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After having travelled to many varied destinations, including Paris, Marseilles, Normandy, London, Cancun, Nassau, Munich and more, one of my favorite places has been the one in my own back yard, Mackinac Island, Michigan.  It is akin to being transported into another world from the moment you step on the ferry, a world where charm and beauty reign.  There are many things to see and do, such as taking a horse-drawn carriage ride or riding bikes around the island, visiting the Grand Hotel for tea (which I highly recommend), visiting Fort Mackinac, the Mackinac Original Butterfly House, and Arch Rock or just strolling down the main strip while window shopping.  I also love that there are no vehicles allowed on the island.  You do not realize how distracting and stressful the constant hum of traffic is until you can no longer hear it!

When visiting the island my family prefers to stay at the Iroquois Hotel located at the end of the main strip.  It is in a convenient location, as it is within walking distance to everything and certainly is not short on the country charm that abounds on Mackinac.  Staying on the island is a little on the pricey side; however, if you look for it there are many special rates that run in the “off” weeks when business is not at it’s peak.  A night’s stay for two may run around $290 to $500 in the high season and $175 to $200 during off season.  It is most definitely worth the price though and you won’t be disappointed.

While staying on the island the most important thing to pick up while there is fudge, fudge, oh and more fudge!  Mackinac is known for its delicious fudge and you can pick it up at almost any shop in a multitude of flavors (my favorite is peanut butter).  While there my family and I stocked up on North Face gear along with Minnetonka moccasins and hand crafted jewelry.   We sampled a variety of restaurants on the main strip, all of which were quite tasty, but probably would not be ranked very high by a foodie.  The one restaurant that sticks out in my mind is The Pancake House where we ate breakfast every morning.  It reminds me of the breakfast shop near my grandmother’s house on Sister Lakes, MI and for me the nostalgia factor was as good as the food.

After pointing out all the many places and things to see and do in Mackinac I have to say the best part about visiting was the bond it created within my family.  There is just a je ne sais quoi about being in a locale that offers no internet, limited phone service, no cars, breathtaking scenery, historical sites, hometown shops and a great bonfire with fireworks at the end of the night.  It’s just magical.  If there is anything I wish to impart with you, my reader, is that Michigan is more than just a mitten; it’s a Midwest gem that deserves to be treasured.  Happy Travelling!




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