Over the summer, my boyfriend and I adventured to this little island a road trip away from home just for fun. We decided upon Mackinac Island due to the fact that it looked beautiful on the web, and I had traveled there, only for a short time, once before. We planned a three day trip filled with lots of exciting destinations, activities, and restaurants. Once we arrived in St. Ignace MI, where we would be staying, we took a stroll down to the clear water that went on for miles. At this moment, I knew this vacation was going to be relaxing, enjoyable, and truly a memory I would never forget.
The first day we arrived in St. Ignace, we drove to the Mackinac Bridge observatory. As illustrated in the photo slides below, the bridge stretches quite the distance over the water. We had a couple, who was from Texas, take a couple pictures of us on the rocks. After taking in the view for quite sometime, we headed over the bridge. Fun fact, it costs $8 to go across the bridge, just incase you plan to travel their one day. The bridge was unlike any bridge I’ve driven over before. It was full of little groves that make driving difficult because the divots pull your vehicle all over the place. Once we got over the bridge, we drove around to find a restraint, before we decided to head back over the bridge and eat at Mackinac Grille. The restaurant was located right on the water with a lighthouse at the far end. We enjoyed our meal on the patio and took a stroll down by the lighthouse afterwards to take some more pictures (hint…I love taking pictures). Once our tummy’s were stuffed, and camera was full, we called it a night.
6AM the following morning, we woke up to have continental breakfast before boarding our ferry to head to Mackinac Island. Why didn’t we just drive to the Island, well, this island is special in ways, and one happens to be that no forms of transportation other than horse or bike are allowed. Everything that comes to the island is delivered by boat or ferry, then carried throughout the island by horse-drawn carriage. After exciting the ferry, we began to explore. We had reservations at the Grand Hotel for their buffet at 11, therefore, we strolled through the shops, and hiked to the hotel through the winding roads, avoiding the horse droppings at times. Fun fact, my boyfriend Wylie is allergic to horses, so there was no romantic horse interactions for the two of us. However, when we arrived at the hotel, both of us were in amazement. The hotel was grand, beautiful, and incredibly detailed in every corner. The interior was a variety of old, antique, and new, classy. A dress attire was required in order to dine at the three football field length buffet. Once we were seated, we were escorted to the assortments. About anything you can imagine was included along the long stretch of food, and of course an entire table full of dessert. Needless to say, the Grand Hotel was beautiful, elegant, and, like its’ name implies-grand!
Once we were quite full, we walked back down the hill towards the main part of the island. We wanted to take a bike ride, therefore we had to rent bikes from one of the ten plus bike shops. This bike route was like none other due to the fact that it circled the entire outskirts of the island and had lookout spots along the way. We stopped a couple times to walk by the water, skip some rocks, and make these rock castles that everyone seemed to be doing. Not going to lie, a 9 mile bike ride left my legs pretty tired. A few hours later, Wylie and I found ourselves taking a nap in one of the grass pastures.
To conclude our long day at the island, Wylie and I had booked a sunset tour with the Great Turtle Kayak Tours. We arrived a bit early and chatted with our tour guide who was from Jamaica. After three other couples arrived, we started the learning process. Of course, like most tour guides, joking around to scare the guests were necessary. He mentioned, “There will be large cargo ships like the size of the Titanic, remember you are in a kayak. So, when these nine foot waves come our direction, it’s best to paddle your ass off.” Haha, I thought he was kidding. Take a look at my kayaking photo gallery and you will see what I mean. Kayaking was 100% my favorite part of the entire day. For one, the sights were amazing including the clear water below me. Secondly, the sunset was beautiful, when it peaked through the clouds. And lastly, my best friend was by my side smiling his cute, innocent smile relaxing and taking this experience all in, just like me. At the end of the tour, we headed back, after battling the “mountain high” waves, to land where we got on the ferry to take us back to the hotel. Mackinac Island was an experience I will never forget. I would highly recommend the island to anyone who is wanting to relax, eat some tasty food, and take some photos of some breathtaking views.
Photos by Chelsea Bauman, ©2017 Chelsea Bauman. All Rights Reserved.
Check out the video I put together of some of our favorite memories from the trip!