Mackinaw Island, Michigan

The seas were flat, a welcome change as we left Detour Village, and they stayed that way all the way to Mackinaw City. We docked in a marina outside of Mackinaw Island and took an early ferry into the island.

A fifty-year old memory ran through my mind. It was of a charming, comfortable and quiet island full of horses, carriages, bicycles but no cars; A memory of sitting upon the wrap-around porch in the Grand Hotel, with a drink in my hand, on beautiful chairs and lazily contemplating the waters at the confluence of Lakes Huron and Michigan.

In stark contrast to what we saw today, the streets are streaming with people. Horses, carriages and bicycles are still there but the island has been engulfed in the arms of commercialism. It is still beautiful but you cannot get into the hotel or the fort without paying a fee. The ferries run every half hour and churn the waters all through the Straits creating large swells and fudge is sold in great quantities all over the island.

I guess you could say that it is possible to see a sizable change in fifty years in almost any place in the United States but it was most poignant for me, and my memories.




8 thoughts on “Mackinaw Island, Michigan

  1. I was at mackinaw island two years ago with my sisters. I found it very commercial although we did a carriage tour with a native islander. Bob and were there back in 1999.


  2. What a beautiful place! Weather looks great. Our weather is awful with this hurricane finally passing by this area this afternoon, we hope! 😘


  3. Monarch still standing. So far we still have power. Just going stir crazy. We were in Makinaw many years ago…it was fudge shops. Tee shirt shops & horse manure all over the town. Sun. Brunch at the hotel was the highlight of the trip.


  4. Were we on Macinaw Island when we went to Dearborn and saw the molten steel factory? Glad the seas have gotten a bit calmer. The Cat 5 Hurricane that we have been hearing about for a week is west of us a good ways and it is sunny and a little windy. Tomorrow is supposed to be when it passes by and they are still saying tropical storm winds and storm surges of 4-7 feet.


  5. I have been to Mackinaw Island and an sorry to hear that it has lost its uniqueness. We are watching the news re: Dorian, on our TV in Boston. So glad that it is going away from our coast. Happy traveling in the US waters. Barbara

    Sent from my iPad



  6. I am so sorry to hear about the change in Mackinaw Island. Been there a couple of times years ago and loved it. The Grand Hotel was so charming. Oh well, I guess nothing stays the same. I am enjoying your commentaries on your trip.


  7. I also have 50+ memories of Mackinaw Island, re-inforced by more recent trips. Time never stands still, but I’m so glad they still don’t allow cars. The Grande Hotel is right up there with the Mt. Washington hotel in New Hampshire, living remnants of a time gone by. It’s nice that we still have some of those. Love the journey.


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