Adult Disneyland: Mackinaw

Mackinaw Island is so picture perfect it’s like an amusement park for grown ups. Touted as Michigan’s crown jewel, it’s encircled by Caribbean-like beaches (only with rocks, not sand), sprinkled with elegant Victorian architecture, crammed full of charming shops, delicious eateries, plus it’s steeped in history, including war. No cars allowed here since the late 1800’s, just horses and bikes are allowed!

The Native Americans believed the Great Spirit lived here and buried their chiefs on the island. It was a fur trade epicenter, site of the first battle of the War of 1812, the nation’s second National Park in 1875 (three years after Yellowstone), Michigan’s first state park, then quickly thereafter transformed into a popular tourist location for the wealthy from Chicago and Detroit. The splendid Grand Hotel, built in 1887, was the filming location of the dreamy romance “Somewhere In Time”.

Sigh. We love it.

All photographers love a Butterfly Pavilion, and I was not disappointed by the small but beautiful one here on the island. I even made a friend…

Only bummer is that the winds picked up. That, and the three ferry lines that bring people in and out on an hourly basis, stirred up the water and flung Joy Girl round and round like she was a bucking bronco. To be fair, we were warned of this possibility, still, we suffered through some of the most uncomfortable days and nights of our entire trip in this marina.

Enduring the bumpy water was worth being here, but tomorrow the weather forecast is good and we’re ready to move on. So, we’re off to Petoskey on the east side of Lake Michigan!

6 thoughts on “Adult Disneyland: Mackinaw

  1. Hi! Roz told us about you two over docktails in Shelter Cove this week. We are on I dock aboard Pelican. We cruised out of Destin Fl. Left March 30 and arrived in HHI on May 25. I will be following your blog. It’s great so far! We don’t plan to go much farther north so your posts let me live it through you. I have been blogging on Since we tied up at Shelter Cove we have had more land than sea adventures. Planning to stay there until fall. Hope we meet on the water sometime!! Lee


  2. Hi, Lee! So nice to have you “aboard” Joy Girl 🙂 Who knows, maybe we’ll meet you in Shelter Cover someday. That is still one of our favorite marinas. We’ll be following your adventures, too!


  3. R.J. Hanna

    Brings back memories from our honeymoon around Lake Michigan 57 years ago. It was beautiful then and looks about the same now! We took one of the ferries and probably shook up some boats like yours. Keep the pictures and stories coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what a wonderful spot for a honeymoon! Michigan is surprisingly beautiful, I had no idea. So great to hear from you again – we hope all is well with you and Virginia!


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