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Try Island Hopping On The Great Lakes

Mackinac Island

It was immortalized by the wonderful period movie "Somewhere In Time" with Christopher Reeves. Mackinac Island has long been one of the Great Lakes most recognized vacation destinations. Conde Nest Traveler calls it “One of the top 10 islands in the world.” 

The island is noted for its pristine cross-country skiing during winter, but summer is when it really shines. Passenger ferries, crossing from both of Michigan's Peninsula's, will deposit thousands of tourists on the island daily throughout the summer months. Many are just day-tripping, but the island has a wealth of fine old hotels and cottages for rent. Many of the hotels date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Today you won't find a vehicle – except for emergency vehicles – anywhere on the island. Horses, bicycles and foot are the way you get around. Horse drawn carriages are easily hailed if you need transportation. Numerous trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding bisect the small island. It's only about 10 miles around the circumference, and a paved path offers beautiful views of Lake Huron, other islands and the rocky, bluff-filled interior of the island from the pathway.

When you step off of the Island Ferry Dock, you are in a living Victorian village. Remember to cross streets on straight angles rather than diagonally and be aware of horses, bikes, and people stepping off carriages. Enjoy the downtown hustle and bustle of the early 1800s.

The Island House Hotel was one of the first summer hotels on the island. It first opened in 1865, and except for a few years during the 1940s, has been serving island guests for the last 146 years. it was known as the "Best Family Hotel on the Island” in the 1890s. 

Situated right on the Straits of Mackinac, the hotel is still a quiet retreat from the busy downtown area. The sweeping open-air veranda of the hotel is a perfect spot to relax and watch ferry and Great Lakes freighter traffic ply Huron's steely blue waters.

The Island House is offering an Explore Mackinac Package, which starts from $539, per room, based on double occupancy, throughout most of the summer. One of their most popular summer packages, it includes two-nights lodging, a full breakfast buffet each morning, dinner one evening for two in their 1852 Grill Room, round-trip ferry tickets, and discount coupons for many island shops. It's a great introduction to island life, which will keep you coming back.

Photo: Island House Hotel


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