anything that was worthwhile in the shops and came back to the boat empty handed.
Today was a really calm day on the water and since the carriage tour didn’t get to taking us to see the arch rock, we decided to hop in the dinghy and take a dinghy ride around the island to see arch rock.
That evening we ate dinner at Winchester Whiskey & Bourbon Room. It was great food. Camille had the whitefish sandwich which was about as big as the plate and Mark and I split a burger. Camille and I got a great drink called a B&B smash. It was gin, basil, blackberries, lemon and honey. It was delicious.
Tomorrow morning we are departing Mackinac island. It was a beautiful 3 day stay!
These beautiful pictures bring back so many memories for John and I. Beautiful island and fun things to see and do. Spent 30 years in Michigan. 🙂