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« Galette aux pêches... au revoir to you, dear summer! | Main | A family cookout at a quaint trout club... and a crudité platter with a smoked trout mousse »
Monday
Aug222011

Handmade candy and a sunny day on Mackinac Island

 

 

A pristine island with no cars, only horses and bikes.  Fudge shops lining the main street.  An old fort alive with history.  A grand old hotel stuck Somewhere in Time.   Miles and miles of picturesque bike paths whose memories feed your soul throughout the winter...  Just a few of the many reasons why my family returns to Mackinac Island every summer.

 

 

Mackinac Island is about a 20 minute ferry ride from the mainland of northern Michigan, near the Mackinac Bridge which connects the Upper Peninsula with the mit.  One of the most extraordinary aspects of this stunning island is that there are no cars.  Your only choices for transportation are horses, bikes, or by foot. Fortunately, there are many horse and buggy and bike rental places to choose from.  

Mackinac Island is famous for its shining star, the 125 year old Grand Hotel.   Appropriately named, it feels as though it is still living in the grand past.  If you are fortunate enough to be a guest at the Grand Hotel, an elaborate horse drawn coach will pick you and your luggage up at the ferry dock and whisk you back in time to the hotel.

 


 

We love to rise early and catch the first ferry over to the island and rent bikes, riding them around the 9 mile perimeter of the island before the crowds descend.  The waterfront views are truly spectacular.  Our first stop after our bikes have been obtained is always our favorite "postage stamp sized" coffee shop that teeters on a dock overlooking a view of incoming sailboats and ferries.  You can see my daughter's cinnamon roll (seated at the window below) peering out at the gorgeous setting.

 

 

Stunning vistas are everywhere on Mackinac.  If you look closely behind the yellow hotel (below) you can see "our" coffee shop perched at the end of the dock simply named Coffee House.

 

 

Fort Mackinac, who's glory crowns the top of the island, is a great destination for the history buff...  

 

 

Mackinac Island is also know for its fudge shops, which line the main street.  Although fun to pass through and watch them make their homemade candy... I must say without a doubt our favorite fudge shop is Howse's Fudge in nearby Harbor Springs. It is safe to say they experience a cult following of "fudgies" and I am proud to say that I am one of them.  This family business has been passed down for generations and makes extraordinary chocolates, caramels and fudge...


 

I must close by applauding my awesome 75 year old father for riding miles and miles on a rental bike with us and his grandkids for the day.  There he goes pedaling up another hill... what an amazing person...

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (28)

We need the smell! Love the Fort and carriage ride. Good job Dil Xx

08.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGran

What a lovely island - I know so little about Michigan. Thanks for sharing!

08.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynda

Lisa,

You capture the island so well in your photos and description! I just shocks me how few people know anything about Michigan in south Florida. (Maybe we should keep it that way!)

Jo

08.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJo Faulmann

Jo - oops, I guess I just let the cat out of the bag!

This is a wonderful post showcasing the beauty of MacKinac Island. I have never been there, but this makes me want to visit. The caramels shop must be addictive. Kudos to your dad for the bicycling! Have a nice afternoon.

08.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina@flourtrader

Sounds idyllic and the photos prove it. You are so lucky to have this place in your life!

Absolutely breathtaking pictures! I would love to go to MacKinac someday...

and the little blocks of fudge are just so adorable!

08.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean

What a gorgeous vacation! Delicious, too ;)

08.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

You make me want to visit the island too! Beautiful photos.

Beautiful pictures of the island and ofcourse the caramel - that's what got me here in the first place.
I have never heard of Mackinac island till this summer. My friend visit the place and then my brother's friend has his wedding on the island and now Mackinac is everywhere. We tasted some gorgeous fudge from there but this is the first time I am seeing pictures. I am determined to visit the place soon.

08.25.2011 | Unregistered Commenterindosungod

Nothing is better than homemade caramels! mmmm

08.25.2011 | Unregistered Commentersusan

Lisa: Love to see your Dad pedaling away! We took our kids there years ago and biked around the island. It looks much the same, thank goodness! I've enjoyed your descriptions of your time in Michigan (my home state) and can appreciate your love of its beauty. We are flyfisher people and love the out of doors, as well as good food. Thanks for sharing! Sara

08.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara M.

wow, i'd love to live in that place (even though its a bit touristy hehe)!!! i actually didn't think places like that exists anymore today :P where people can only get around by bike, foot or horses! hahaha. love it!

08.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterVivienne

I never heard of this island...so interesting. Thank you for the tour through the pictures.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend Lisa :-)

08.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuliana

What a gorgeous island!!! It looks so pristine and beautiful! I love the photos you shared.

That candy looks so delicious too. Yum!

Hi Lisa! Thank you for your kind comment on my green tea ice cream. :-) I truly enjoyed your photos and stories and oh I wish to visit this island... so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

So cool! I've never heard of this place before. It looks like a lovely, fresher more historic version of New York's Fire Island. I'm gonna have to add this to my 'must see' list :) Thanks so much for sharing!

08.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterParsley Sage

Have been there two times. I love Macinac Island, so quaint and beautiful, and the fudge is to die for!!

08.28.2011 | Unregistered Commentersouthernbelletwo

I live on the island year-round. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit!

08.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Gorgeous photos! The island looks so, so charming!

08.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaris

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Candies ... Yum!

08.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDewi

What an amazing island: never heard of Mackinac before and would so much love to visit this place. It certainly looks like going back in time. I wonder if you have tea at the Grand hotel, would they still bring you in horse and carriage? ;-)
Didn't know you were a Fudgie, Lisa. Really enjoyed reading your post - beautiful pictures as always!

love the pictures. beautiful!

08.30.2011 | Unregistered Commenternaama peled

Those caramels are dying for some salt! They look delicious.

Somewhere in Time is one of my (Cheryl) favorite movies and we just love your travelogue on Mackinac Island. How fun it must have been to see that old hotel, it's definitely on our list!

You have such a beautiful blog! I'm so happy you stopped by mine! Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing your great pictures so we could live vicariously through you :)

Dear Lisa, I am thrilled your Pat introduced me to Tarte du Jour! I had no idea the breadth of your talents. Your photography is breathtakingly beautiful and your breezy, sunny style of prose is delightful. I'm now an avid follower and look forward to taking time to browse your earlier posts, too. Hope all is well with you and your family and M! Jane R from CBC

09.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJane R

Thanks Jane! So nice of you!!

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