While on our summer 2016 Midwest book scouting trip, we hopped a ferry for historic Mackinac Island.
There are many ferries which transport goods and passengers to the island out of both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace (across the bridge). We chose Shepler’s Ferry Service out of Mackinaw City, which runs about $26 per adult fare. The ride to Mackinac Island is about 30 minutes.
As Ron was about to park in the day visit lot, I said, “I think you should choose overnight parking. Once you see the Island, you may be inclined to stay overnight.” I had been to Mackinac Island several times as a young adult, and held wonderful memories of it. But it had been a very long time since my last visit — I hadn’t been there in forty years — it might have changed.
We took no luggage, but parked in the overnight lot…just in case!
It was a gorgeous day. The sky above and the waters of Lake Huron were so clear. Here is our approach to the island harbor…
Once we were on the shore and walking up the dock toward town, I teased Ron that I thought I remembered it being a “dry” island (no bars!!). Hee-hee, sometimes I’m terrible. He panicked until we rounded the corner and he spotted The Seabiscuit Café on Main Street. Where you can always bet on a good time!
Offering reassurance, our new friend behind the bar, John Nash, fixed Ron up with a splendid Bloody Mary and me with a beautiful glass of Seabiscuit Meritage wine. All was well. There are many fun places to drink and dine on the island, but this turned out to be our favorite. It was John Nash who later rang up the Harbour View Inn (where he once worked as a concierge) to help us access a room for an overnight stay on the island.
After our drink and a little snack, we set out on foot to explore the Island. Mackinac Island has always been automobile-free. There is a small airport, and of course, a few emergency vehicles…but horses, boats, and bicycles are the main modes of transportation, and it makes for a pretty peaceful life.
There are beautiful flowers EVERYWHERE on this island, and every home, inn and garden is beautifully maintained.
We walked past lovely homes (the island is famous for its beautiful array of Victorian architecture) and Inns, and the State Harbor.
Look at this gorgeous old hedge!
And here is the Inn at which we ended up getting a room for the night…because of course the island was even better than I remembered it…and Ron loved it too.
The beautiful and historic Harbour View Inn on Mackinac Island
And of course we still had to tour the great old Fort Mackinac, and the spectacular Grand Hotel, and to find old books if we could…so of course we needed at least another day on the island. In my next post, you can join us on the longest hotel porch in the world!