A Romantic’s Perspective Travel
*initially published Summer, 2010. The info is timeless.
An Island getaway Michigan Upper and Lower Peninsulas
Mackinac Island rises like a shell of a tortoise, round and plush with foliage, between the Michigan Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Only water vessels or airplanes may land visitors here.
It’s a seasonal island, that sleeps in the winter, with 500 permanent residents who are willing to cross the ice should they need to meet the outside world.
The Island wakes for late spring, summer and early autumn, when the ferries may arrive via freshwater. Now it blossoms with lilacs and tulips, daffodils and geraniums. Its hotels open, its gift shops and antique shops, its boutiques, restaurants and taverns. The island is ready to receive the 700,000 annual visitors.
Most visitors arrive via ferry downtown, and the porters assure their safe horse-drawn transportation to their hotels. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. That makes this getaway remote more than geographically. It transports tourists to a peaceful rhythm they might not otherwise find.
Although downtown Mackinac Island bustles with ferryboat horns, porters’ calls, and hundreds of folks crossing paths via horse transport, bicycles or by foot, there remains an underlying tranquility per absence of car horns, absence of revving engines or humming motors.
The farther one gets from Main Street, where the ferry lines dock, the more resounding the hoofbeats along the streets, the more audible the whispers or whirrings of the island’s surrounding waters.
Mackinac Island is three miles wide and four miles long. The island’s main thoroughfare is Michigan State Highway 185, an eight-mile lakeshore road that encircles the island. It’s the shortest Highway in the United States, and the only one that bans motorized vehicles.
Visitors may enjoy boutiques and specialty shops, and historical landmarks like Fort Mackinac that was built in 1780. There are horse-drawn tours to showcase Mackinac Island history, and historical and landmark sites.
Yet all one needs to do is to reserve overnight accommodations, and to land here. They will feel the getaway.
For more information including accommodations and seasonal events, visit here.
For information on the island horse transportation and horse care, link to this “The Green Romantic” article, The Island Horses
*photos provided by MackinacIsland.org