View Full Version : Mackinac Island

12-21-2009, 07:01 PM
Ever been? It was an annual pilgrimage for years as a kid. Drive to Mackinac city, take the ferry. No cars! Cars are banned from the island. When you step off that ferry it's either hoof or bike. It breaks the mold of amusement parks. There is a sort of Disney quality to it, but also something different. The film, "Somewhere in Time" was filmed there. Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Pretty good, a time travel fantasy.

12-21-2009, 07:18 PM
I've been there but it was about 40 years ago. Vague recollections of the bridge. That's about it.


12-21-2009, 07:20 PM
Too many people. The Manitous and Fox islands are nicer.

12-21-2009, 07:27 PM
Curious place.
My husband and I have been several times. We brought our hi-tech tandem with us, (with provisions). After pedaling the entire circumference in an hour, we hit the fudge shops. An old geezer in dark glitzy sunglasses lurked in the corner, arms folded, sitting on a high stool.
In a hushed tone, my husband said to the girl behind the counter, “So, is it really true that the mob runs all these fudge shops—that they use them as a front for some kind of bicycle chop shop here on the island?” Poor girl. She immediately stiffened; her eyes shifted as she glanced over at the distinctly Mediterranean old man who came off his stool and closed the distance between them. My husband winked, and she cautioned, “You shouldn’t joke about that sort of thing—” and handed us our overpriced fudge as the old guy practically ushered us out of the store.

And don’t even get me going on the Grand Hotel …

12-21-2009, 07:44 PM

I haven't been for years, but what you say doesn't surprise me.

The only time I've been told to leave a bar was at the Grand Hotel. We weren't doing anything bad, but they didn't like the cut of our jibs. It wasn't a t-shirt and jeans place, and one member of the party was being a bit noisy. Fanciest place I've ever been thrown out of!

The Italian mob is heavy in there, eh? A lot of money around.

12-21-2009, 07:57 PM
All I’m sayin’ is that at the pharmacy, we brought up the chop shop thing again (what can I say we were bored) and the clerk said that they actually did apprehend a yacht in transit, loaded with exotic bike parts! Makes one wonder…

We went to the Grand Hotel for dinner as guest of a friend. Serious dress code there. It felt like some bizarre variation of a scripted theme park where you’re expected to play a role. Perhaps it’s just this day and age (at one time it may have actually felt like fine dining), but just because a 10 year-old boy puts on a tie and dress slacks doesn’t mean he will behave any differently than if he were at McDonalds. Some of the adults were that way too.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-22-2009, 07:47 AM
I know lots of folks who've enjoyed Mackinac Is; some ordinary vacationers who went by ferry, some sailors who participate in the annual Chicago to Mackinac race.

I prefer the North Channel a little farther east, in my own boat, hauled up to that region on a trailer.

Moby Nick

12-22-2009, 09:05 AM
I've been there too may times to count. Went as a kid with my family often enough. Stayed at the grand hotel with my wife, one of her favorite movies is "Somewhere in Time". The last 4 years I went there with my dtr and her X country team for preseason training. We stay at wilderness state park on the mainland and run trails for 3 days, doing lots of running and team "bonding" activities. The last day we all go to the island and run the perimeter which is 8 miles around. Many of the kids have never run that far but they all make it. Then we all jump in Lake MI for our "shower". Lots of fun. Some of my best memories of my dtr and I have been at these training camps and Mackinac Island. I plan on sailing my Caledonia Yawl up the coast of lake MI next summer and sailing through the straits of Mackinaw and over to the island.
There are lots of "fudgies" over there but if you get away from the downtown shops it is really an awsome place.

12-22-2009, 09:33 AM
"There are lots of "fudgies" over there but if you get away from the downtown shops it is really an awsome place."


I'd forgotten that's what the locals call the summer people. For those who've never been, Mackinac Island is famous for its many fudge shops.

We'd go for a day, spend a little time in town, tour the fort and then rent bikes and go right around the island. Because no cars are allowed it's either bicycles or horses. Once you get past the somewhat kitschy downtown it is a beautiful place. Riding bikes was great, because you weren't sharing the road with automobiles.

A lot of kids from the mainland got summer jobs there. Departed brother Bill was the night clerk at the Murray Hotel a couple of summers. By most reports the place can get pretty raucous at night. Drunken fudgies! LOL.

P.S. What a great place to do X-country training. The air and water up there are sweet.

12-23-2009, 06:06 AM
I spent a summer as a bellman at the Grand Hotel. Living quarters were directly over the horse stables - never got that smell out of my uniform! Nothing better than lunch at the fort, way up the hill overlooking the harbor, my favorite spot in what I've seen of this world :-)

Captain Blight
12-23-2009, 06:37 AM
Never been to Mackinac, but I have spent a few evenings anchored in the lee of Christian Island...

Madelaine Island is a lot of fun. Think Key West, Wisconsin style.