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Mackinac Island, MI

Somewhere in Time

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by Dylan

Summer on Mackinac Island

When it comes to Michigan’s islands, the legendary Mackinac is the first to leap to the tips of people’s tongues. With a rich history as THE tourist destination of northern Michigan, this hardly comes as a surprise, but why such popularity? What makes Mackinac so epic?

Aside from obvious reasons, the shoreline, the natural beauty found across most of the Mitten State, or the simple, isolated pleasure of being on an island, Mackinac boasts a myriad of qualities to separate it from other tourist destinations. For one, all travel is done by foot, bicycle, or horse and carriage. You won’t find any gas-guzzlers here, and because of it, the people somehow seem more connected, things move at an easier pace. There is also fudge. Lots of fudge.

Mackinac Island 2012 Lilac Festival

Mackinac is perhaps best experienced in summer, when the sun is shining and the boats are at full sail. One of the most popular summer events is the Mackinac Island 2012 Lilac Festival, ten full days of events, parades, and community activities amidst the blossoming Lilac trees. First held in 1949, the Lilac Festival has become a rich part of the Mackinac tradition. The 2012 festival will be held June 8-17.

2012 Bay View and Chicago Yacht Race

For nautical aficionados, the Chicago Yacht Club’s annual Race to Mackinac is a much anticipated event, and the oldest fresh water yacht race in the world. This year’s 333 mile race starts July 21st, with sailors from around the Midwest (and beyond) vying for glory in the 104th edition of the event. Over the course of the summer, Mackinac Island is home to several other sailing events, including the Port Huron to Mackinac race, the Round the Island Race, and the Horns Bar Labor Day Regatta.

Even outside of these annual happenings, Mackinac Island is a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world. There is surely no shortage of lovely destinations for a bike ride or hike, beautiful hotels inlcluding the Grand Hotel, Iroquois, and Bay View.  Mission Pointe resort is located on the edge of town with waterfront dining and a miniature grass golf course.  Mission Point has happy out priced drinks every time a freighter navigates in front of the Mackinac Island Harbor.  Mackinac is luxurious relaxation, and an entire community steeped in Victorian history and architecture. No matter the age, everyone can find something fun to do on the island, from golf courses to live music, historical tours to casual strolls through lush wildflowers, Mackinac has something for just about everyone.

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What Do You Think about Mackinac Island, MI?

Adventure Rating: A

If you schedule a Shelpers or Arnold Line ferry from Mackinaw City during mid summer you should enjoy a smooth trip across the Straits of Mackinac with beautiful views of the Mackinac Bridge.  However, if you choose to sail to Mackinac from Detroit or Chicago in the annual yacht races, you put your life in the hands of your captain!  Men and women have been risking their lives to sail for glory across the Great Lakes to arrive on the summer shores of Mackinac Island!

Locals Tip

Be ready for any weather.  In the same day you are likely to encounter rain, sun, 55 degree lows and 80 highs.  If the wind is building up large waves, site in the back of the Mackinaw ferry where the least amount of movement happens.

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"I love grabbing a drink at the Pink Pony and watching the carriages drive by" Meghann "Tandem bikes are big mistake.  Definitely rent or take you bike but make sure each person has their own two wheels!" Dylan

Geocache Winner

Be the first person to post a photo or video of yourself at either of the 2012 yacht race award parties on Mackinac Island and you will receive a free We Are Up North poster of your choice.

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