MACKINAC ISLAND A TRIP WELL WORTH MAKING
We found ourselves crossing the mackinac Island bridge in early July for a visit with some friends of ours who have a log cabin in St Ignace. We were not only excited about visitng with them but the prospect of going to the island loomed big in our plans.This is positively a great destination for families of all ages. It is the island with food,fun,fudge,flowers,and water.
Those of you who have never heard of Mackinac Island need a brief introduction to this vacation land. This island is situated just across the bridge pictured above and incidentally is the longest uninterrupted crossing in the world with no island to divide it. It is a span of a little more than 26,444 feet or aproximately 5 miles. A great view of our destination can be had from this bridge. The island is located in the upper pennisula of Michigan just off interstate 75 by going into either Mackinaw city or St Ignace to catch a boat when coming by car.
HOW TO GET TO MACKINAC ISLAND
There are actually many ways to arrive at Mackinac and pictured above is one of the modes of transportation after you have parked your car in one of the ferry parking lots. There are three ferry lines that service the island so you need to pick one of these to get you to your final destination. The boat crossing is very scenic on a beautiful day and with the newer boats it only takes 15-20 minutes to arrive at the Island.
NO YELLOW CAB WILL PICK YOU UP IF YOU FLY INTO MACKINAC
You can also fly to the airport which boasts a 3500 foot paved lighted runway. The airport is approximately 3-4 miles from downtown so you will require a taxi into town from here but do not expect a normal gas driven vehicle to take you to town. Your transportation will be a horse drawn taxi and a pleasant ride to the downtown area since no gas driven vehicles are allowed on Mackinac Island.
You can also boat into the island as it has its own marina which accomodates roughly 100 boats. These slips fill up fast as it is first come first served. The boats are charged per foot for nightly rental and usually only stay four or five nights giving other boaters the opportunity to dock their boats.
THE ACCOMODATIONS ARE NUMEROUS BUT RESERVATIONS SHOULD BE MADE
There are your typical hotels on Mackinac Island. Then,Of course,The Grand Hotel,which you can see in almost every brochure with its long porch and the Mission Point Resort hotel. There are also many B&B's on the island and cottages, apartments,and houses as well. There is a choice and style to fit everyones taste and pocketbooks.
HOW TO GET AROUND ON MACKINAC ISLAND
Your choices are not limited: Biking,many bikes for rent or bring your own, horse drawn carriages as pictured above or taxis as pictured earlier,and walking. Now the reason we came to this island was to view the many indiviual displays of flowers as well as the commerical ones and so we chose the walking and you can walk all around the island if you decide to take that option.
We decided to make our destination Mission Point on Mackinac Island and along the way to and from this area there were many beautiful displays of flowers. The thing that struck me the most besides the flowers were the number of weddings taking place at Mission Point. It seemed to me that there was a wedding almost every 10-15 minutes because there were brides everywhere. We viewed all of this from the lovely grounds of the miniature golf course in Mission Park. It was not your typical miniature course but one designed in natures background befitting of Mackinac Island.
It was an excellent spot to view the happenings of the weddings in the distance along with the view of a very well done miniature golf course. There was a tremendous display of flowers climbing up the hill toward the Mission Resort Hotel which was quite impressive from any a point of view.There were also beautiful flowers in the park itself surrounding trees and planters and a particulary nice planting around a statue in the park. A little further note on the weddings. This seems to be the "in place" to have your wedding as the brides were flowing out of the Mission Resort Hotel seeming like a bride every 3-4 minutes. It certainly would be a picturesque spot for a wedding. If you want to investigate this further go to www.mackinacweddingguide.com here you will find additional information.
The other flower that is most famous on Mackinac Island are the lilac trees. There are some that are over 100 years old. Unfortunately we were not there when the blooming was in full swing. I guess the thing to attend is the week long lilac festival which was held from June 8-17th as the 58th festival. There is a King&Queen and a whole bunch of events spread out over this time period and of course the beauty and smell of the lilacs.
The walk back to main street was also very interesting as there were many homes with flower gardens and plantings. Mackinac island besides its flowers is very family oriented and kid friendly. A great many of the hotels and restaurants have menus for kids and food they will enjoy and most have activities for them to do.
MACKINAC ISLAND FUDGE THE REAL FOOD
There is some great food and restaurants on Mackinac Island but I would be remiss in my review here without mentioning the word and food "FUDGE". This destination is known world wide for this sweet and sugery creation. You would be hard pressed,while strolling down the street,to miss both the scent and the sounds of fudge production.There are many,many stores offering every flavor you can imagine for your sweet tooth indulgence.
In the stroll back to main street We saw a very unique flower arrangement along a fence in front of a home. Whether this shows up good enough on your computer I cannot calculate,but here was a 12 foot flower bed with a combination of fake sparkling alliums spread amongst real flowering alliums. I must remark that this is something I would never envisoned but really added some excitement to the gardening look. So when you think you have seen everything,look again.
Its not the excitement of New York City but still there is plenty of night life hanging around. The Island is small but very quaint and historically interesting, A slower pace in life,a wonderful family vacation,flowers,sun and great water. This is worth a trip from anywhere.
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