Out and About in Mackinaw City

It’s Mackinaw time again!! This time I’m going to introduce you to some places in Mackinaw that are special to me and this lovely lady.

But first, I’d like to show houses that my mom and I are going to buy. Well not really, but I have a pretty creative imagination so I’ll just pretend I live there : )

Here’s my mom’s house:

Source

The picture online was better than the one I took from the van. It’s on Jamet Street, which is right in the heart of downtown Mackinaw City. Surprisingly, the street was relatively quiet.

And here’s the house I am going to “buy.” Which happens to be right next door to my moms!

Source

This one is super cute. It’s got a big 2 car garage, and it has a little house in the back! Like a garden shed or a man cave, whatever your fancy is. So until I’m rich, I’ll just have to pretend in my mind that I live there. You walk to one end of the street and you see the bridge, and you look down the other end and you have lake Huron. Ahhh. How nice.

This is the house that my cousin and I are going to own one day. Actually it’s the Brigadoon bed and breakfast, but ever since we were little we have been obsessed with it. We have to drive by it at least 10 times, pretend we own it and choose which room we want to live in.

Source

You can’t even tell me that it’s not the cutest, most prettiest house ever. It’s right on the corner of East Etherington and Langlade. It always looks so quaint and it’s about a 2 block walk to downtown, as well as the lake! You can actually see the lake from the rooms you see in this picture, because it’s facing East. I just recently found out that they have a sister inn, which is on the Island! It’s called the Bay View at Mackinac, and it’s just a short walk from downtown where the ferries drop you off. It’s right on the harbor, and is just as cute…

Source

It actually looks like a smaller baby version of the Brigadoon. Ahh I would love to own either of them really! Let’s buy the house on the mainland and then this one can be our vacation home… What do you say Em?!

Another place we love is Mama Mia’s Pizza. Here’s what it looks like today:

Source

They have the best taco pizza and the inside is really fun. If you go upstairs, they even have a free Mackinaw Bridge museum which is dedicated to all of the workers and families that helped build the Bridge. In the museum they have tools, clothes, articles and other items belonging to the workers that were donated. They also have a movie running constantly that you are able to purchase about the making of the Bridge. Sadly, the building actually caught on fire August 28th, 2005. (Hey, that’s gram’s birthday!) So a lot of the treasures were lost. Click here to learn more about the fire and museum.

Good news is, is not only the restaurant but the museum has been re-opened. We went in there Sunday to check it out and the dining room is a big open space with booths and you can see right into the kitchen. We were trying to get upstairs to see the new museum but a family with kids were blocking the stairs, and well we didn’t want to wait. I’m sure it’s just as cool as it used to be. I wonder if that old lady is still up there? (There used to be a wooden lady dressed in old-lady clothes sitting in a chair watching the movie. She was quite the attraction to take pictures with).

While we are on the topic of food, we can’t forget Anna’s Country Buffet!

Source

Yummy food, great variety, and a haunted house upstairs. What more could you ask for.

Next we have Mackinaw Crossings. It’s kind of like an outdoor mall with cute shops and restaurants. I couldn’t post without showing you the Great Lakes Bear Factory.

It’s in a different spot than it used to be, it’s right when you walk in now, across from the movie theater.

Oh man… this is like old school Build-a-Bear. Actually this was around before Build-a-Bear was even out! Here you got to pick your bear fur, eyes, and nose, stuff it, and buy it clothes. We went here all.the.time and got a new outfit for our furry friends.

Next we have the Arnold Transit Company. This is the ferry line that we used to take to go to the Island. Their dock was right down from our hotel, and a few times we floated out too far and got hit (but not really even close to getting hit) by one of the boats.

Source

Going this weekend really made me want to go back to the island. It’s truly a magical place and you won’t be bored. There’s so many pretty things to do and see, even men will have a good time. The Island (and city) are rich with history dating back before the War of 1812, and there are interesting historical markers all over the place.

You may not know, but you can not drive cars on the Island. Only bikes, walking and horse and buggies. It’s 8.1 miles around the Island and you’ll have breathtaking views the entire time. Most of the Island is actually a State Park, with many trails and houses and natural landmarks like Arch Rock.

Source

It’s a natural limestone feature that was formed when glaciers formed the Great Lakes. You can hike up to it and look out to see the lake.

Another thing you have to see on the Island is The Grand Hotel. It will cost you $10 to even think about going on the 660′ long porch, but they credit the $10 back to you if you eat or shop there. Pictures do not even begin to describe how beautiful it really is. It faces the lake and can be seen from the mainland and the bridge. If you don’t want to pay the $10 to go right up to it, you can still get fairly close to it on Lake Shore Drive or Cadotte Ave.

Source

Even if you don’t want to do much on the Island, you have to walk around and see the beautiful houses. I would love to live in them! Over on West Bluff, you have the Victorian-style houses:

Source

Or you have the cute, quaint cottages on Mahoney Ave and Market Street.

Source

This is actually the Cottage Inn, but it looks like all the rest of the houses along those streets. Also, don’t look for a typical Holiday Inn on the Island, because this is a very good example of what most of the Inns look like.

Well, that just about wraps up the tour of the Island and City!! I would love to go back sometime soon and explore the Island now that I’m a bit older and appreciate the buildings there more. I haven’t been in over 6 years so it would be great to go back and refresh the ol’ memory.

If anyone wants to know more about what it’s like to live on the Island full time, check out The Quilted Turtle Blog!

Also, Bree’s Mackinaw Island Blog is great too! She lives there in the summer only but gives very detailed information about the Island!

Lauren : )

Advertisements

Giant Man Eating Clam, Blue Mountians, and Fudge…

Can only mean one thing… YES! The Official Mackinaw Post!! We had a great time and yes, I took lots of pictures!

Note: It was only my mom and I that went, and we didn’t go to the Island because we only went for the weekend. If you’re thinking about traveling to the Island, I would highly recommend setting a whole day aside to do so. There’s lots to see and do there!

Ok enough jibber jabbering… On with our trip!!

We left Southeast Michigan (where we live) around 4:30ish and we hit the normal traffic on the way up. I had to take a picture for all of you non-Michiganders. On I-75 there are signs for Frankenmuth and Bronners, even in Florida! So just to explain, it’s basically a really small town centered around Christmas all year-round and there are stores where you can buy ornaments, decorations and anything Christmas you can ever imagine. So, it’s only appropriate that Santa waves to all the people driving by.

Why hello there Santa!

The good thing about Frankenmuth is that when you exit off the expressway, to the right you have Christmas land, and to the left you have a GIANT outlet mall called Birch Run. Seriously, set a whole day aside to shop here because it’s huge.  Like, ginormous. Look it up.

When we were driving along, we saw a minivan with a license plate “EMS VAN.” I tried to take a picture but it didn’t turn out very well. We thought it was funny because my cousin, Emily always came with us to Mackinaw!

Driving north we go, a driving north we go… Oh sorry, I’ll stop singing now. This is the first picture of the first sign to Mackinaw! Follow the green signs!

WOOOOOO!! Only a million more hours to go! (Clearly because we were only in Saginaw at this point)

Our bellies were beginning to growl so we stopped in… Where else? West Branch for a very gourmet meal… wait for it…

You guessed it! A good old Happy Meal, chicken nuggets, of course.

Driving, driving, driving, driving and BAM!! The first Mackinaw Island ferry billboard! Arnold Transit Line! Which in my opinion is the best! To follow were countless fudge shops and Grand Hotel ads too.

This is where the Giant Man Eating Clam story comes in… You know you’re almost close when you see Sea Shell City. It’s a tourist attraction on the side of the expressway that apparently has a “Giant man eating clam.” I’ve never been there but there’s always cars in the parking lot. Maybe I should check it out someday… but I’m not getting close to that clam.

Watch out for that clam

Now it wouldn’t be a complete Mackinaw trip if I didn’t show you the first glimpse of the bridge. Not only did we used to bet on who would see it first, but pictures don’t do this scene justice. Just before you get to the bridge you’re driving on hilly roads and at the top of them you can see upper Michigan for miles. It’s so beautiful and it can take your breath away. Where I live it’s mostly big cities and buildings, although I do have one of the Great Lakes about 5 minutes from my house. But when you get Up North, you really appreciate how beautiful our awesome state really is.

YAY Mighy Mac!

Ok sorry that took so long, but it’s a long drive up there! With so many good memories with this gal!

We stayed at the Beachcomber Motel. We used to stay in one of the fancier hotels on the strip but we really were just there to sleep, so we didn’t care. However, I highly recommend it for anyone who doesn’t mind not having a pool (I mean you have a lake right out your door) or won’t miss any of the fancy fluff you get with the more expensive hotels. We were very happy to lean that we were in the last room down the parking lot, which was closest to the lake, so we also had a side window! We could see the beach, lake, Island and also some of the buildings on the island! You may not notice it but see that long white building in the distance? Keep squinting… well that’s the Grand Hotel!

 This was our view from our side window!

After we were all settled in, we took a ride downtown, and also stopped at the park right to the East of the bridge. It’s so pretty, and you can see the Upper Peninsula and the Island.

Park by the bridge, lighthouse and Fort

Toes in the sand at the park!

Um check out this “cottage” on the lake… how many stories do you count??

I couldn’t get a good picture of the Island at night but oh my was it so pretty. You’re just sitting on the beach, and all of the Island lights are on and they literally twinkle. The Grand Hotel looks spectacular and you just want to stare at it for hours.

Let’s fast forward to the next day shall we?

We were actually up there at the same time as the St. Ignace car show, so we were constantly seeing old cars which was pretty cool. The winner of the whole shebang was at our hotel!

We started off the morning with good old continental breakfast bagels and coffee. After that we took a spin around downtown to map out our shopping for the next day, and I needed to go to the party store because I lost my hair tie. DANGIT why does that always happen? And oh ya we ran out of chips for our dip.

Yay for only having 2 different packs to choose from and this purchase ending up to be over $7. Sheesh.

So after we shoved our faces with chips and dip and my hair was properly secured, we were off to tan outside!

This was the view from our tanning spot

We were out there for a good 2 hours before the hillbillies next to us decided to shoot off bottle rockets. Mind you, they were like, 7 years old. Classy folks.  So then we decided it was time to go inside for some drinks. Coors Light to be exact, hence the Blue Mountains. (If you don’t know about their cans, they have a picture of mountains on them and if the can is cold they turn blue. If they are still white, then your beer is probably warm. G-r-o-s-s).

This was our 2nd tanning spot! See how far the people in the background are out? The water level is super low, it has been for years. It used to come up to where the grass line is!

Let’s just say that we drank a few of these, ran out, went to the store to get a refill, and drank more.  Then we realized we spent WAY too much time in the sun and came inside to chill out. One look in the mirror and we knew we were cooked (literally).

We were starving by this point so we decided to get some pizza from Pizza Palace. Let me tell you that is was deeelish.

We enjoyed the entire pizza (can you guess which side is mine?) and then watched the last 2 episodes of Real Housewives of OC. Dang Sarah is nuts. And really Vicki?? Brooks totally needs to get kicked to the curb. The only reason we sat in the room on a beautiful day was because the sun was still out. Sun + already burnt skin = ouchies.

We finally went outside and every motel has a bonfire pit available to their guests. It was super cool to see all of them in a row lit up with people out on the beach. After the people left our pit we dove in and took our spots at the benches. Hey… check out my mom’s “recovery drink.”

Ha, don’t worry, there’s no Jack in that Coke. Just ice.

The next day we got up and enjoyed another round of bagels and coffee, and sat on the beach for a bit. After that, we went shopping to pick up some gifts. Of course I got fudge, and some other fun things too.

After our shopping extravaganza, we got some Kilwin’s ice cream and ate it in the park near the bridge. I was sad they didn’t have my waffle bowl dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, but that’s ok. My belly doesn’t need it anyways : )

y-u-m

Oh ya, we also forgot to take a picture before we left so here we are afterwards pretending that it’s the day we left. Clearly it’s not, because you can see we are fried. Oops.

I think I’m going to end this post right here because it’s SO super long, but stay tuned tomorrow for another riveting Mackinaw post! You’ll see the house I’m going to buy (in my head) and then the house I’ll eventually own with my cousin, and other random pics too that I didn’t want to bore you with in this post.

Before I go, let’s just say that Miss Izzy has a very exciting weekend with her Grandpa while we were done! In fact, as soon as she got home she passed out in her bed. So tired in fact, that she didn’t come and lick my legs when I got out of the shower. That’s one pooped puppy.

Zzzzz

Lauren : )