One of the best trips I have taken was to Mackinac Island, Michigan. This island is an island full of history, horses, great activities and food. This island allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. With no cars on the island, everyone uses horses or bike to travel. For anyone with a tight budget, but wanting to check out this awesome place, here are some of the things we chose to do.
Where to stay: As it was our first time going we researched hotels on the mainland and on the island. As you can probably guess, hotels on the mainland were much more budget friendly. Even though the hotels on the island were beautiful, we decided to save some money and stay on the mainland on the coast of Lake Huron. The Best Western Plus Dockside Water Front had a cute little beach with the opportunity for swimming and beach activities. It was also walking distance from some great activities the mainland offered such as an icebreaker tour, mini golf, the mall, Starbucks, and ferry rides to the island.
Each day we traveled by ferry over to the island. It was so fun to take the ferry over Lake Huron.
Day 1 on Mackinac Island we rented bikes and rode the outer rim of the island for day 1. It is very relaxing with the coast of Lake Huron surrounding you. We also rode our bikes to Arch Rock which as an awesome landmark. We visited Fort Mackinac, St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Arch Rock and all of the historic houses along the roads of Mackinac Island. Every single thing we visited on day 1 was historical and interesting!
Day 2 on the island we decided to dress up and enjoy a day at the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House and the Grand Hotel. The butterfly house had so many awesome species of butterflies and educational materials for others to learn about them. The Grand Hotel was an experience like any other. The colors and opportunities for fun were endless. With life size chess on the wrap around porch and tons of rocking chairs overlooking the lake, it was total relaxation. Nate an dI decided to do the afternoon tea. You received small sandwiches, desserts, a pot of tea, sugar cubes and your choice of sherry or champagne. It was unlike anything we had ever had before and we will continue to remember this memory. With a live harp performance, it was we like we had transcended to somewhere else. During our time we also explored the beautiful hotel and its grounds. They have yard games so we enjoyed some bocce ball. After a long day of fun at the Grand Hotel we decided to walk to a restaurant called The Woods. It had a Bavarian and vibe to it. With a duck pin bowling area in the back. The food was phenomenal.
On the mainland we enjoyed all you can eat crab, ice cream, salt water taffy, and the beach! The mall on the mainland was very fun with lots of great little stores and activities. We did a mirror/laser maze and some mini golf! We also took a tour of an icebreaker ship and the Old Mackinac Point Light House. An awesome place to go with kids or if you enjoy legos is located in the mall. They have a lego scavenger hunt opportunity and it was really fun!
The last day we decided to go over the Mackinac bridge and visit St. Ignace. We explored Castle Rock and a Deer Ranch. Castle rock is a rock formation that goes up very high to see all sites of Mackinac Island and St. Ignace. The Deer Ranch was very fun. We got to see all different types of whitetail deer and pet them as well as feed them some carrots.
Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, and St. Ignace all have awesome historical and educational places to explore. They also have lots of opportunities for times of relaxation and fun! If you are ever thinking of going somewhere new, the upper peninsula of Michigan is a great vacation opportunity.