May 15, 2018

What to Do, Where to Stay and What to Eat on Mackinac Island

The last time that I had been to Mackinac Island was in the 4th grade so it was time to visit again and bring my kiddos and I'm so glad that we did! I really didn't know what to expect since I had previously only been for a day trip. 

I was worried about not having a car with the kids and how to get around but my worries went away immediately when I realized that getting around on Mackinac Island was so easy. We had the most gorgeous trip and I would highly recommend visiting Mackinac Island.

We left early on a Monday morning with my mom, the kids and I. It was about a 4 hour and 15 minute trip from Detroit to Mackinaw City. We chose to take the Star Line Ferry which was a great choice because they took our bags right from our car, loaded them onto a cart and took them right to our hotel for us. We didn't have to worry about a thing which was wonderful with all of the stuff for the kids that we had to bring. The ferry only took 18 minutes which is much quicker than some of the other ferries, was really fast and we got to see the gorgeous view of the bridge. We all really enjoyed this part.

When we got to the island, we had some time to explore before checking into our hotel. We walked around and looked at the gorgeous aqua water and couldn’t believe how clear it was. We grabbed a coffee at Starbucks to fuel us through the afternoon. I called the hotel to see if we could check in early so that the kids could nap and they were super accommodating. There are horses all over the island which was one of our favorite parts.

We stayed at Island House Hotel which was the biggest room that I’ve ever stayed in. There were two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room. There was so much space which was super important for the kids who nap and go to bed at different times than us.

We had our own balcony and were super close to the pool and hot tub. Most hotels at Mackinac Island do not have indoor pools so we felt super lucky to be able to have this. The hot tub was well enjoyed! Adalyn even went under the water for the first time on her own which was exciting. Oliver LOVED the pool so much.

The hotel was large and beautiful and was in a perfect location. It is about .3 miles from downtown and is super close to all of the attractions. As someone who loves to exercise, I loved having to walk or bike everywhere.

That night, we went to dinner at Huron Street Pub and Grill and loved the Brussel sprouts appetizer and coconut shrimp. They are known for the reubens which I didn’t know until after and am glad that I got one. It was delish! 

I always order a Michigan cherry salad when I see one on the menu and this one did not disappoint.

Adalyn had to have the cheeseburger which she was happy with as well. We all had a great time and enjoyed all of the food. 

That night, we spent some time at the pool and then put the kiddos to bed.

The next morning, the kiddos were up and at ‘em early and we rented bikes at Ryba’s Bike Rentals and biked around the Island. This was the most memorable part for me because I am obsessed with gorgeous nature which we saw tons of on the island. The island is 8 miles around and a very doable bike ride for all. 

My mom was worried about the length of the bike ride and did just fine for anyone worried about it. I pulled the kids in the bike trailer and got my workout in let’s just say!!

We stopped maybe 4-5 times at various beautiful spots on the island such as Arch Rock, Devil’s Kitchen, a little waterfall we found and to look at the gorgeous lake and the Mackinac Bridge. 

This was breathtaking and my #1 recommendation for visiting Mackinac Island. It took us maybe 2 hours to do with the stops.

We stopped in for lunch at the Mustang Lounge which has been around since 1780! We enjoyed buffalo cauliflower, a salad, quesadillas, a pulled pork sandwich and a buffalo chicken sandwich. Everything was tasty and we enjoyed learning the history of the restaurant.

The kids napped at the hotel and so did my mom and I. After naps, we headed out to the playground at Marquette Park which Adalyn loved. Then, we stopped at The Original Butterfly House and Ruth gave us a tour of the place. We enjoyed learning about the different stages of butterflies and seeing their gorgeous colors.

We visited Chianti at Mission Point Resort for dinner and wow, I am still thinking about this meal. If you visit Mackinac Island for a special occasion like an anniversary, make a reservation at Chianti for a dinner with amazing views and incredible food and drinks. We did bring the kids there and the staff was amazingly kind to my kids and so accommodating, I will never forget this. Huge shout out to the staff and management there! You made my daughter’s night.

I am not much of a cocktail person but when I saw the Garden Gimlet with cucumber and basil, I had to try it and it was amazing! So flavorful and well made, I need to recreate it. The best meal item of my entire trip was the asparagus and artichoke bruschetta. So, so, so good! If you visit Chianti, order it. You won’t be disappointed.

We ordered a salad with pecans, goat cheese and artichokes which was tasty. When we walked in, Adalyn said that she had to have soup. She was completely sold on it so I read her the two soups on the menu and she wanted the Spring Pea Soup. Which 3-year old orders Spring Pea Soup? Mine! She loved it and so did Oliver.

For my entrée, I ordered the chicken parmesan and my mom ordered the halibut. Both were great. A favorite was the truffled roasted potatoes. Adalyn went crazy for these and so did I. Very, very good! Another one that I need to recreate at home.

We finished the night with an amazing crème brule with berry compote and tiramisu. Both were outstanding and disappeared in a matter of minutes. The meal at Chianti was unforgettable and one that my mom and I will be talking about for years to come. The view of the water, the ability to dress up and the food were just outstanding.

Afterwards, we walked back to our hotel at Island House and enjoyed the huge Jacuzzi tub. It is  so big that my mom, daughter and I could all fit in! The next morning, we decided to bike partway around the island again and got in about 4 miles before our ferry was set to takeoff. We stopped in to get some fudge at Ryba’s and my favorite was the peanut butter which was oh so creamy and soft. Star Line ferry did a great job of loading our stuff and then quickly unpacking it after we got off so that we didn’t have to worry about a thing.

Mackinac Island went above and beyond my expectations in that it is so gorgeous with so many natural wonders, gorgeous waters, wonderful accommodations and delicious food. It was so much easier to get around than I imagined which made everything easier with being there with young kids. I know that my husband will love it so much so I’m bringing him back in August. I just couldn’t stay away! Until next time Mackinac Island!

Accommodations, some meals and some activities were provided. All opinions are my own.

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  1. Islands and Rivers are also playing a special role in tourist place. Most of the person prefers the place that is having river in their destination like place during tour. The bank of river is perfect place for the camping where you can stay for sometime to know more about the activities and place.


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