Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw) is less than four square miles in size with eighty percent of the island set aside for a state park. There are approximately 500 permanent residents and a school on the island. Last year's graduating class numbered four students. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island, except for an ambulance and fire equipment. Modes of transportation include walking, biking, and horse and carriage.
We traveled to the island via ferry. There is an airport located on the island but I'm not writing for the lifestyles of the rich and famous here. The ferry ride takes twenty minutes, which is just enough time to take in the beautiful water views of Lake Huron. Our ferry ride included a side trip under the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan.
What is there to do on the island?
This is the first question Rich asked when I proposed this outing. There is an 8.2 mile loop bike path around the island, and 80 miles of bike paths throughout the island. At first, we considered tackling this, but we had concerns with Anna. And also with Allie and Emily if we ended up with a hot day.
(That's Fort Mackinac up there.)
We ultimately chose to sightsee on foot and take a guided horse and carriage tour of the island. The tour had two stops and was quite informative.
While we were happy with the horse/carriage tour, I wouldn't include it on my itinerary on a return trip as a fair amount of it looked like this . . .
We ate lunch at Seabiscuit Cafe, which was amazingly delicious. Rich and I shared the Wicked Good Lobster BLT with sweet potato fries. The sharing was due to the anticipated consumption of large quantities of fudge that afternoon. (Plus, the girls eat lunch super early.) That sandwich should be renamed the Wicked Awesome Lobster BLT. I still dream of it today. The sweet potato fries were the best I've ever tasted.
For dinner, we dined at Millie's on Main. The food here was quite tasty and as a bonus, the kids' meals weren't as expensive as those of other restaurants. I had the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and cole slaw, which I quite enjoyed.
And then there's the fudge, which was like a little slice of heaven melting in your mouth. Chocolate, maple, vanilla! I couldn't pick a favorite.
Maybe it's part of my OCD but I like to know that restrooms are available, most especially when I am traveling with the girls. I'm happy to report that public restrooms were plentiful, even along the horse and carriage tour. The only issue we ran into was with cathing Anna. When out and about, we will cath Anna in our vehicle for privacy. Well, we didn't have a vehicle or a hotel room on the island. I began looking for a baby changing counter in the restrooms. I found one but it was a changing table top attached to the wall and too small for Anna to fit on. I was so desperate, I almost set up halfway under one of the ginormous lilac bushes in the park area. We thought of using the jogging stroller and Rich as coverage. I didn't feel completely comfortable with cathing her in such a public space and I could tell Anna wasn't comfortable with that either. We found another bathroom but no counter. The floors looked clean so we entered the largest stall where Anna pointed to one of those pull down changing tables. We made it work. Afterwards, she began weeping and told me she had been afraid that I wouldn't be able to cath her. Gah, I felt so bad. Mama will always find a way.
Would we return?
Most definitely! But not next year as there are other places in Michigan we'd like to see. There are parts of the island we didn't visit this time around so a return trip wouldn't be identical to this one. We would add bikes to our next visit as well.
You can view more photos from our trip in this post!