July 16th is our anniversary, our 30th this year, and we went to Mackinac Island for three days.
We left Thursday morning, the 12th, and drove up to Mackinac City where we hopped the ferry and went across to the island. It’s not a large island, about four miles long and two wide. And motorized vehicles are virtually banned from the island. We did see a couple of forklifts on the docks helping with the unloading of supplies, but they never left there. Everyone gets around with either bicycle or horse and carriage.
This is the shuttle for the guests of the Grand Hotel.
And this is the Grand Hotel.
And the rules for said hotel.
We didn’t stay there.
There were a lot of these carriages around ready to give tours of the island.
We spent the rest of Thursday afternoon and evening walking around and looking at the sights. The island is a huge tourist attraction, so accordingly the main street has about 100 fudge shops, t-shirt shops and bicycle rental places. The fact that they all stay in business is a indication of the number of people that visit, which at peak season during the summer can reach about 15,000 a day. I don’t think we saw those kind of numbers while we were there. Most of the island is state park and one of the rangers told me that there’s about 500 permanent residents on the island that stay year long.
Cheryl and I rented a couple of bikes on Friday morning and did the 8.2 mile loop around the island. The weather was nice, although a bit humid, the temps stayed right around the mid 70’s most of the time.
Here’s a map of the island.
We stayed at the Bicycle Street Inn right on Main Street.
We had a great view of the harbor where all the ferry boats came in. This one had just unloaded a shipment of straw and hay for the horses. And when you think about the logistics of supporting all of the businesses on the island, it’s pretty amazing. EVERYTHING has to come across on the ferry, and it’s all delivered by horse drawn wagons and carriages, even UPS has a horse and wagon.
Friday morning we saw a coal ship go buy the island.
Sunset Friday evening from our room.
This is Fort Mackinac, one of two on the island.
The view from the fort.
The Mackinac Bridge off in the distance
There was a lot of beautiful old homes and buildings, some of which have been turned into B&B’s.
This is the St. Anne Catholic Church built in 1874.
An old lighthouse marking the lower point of the island.
And the newer lighthouse. Saturday morning there was some light fog and I took this from our hotel room
On the ferry Saturday morning, heading back to the mainland.
I had never been to the island, and the last time Cheryl was there was before she had moved to California. We had a nice time, although we were pretty whipped by Saturday and ready to head back home. We biked the 8.2 miles, and I got to think we walked at least another four or five over the weekend. But the weather was great for walking and biking, and we didn’t stuff ourselves full of fudge.