Sep 12, 2011

Step Back in Time: Mackinac Island, Michigan

This past weekend, three of my closest friends and I made a four hour trek to the tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula and had a blast!

Mackinac Island (pronounces mack-in-aw) is most famously known for two things. In 1875, the island became America's second National Park (following Yellowstone). It is now a Michigan State Park where no cars are allowed and Victorian mansions abound.

Secondly, Mackinac Island is famous for its fudge. I am not sure about your states, but Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream is one of the most popular flavors and is available at every ice cream shoppe (including the one that employs me).

The history of Mackinac Island is staggering and those who have not heard of the island are amazed at the number of historically important sites on the island. Fort Mackinac, built during the Revolutionary War, helped the British maintain control of the upper Great Lakes until 1796 (fifteen years after we gained independence!).

The Grand Hotel, built in 1887, is an architectural treasure that has been beautifully maintained. I think the photos speak for themselves.

You can't tell from here, but the pool is in the shape of a foot and is said to be Paul Bunyan's footprint.

Oh, and you may wonder about the no car thing, the island is home to hundreds of carriages and bicycles. We usually bike, but since one of my friends is pregnant, we opted for a private carriage tour.

How did we get to the island? We took a ferry, of course.

And finally, a few random photos so you get the gist of Mackinac Island.

On Wednesday, I'll wrap up my vacation with a post about the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City, which is where we stayed. 


  1. Great pics! Looks like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing them

  2. Wow, this place looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  3. So much better than the holiday we've just returned from, and you had good weather!!

  4. I didn't know about the island. Very cool photos.

  5. I went there about twenty years ago with my parents. It's nice to see the place still looks the way it did back then. Maybe when my son is old enough to appreciate the island, we'll take him. (Of course, he's already old enough to appreciate the fudge!)

  6. Absolutely GORGEOUS! Did you bring me any fudge? :-)

  7. I'm looking at those mansions, and wondering how they buy new furniture. I mean, they could buy off the internet, but then, how does the UPS guy get the new sofa to their address?

    It reminds me a little of my favorite island on the east coast--Block Island. Although block island is much smaller. And there are a few cars. And great bluffs, and bogs.

  8. THe houses are absolutely gorgeous! Looks like you had a fabulous time!
    I was there about 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child with 2 of my besties! (and next week we are going to Florida to meet up with our other bestie that now lives in Spain!)

  9. It looks like I wrote I was pregnant with my first child with 2 of my besties.
    This looks like they impregnated me. They didn't. My male bestie did.

  10. No cars allowed? Sounds like my kind of place! Great pictures. Thank you for sharing...and please send fudge. :D

  11. Christine - I had an AMAZING time! Thanks!

    Anna - You would love it there, even though it doesn't compare to the history you have in Mass.

    Carole - I hope you still enjoyed yourself!

    Theresa - Now you know. If you ever come to Michigan, add Mack to your list.

    Sandra - I am glad we share a love of the island! And of fudge lol.

  12. Shannon - I bought a few pounds of fudge, but it doesn't travel well. That is to say a few pounds do not sit well in my belly.

    Heather - From what I know of Block Island, it is far more posh than Mack. Either way, the architecture of both places is gorgeous.

    Kelly - We so need to go there together and celebrate Sas! Your comments made me smile and laugh. Thanks!

    Valerie - Sounds like you'd love the horses and bikes!

  13. I have always wanted to go to Mackinac Island. I looked it up, after I saw the hotel in the movie "Somewhere In Time".
    The more I read and saw the stronger the yearning to go became. Maybe someday I will make it there.
    Thanks for the pictures.

    Fudge... now I really want to go.

    Pamela Jo

  14. Great photos, Jon!! Everyone in my family has been to Mackinac Island except me. I'm gonna have to change that. :-)

  15. Enjoyed the photos. I believe there is a famous lighthouse there, too?

  16. Theres - No one dislikes the experience. It is so worth it!

    Dena - Like you!

    Paul - I thought for sure you'd have been there!

    Sean - Several famous lighthouses line the shores of the area. It's a marine navigators dream world.