Set majestically between Michigan’s two peninsulas is the crown jewel, Mackinac Island. Named one of the Top 10 Islands in the World by Conde Nast Traveler, Mackinac Island is one of Michigan’s most unique tourist destinations. This season, leave the ordinary at home and set sail for this timeless and picturesque destination. Here’s a sneak peek of the new, the renovated, the milestone anniversaries and must-dos on Mackinac Island this season:
Spending the night on Mackinac Island lets you experience why this island is so magical. The sound of waves and freighters are showcased amidst the ever present clip clop of horses. The Island hosts many day visitors. Turning a day trip into an overnight trip will give a feeling like no other and memories for a lifetime.
This season, the 385-room Grand Hotel celebrates its 125th anniversary with special events and packages to commemorate. Grand Hotel’s anniversary celebration will take place July 13-15, including a reception and fireworks on Friday night, presentations, a concert and tournament on Saturday, with a special celebration that evening. Book the 125th Anniversary Celebration Package and make plans to attend the celebration. Several commemorative items have been produced for the 125th anniversary, including a 144-page coffee table book which is included in the celebration package.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Murray Hotel opens this season with updates to boast about. Visitors can get away from the hustle of Main Street and enjoy the improvements to the spacious spa pool and sun deck areas on the second floor.
Please pardon our dust…something rarely observed on Mackinac Island is noticeable as visitors stroll down Main Street. Construction of the three-story Bicycle Inn is well under way. The new inn, on the site of the McNally Cottage property, is scheduled to open in 2013 with 36 rooms.
The food and cuisine of Mackinac Island is as diverse as the island itself. Plan a dinner at a beautiful waterfront location, a rustic experience in the wooded interior of the Island, or enjoy a cozy café.
The newest eatery to Mackinac Island, Twist-n-Sprouts, is gearing up for the season. Here visitors will enjoy making their own fresh salad from a variety of natural ingredients and dressings. In addition, Twist-n-Sprouts will offer a frozen yogurt bar with various flavors and toppings.
Other restaurant changes on the island include Grand Hotel taking over operations of The Village Inn, now Cawthorne’s Village Inn. The restaurant, owned by Mackinac Island State Park Commission Chairman, Dennis Cawthorne and his wife, Cynthia, was built and opened in 1981. The atmosphere for which the Village Inn is known hasn’t changed, visitors will enjoy an expanded menu with more Michigan products and organic selections.
What to do and see
Spend a weekend exploring the Island’s vast history of Mackinac Island. Hear the bugle music, rifle fire and a cannon blast at Fort Mackinac, which played a vital role 200-years ago during the war of 1812. Dance to a 19th century tune, drill with soldiers and play Victorian children’s games. Relax during a leisurely carriage tour through the Mackinac Island State Park, including stops at the carriage museum and Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory.
Allow the aroma of Mackinac Island fudge to fill the air around. Stop into Murdick’s Fudge Mackinac Island, Mackinac Island’s first candy shop, as they celebrate their 125th anniversary. Check out the special of the day, an array of fudge flavors, brittle and other confections.
Mackinac is known for its art galleries, featuring the works of Island and regional artists. Exhibits and workshops are held throughout the season. Making its debut this season. Mackinac’s Little Gallery. This Market Street destination is a must for fine equine inspired art.
Plan a stay around a festival or event. Mackinac Island has plenty to celebrate this year, from milestone anniversaries to annual festivals and budding new events, the 2012 season will be a celebration.
Celebrating Mackinac’s lilac collection began more than 50 years ago. What began as a one day event has blossomed into a ten day festival, the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, June 8-17, 2012.
Thursday evenings come alive in Marquette Park with Music in the Park. Sit back and enjoy the delightful sounds and the spectacular view. Music in the Park, founded by the Mackinac Arts Council, has announced seven unique acts scheduled from mid-June through early-August.
Over 600 horses call Mackinac Island their summer home and each July, the horsemen of Mackinac Island put on a grand celebration of all things equine, where the horse is King. With a saddle horse parade, blessing of the horses, breed show, symposiums and stable tours of the historic Victorian era barns on the prestigious West Bluff, the third annual Festival of the Horse, August 8-12, is the perfect time to visit the island.
Visit www.mackinacisland.org or call (800) 454-5227 for more information.