Mackinac is pronounced Mack-en-aw, no matter how it is spelled (Mackinaw City on the mainland or the island, Mackinac). The island is a charming summer resort just a short ferry ride from the mainland. We took the ferry with the added bonus of going under the five mile bridge (nicknamed The Mighty Mac) that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.This is a car-free island; horse and buggies are everywhere as are bicycles and walkers.As usual, I guided us away from the town towards what I thought was a direct path to Arch Rock. Alas, I led us to the opposite side of the island through the woods, along horse paths and trails named Lost Bear Trail and Indian Pipe Trail. This brought us to a beautiful mansion, The Inn at Stonecliffe, and a trail to Sunset Rock. It was well worth the detour.
We took another circuitous route, but better planned, to Arch Rock. This time we passed the airport as a plane was landing. Then we stopped at Sugar Loaf Rock and took in the view from Fort Holmes, the island’s highest point. It was so clear we could even see across the lake to the St Marys River in Canada. We did make it to Arch Rock and it was exactly that.We followed a nice shaded path back to town enjoying the magnificent homes and views of Lake Huron along the way. We had lunch at the Sea Biscuit Café. A whitefish reuben and a black bean burger followed by a cherry fudge ice cream from Moomers.Speaking of fudge…the tourists on Mackinac Island are referred to as Fudgies. Fudge is the number one souvenir to leave the island. The very first fudge shop was Murdick’s. Now there are dozens of fudge shops all over town. Free samples abound and lots of photo opportunities of fudge preparing and slicing, too.Another draw to the island is the famous Grand Hotel. The front porch is 660 feet and is the world’s longest. It is visible as you approachable Island from Lake Huron. enormous. The grounds are beautiful and have both bocce and croquet courts. We walked through the gardens but opted not to pay the ten dollar fee to tour the lobby. We also were a little too casual for the Grand Hotel crowd.Lucky for us we were on the island as all the lilacs were blooming. White, deep purple and lilac all smelling and looking divine.There is no doubt why this has been an island getaway dating back to the year 1000. Mackinac is a wonderful way to spend a day or a season.