Skip to comments.Horse-drawn carriages, strict Victorian dress codes and NO cars: The Michigan island stuck...
Posted on 06/12/2013 10:40:42 AM PDT by C19fan
An Island in Michigan has kept Victorian-era charm thanks to its ban on motor vehicles and has become a huge tourist draw for its quaint ways. Motor vehicles have been banned on the island since the start of the 20th century after an automobile frightened some of the horses. These days, people still travel by horse-drawn carriage, as well as by bike and by foot. Mackinac Island, located off the Straits of Mackinac separating Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, was an important outpost in the region's fur trade, but that gave way to fishing and eventually tourism. Among the main attractions: the Grand Hotel, a 385-room luxury hotel that played a central role in the 1980 romantic science fiction film, Somewhere in Time.
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Been there once, it’s nice, if if a bit tourist trappy. Don’t forget to buy some fudge while you’re there...
Locals use the derisive term “fudgies” to describe tourists from the Detroit area who descend and gorge themselves on fudge for three months out of the year.
“The Grand Hotel is such a draw among tourists that non-guests must pay a $10 admission fee.”
Not unless you sneak in. ;^)
Stayed there, at the Grand Hotel, several times with my Grandparents back in the early Fifties. I have watercolors my Grandma painted there. It was quite a magical place back then!
And the trolls (people who live in the lower peninsula ie under the bridge have a name for those who package that fudge.
If in Michigan try several islands that do exist:
Les Cheneaux Island (East of Mackinac Island)
This Islands are on Lake Superior:
Grand Island near Munising (Pictured Rocks is nearby too)
Isle Royale National park (Nearby Copper Harbor) This is part of the Keenewaw Bay area even though you have to take a ferry to the island
Wisconsin has the Apostle Islands too.
No cars but an airport.
I boarded a ferryboat and spent the day there. I probably couldn’t afford the hotels there, the place is so popular. It has a lot of charm. Bike rentals are cheap, and I pedalled the entire perimeter of the island and then criss-crossed the interior. The old fort is great!
I found just one single family residential property for sale on Mackinack Island - an 8 bed 11 bath place for 2.9mil - it probably houses a B&B
I have a picture on my wall just below that particular railing.
I am on a horse with the Grand Hotel balcony on one shoulder behind me and the top of Lake Michigan off the other shoulder.
I remember going to Disneyland in the late 50s and early 60s. It was truly magical then.
Went to Disneyworld in 1980. Thoroughly tacky.
Good Memories Bookmark
Used to go to the Islington hotel for a week, then The Grand Hotel for another.
Kinda similar hotels from the same era,
Since you mentioned trolls below the bridge check this out partcularly if your from Ohio or live in the UP.
“Its cool but not my style. Give me Tahquamenon or just about anyplace along the Superior shore.”
Same with me, except I’d add that it would have to be in the fall after the biting bugs are done! Those beach flies could probably kill a person.
It still is quite something
Four years ago my husband had to speak at a conference at the Grand Hotel. We had never stayed there before. We enjoyed it. I was recovering from a fall, and he pushed me all over the island in a wheel chair. He earned his dinner and some of mine too! The flowers growing around the hotel are beautiful and well fertilized.;-) I did see one truck on the far side of the island. I think it was a repair vehicle of some sort. I have a picture somewhere as proof. I also saw someone having a large appliance delivered to their home on a horse drawn cart. Someone I knew in college got her first teaching position at the school on the island. I don’t think she stayed there long. If the lake freezes over, I believe transport to the island is by plane or snowmobile. That’s a little too isolated for me.
WOW! A hotel!
My parents liked to rough it. We went to 1930s-era vacation bungalows on a hillside overlooking Avalon on Catalina Island off the coast of California (1957 & 1958). No room service, no carpets, but it did have a rustic kitchen with a depression era refrigerator and a really scary shower in the bathroom.
The beach was rocky rather than sandy, but the glass-bottom boats and the the flying fish in the Channel were kinda cool.
To travel to Catalina Island we took a steamer that had wooden benches on the outside decks. I think the island had an airport but I could be wrong on that; flying boats is what I remember.
We drove by the places where you get on boats.
Once my Sister was old enough to travel, my parents settled on beautiful Glen Lake Michigan as our regular vacation spot. Cottages, Very spare cottages! A stunning lake, with the huge Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in clear sight.
Dress warm for the ferry ride.
Even if its 80 degrees on shore in the middle of the straight its freezing ass.
The biggest downside to Mackinac Island is GETTING THERE!
Yeah, that's going to be a little tough without a motor. Gliding in, yes. Taking off, not so much.
Ha. Good one.
Over hyped vacation spot. The whole island smells of horse crap. Flys swarm everywhere and get on the fudge. The horses they use to pull the carts are some of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen, old and with something that resembles a snot covered mustache.
On my list of places to visit now. Thanks.
And when you go, under no circumstances should you cross the bridge and go to Clyde’s Restaurant to get a 3/4 lb Big C burger loaded with everything, Onion Rings and a Large Coke.
Really, Don’t do it. Burgers everywhere else will never be the same.
drummomd island or kitchitikipi are my top choices. the mines at iron mountain and copper harbor are cool too.
kitchitikipi is a good one and relatively unknown which is part of what makes it good.
Taken under advisement. Many thanks.