I know it’s been awhile since we went, but earlier this month Matt and I traveled up to Mackinaw Island to celebrate our anniversary and try to get up north one more time before the weather was against us (spoiler alert: we were too late).
It was very different being up there compared to in the summer when everything is bustling with families and festivals, but there’s something more relaxed that I just love. I highly recommend going in the fall, less crowds, more color, and a great time to take a trip.
We both took work off a little early and were able to get up to Mackinaw City early evening on Friday night. It was nice being able to enjoy a nice dinner, a walk by the water, and relax a bit before heading over to the island for a couple days filled with activities. When we woke up the next morning it was not exactly what we were expecting. There were forty mile per hour winds, it was cloudy, and barely hitting 50 degrees without a windchill. Yikes. Because we had a hotel reservation, we decided to risk the ferry (the only one was headed to the island because of the winds and the waves) and finish our vacation as planned.
It was terrifying to get on the ferry, I was looking right away for the life vests, but after we started to get going one of the workers came down and told us about a storm they had where the waves were 24 feet high, three times the height of the waves that day. After that I calmed down and got excited about heading over, but it lead to some great photos.
We stayed at a beautiful hotel called the Inn at Stonecliffe and it was gorgeous! We had the view of the Mackinac Bridge from our room and during our wonderful breakfast the next day. They also had a great little pub room with a lovely little fireplace and some great pizza. We spent an hour or two there warming up with some lunch and tea after the windy wait in line for the fair, the cold walk around the shops at Mackinac Island to find some gloves (unsuccessful) and the cold carriage ride.
We spent the first day mostly exploring the island and walking around. The hotel is two miles from the downtown area, so it was nice to walk around and see the beautiful old historic houses, while avoiding the horse droppings. I’ve been to Mackinac Island before, but I had never seen this side of the island; some of the houses there were just drop-dead gorgeous; breathtaking views, beautiful architecture, and lovely flowers.
Because the temperature never got up there, we need to warm up after home-shopping (ha!). We stopped at The Pink Pony, one of the most iconic bars in Michigan and enjoyed the large Michigan Craft Beer Selection, I of course had to get a Pink Pony Wheat Ale. It was a very unique bar and it was nice to take a rest after walking over 10 miles that day! We went to a different restaurant after that we wanted to check out another restaurant, so we went to The Seabiscuit Café and I had the best fried chicken I’ve had in a long time! One of the best things about places like this in the offseason is that the locals are more friendly, we met a ton of nice people when we were out for dinner and drinks and got some great tips about where to get the best fudge.
The next day we spent biking around the island because thankfully it had warmed up. I think biking around Mackinac is one of my favorite things to do. Like ever. Especially going up in October, the colors were just starting to come out and it was so nice getting to explore outside. I’m so grateful we got to have a little getaway, make some more memories, and spend some time in one of our favorite places.