Each year millions of families travel cross country or to other parts of the globe for their traditional family vacations. Family vacations occur during various times of the year. On average, families tend to schedule trips during the summer months, or during the kids winter break from school. Families that frequently travel may be in search of new and exciting destinations. Typical family vacations to beach cities or Disneyland are fun, but common. Those seeking a unique destination may enjoy a getaway to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Mackinac Island is a resort style community that is guaranteed to offer hours of relaxation and fun for moms, dads, and children.
When in search of summer fun or winter festivities, there is something special to enjoy each time of year on Mackinac Island. From the sweet air of springtime to crystal clear water of summer, every season presents a multitude of recreation. The island offers numerous activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and skiing. Nature lovers will enjoy the countless natural rock formations and cascading waterfalls
Mackinac Island, a favored resort in upstate Michigan is a perfect vacation spot to make a changeover from the collective bustle of the mainland, to the serenity of the island. It could be a day trip exploring the massive attractions or an evening of tranquility. On the island, history comes to life for people of all ages when they enter the gates of a colonial village, or tour a water-powered sawmill.
The only way to reach the island is by ferry along the strait of Michigan. Motor vehicles are not allowed to interfere with the peacefulness and natural splendor of the island, therefore carriage tours are the best way to visit the historic isle and see legendary points. Guided tours transport visitors to regions that may not be discovered on bicycle or foot.
Mackinac Island has the simplicity of the Victorian age, yet made the transition to modern times gracefully. The Victorians made Mackinac Island one of the nation’s most favored summer resorts. In the post-Civil War age, vacationers traveled by large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit to the cooler climes of Mackinac.
Fort Mackinac is a highlight of any visit to the straits area. The sights and sounds of the 19th century military and family activities come to life. Tourists have the opportunity to help an 1880s American soldier load and fire a canon. Observe how wives and children of officers lived during this time.
The island is abundant in natural limestone features. Arch Rock and Skull Mountain, located in Mackinac Island State Park, are among the many natural beauties that have been preserved throughout time. Visitors can access Island State Park from Main Street by turning left on Fort Road at Marquette Park, and a right on Huron Road, which leads directly into the park. Surrounded by water, tourist and nearby residents can enjoy 70 miles of crystal clear, sandy white beaches along the straits. The entire island is a nature walk as visitors enjoy the seemingly tamed wildlife and natural rock formations. The hills are suitable for afternoon picnics or watching the parades portraying colonial life.
Mackinac Island’s hotels and cottages chronicle Late Victorian. The overall effect is light, airy, and festive. Interiors are structured to allow breezes from the lake to flow within. Hotel such as Lake View Hotel and Hotel Ironquois are conveniently located on Main Street, which is short carriage ride or walk from the ferry docks. Guests may become residents in one of eight hotels and resorts that are priced to fit any budget. The Mission Point Resort and Chippewa Hotel waterfront properties are ideal for vacationers who prefer relaxing along the Straits of Michigan. Similarly, these hotels are situated within a few feet of the ferry docks, bordering Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center. Hotels and cottages are complete with large windows, sets of double doors and wide verandas. This feature is designed to integrate Mackinac’s pleasant summer climate within the interior of the cottage. The historic quality of the island is enhanced by the many existing “late nineteenth-century resort-era structures.”
Overnight trips could be at the world largest hotel, The Grand Hotel. It glimmers like “a diamond on an island of brilliant green.” The guests to the Hotel are joyfully overwhelmed with hospitality and charm. Visitors are taken back to a time of horse drawn carriages, afternoon Tea, croquet, and evening meals accompanied with chamber music.
The Island House, the first summer resort hotel on the island provides guests with a beautiful view of the harbor and marina. The guests also have a view of the Mackinaw Bridge with its many lights that illuminate the waterways at nightfall. The Murray Hotel Bed and Breakfast located on Main Street has a charming ambiance that embodies warmth. Visitors to Mackinac Island may choose one of ten bed and breakfast’s located on the island. Moreover, visitors to this remarkable island can satisfy their appetites with an assortment of bakeries, candy shops, and restaurants. Eateries are ideally located on Main Street in the heart of downtown. Tourist in search of American food may consider Yankee Rebel Tavern located on Astor Street between Market and Main Street; or The Pub and Oyster Bar located on Main Street. In addition, several hotels are home to restaurants offering delicious cuisines from around the world.
Every season is filled with exciting activities and events from spring musical festivals to historical reenactments. In the fall, the resort comes to life with hayrides and holiday festivals. At the end of October when the year’s busy season concludes, Mackinac Island begins preparation for the holidays. A re-awakening occurs in December with the re-opening of hotels, businesses, and shops around the island. Mackinac Island in winter takes on a different personality from the summer season. The landscape is transformed in a panorama of snow as horse-drawn sleighs make their way along the trails. Skiers and ice skaters emerge bringing a since of warmth to the island.