One of our favorite vacation spots to visit is Mackinac Island. This 18+ square mile island is located in the Straits of Mackinac in between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan and is truly a magical step back in time. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island (except for a few emergency vehicles) so all transportation must be by horse or bicycle. Yes, even those Amazon packages are delivered by horse and carriage.
Visitors are ferried to the island by boat, and much like the magic of Disney upon entering the Magic Kingdom, you come through a narrow entrance and suddenly this whole new world opens up as you step through and onto the main street with the smells of confectionery, fresh made fudge and the sounds of horses clopping by. It is truly like you have stepped back in time.
If you are a history buff, the island is rich in it. Much of the history here even pre-dates our country's founding and Fort Mackinac, built in 1782, still stands and can be toured daily.
We love bicycling around the island, admiring the Victorian homes with all their beautiful flower displays. The locals and hotels really know how to impress. It is a must to take a bike and go exploring, although there are many horse drawn carriage tours that will give you a nice overview.
Victorian homes and flowers are the norm for the 492 residents of the island.
White picket fences with flowers running the length.
The crown jewel of the island is Grand Hotel, built in 1887 and still as elegant and impressive as ever. Many presidents, dignitaries, the rich and famous as well as us commoners have stayed there. It is obviously pricey but so worth it. As a tip, if you get on their email list they periodically send out specials, usually mid-week. So if you are flexible on your dates you can get a sweet deal. Their price includes breakfast and supper, which are just as impressive as the hotel itself. Remember, you will need to dress up after 6pm though.
Grand Hotel has massive displays of flowers all over the grounds, but they are known for their red geraniums which are everywhere. The Grand has the longest porch in the world at 660 feet, and the geraniums run the entire length.
Every street is an adventure, whether you take a bicycle, horse and carriage or just go for a stroll.
If you've never visited Mackinac Island you really should consider it. And staying on the island is really the preferred because you will get to experience much more than just the day tourist. The natural beauty of our Great Lakes and the surrounding area are incredible and really something to see and experience.