Michigan, Mackinaw Island
Upper Peninsula and Mackinaw Island
Travel is something that many people enjoy, are you one of those? This summer we have enjoyed a trip to Michigan, and seen some things that we had never seen before. The trip took us from Jones, Michigan where we visited family on up to the UP of Michigan.
What is the U.P. you may ask? U.P. stands for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The funny thing about this area is that it’s not attached to the lower peninsula of Michigan. You have to cross the Mackinaw Bridge to cross over to the U.P. and it is a different world there compared to where I’m from.
The Mackinaw Bridge is 4 miles long and it a bit on the scary side for some. We are from Maryland so things are a little different for us up there. While we were there the weather was wonderful, the temperatures stayed around the 70’s with no humidity, which makes for great weather to walk around in.
Once over the bridge and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we didn’t go too far. We found a gift shop and Castle Rock. The Castle Rock was pretty steep and high up, but once you got to the top you could see for miles overlooking the Lakes. I must say climbing all of the steps involved in getting to the top was a challenge and not for the faint of heart.
We stayed in the Motel 8 on the Mackinaw City side of the bridge, and we were able to walk right out the door to the local park and sit by the water very near the Mackinaw Bridge. The motel was very nice; it had an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and a free breakfast.
We took Shiplers ferry over to Mackinaw Island for the day and enjoyed a lovely horse drawn carriage ride. The carriage driver was very knowledgeable about the island because he grew up there. The island was beautiful with wonderful views. What I enjoyed the most was the nature and greenery that encompassed the island once you got away from the touristy part.
Many times the state of Michigan is overlooked when thinking about a vacation spot. Really, this state has a good bit to offer. One of the things they like to advertise about the lakes is that they are salt free, and shark free. Salt free and shark free is a plus, but keep in mind the water may be on the chilly side.
If you are a camper, this is an outstanding state to come to. They offer many different campgrounds for those who enjoy camping, but also they have mosquitoes to contend with. This is not something that campers are not familiar with though.
Some will tell you that Mackinaw City and Mackinaw Island is nothing but a tourist trap, but my response to that is everything costs money and if you want to see things you have to pay. I loved the history of the island and the mainland. They had a beautiful lighthouse, colonial settlement, and fort for those that are interested in that type of thing.
For the others, they can find fishing charters, parasailing and much more to occupy their time. The view of the bridge, Lake Heron and Lake Michigan are breathtaking. This is a veritable playground for those that take the time to visit. What are you waiting for?
Mackinac Lighthouse and BridgeClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Grand Hotel
Mackinac Island in Michigan is a beautiful and timeless vacation destination. Here one will find that they are transported back to a time of simplicity, hospitality, charm and horse drawn carriages. There are no automobiles on the Island of Mackinac so, riding a bike or taking a carriage is the only mode of transportation other than your own feet.
Mackinac Island offers a relaxing atmosphere and calls you to a bygone era. The Grand Hotel is located on the island. Established in 1887, this hotel has been family owned for generations, and has been featured in travel magazines of all types. The Grand Hotel has 386 rooms all expertly decorated; it offers one and two bedroom suits.
This hotel was used at the location for the movie Somewhere in Time, with Christopher Reeve, and Jane Seymour. Take a stroll beyond the hotel grounds and visit Fort Mackinac, ride a bike, or take a carriage tour, but don’t miss the world famous Mackinac Island Fudge while you’re there.
From the beautiful, long sweeping porch enjoy views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Mackinac Straights. The view from there is breathtaking.
The Grand Hotel is open from May through October with over 25 different packages to choose from. There are packages that include a full breakfast and a five course dinner daily, and children under 12 stay for free.