August 21, 2014

Mackinac Island

Over the weekend I organized a girls trip up north to Mackinac Island! It was the perfect get-a-way weekend! I haven't been to Mackinac Island since I was 10 years old - therefore I was very giddy and excited to visit one my all time favorite Michigan destinations. We drove up Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel in Mackinaw City. We stayed at the Ramada Mackinaw City Waterfront. It was nothing fancy - but a fabulous location! It was directly adjacent to the Arnold Line Ferry which we took in the morning to get to the island. 
Once we arrived on Mackinac Island we rented our bicycles for the day. For those of you who may not know - there are no motor vehicles on the Island! The only mode of transportation is walking, biking, or horses! 

Once we had our bikes our first stop was the Mackinac Island Butterfly House. I've been to a butterfly house before (in Aruba) and this was a smaller version of it. There were a ton of beautiful butterflies flying all over the place! While we were there a butterfly landed on my mom's arm, another on a visitor's head, etc. They were gorgeous creatures and it was marvelous capturing these colorful butterflies in action.

After the Butterfly House our plan was to go to the Grand Hotel and explore - however we missed the street and ended up biking around the entire island - which ended up being extremely fun! We ended up biking on the M-185 Perimeter tour which was 8 miles long. Along the way we stopped by the lake, ate some ice cream, and explored some historic sites.

Along the way we stopped at the Arch Rock to take in this magnificent natural wonder. From the bottom the view wasn't that great. Therefore we climbed 207 stairs (one way) to get to the top to take in the magnificent view. Thankfully the minute we got up there the sun started to shine and we were able to view the "Live Life to Max" written in the lake with stones.

After our loop around the Island we returned our bikes and grabbed some lunch at one of the local places. After lunch we walked over to the Grand Hotel to see the gardens. The hotel goes into dress code at 6:30pm and since we were wearing pants and didn't have extra clothes we didn't purchase the $10 pass to explore the inside of the hotel. Next time I fully intend on staying at the hotel and will have plenty of time exploring the indoors! However the garden area is free and doesn't require a dress code therefore we hung out there and snapped some lovely photos.

After the Grand Hotel went down to Main Street and started sampling some fudge! In the end we purchased all our goodies from Ryba's Fudge Shop - the best fudge in my opinion!

After we bought our goodies we headed to the beach and found a little secluded area to watch the sunset. It was just marvelous! Once the sun set we ran our way back to the docks to board the 9pm ferry to leave the island! It was a long day but it was so relaxing and fun! There is nothing better thank biking, eating ice cream, climbing, frolicking in gardens, and watching sunsets!

Sunday morning we woke up extra early to witness this stunning sunrise from our hotel room balcony.  Just gorgeous!

After breakfast we drove over the Mackinac Bridge to enter the Upper Peninsula - just to say we went to the UP. Bragging rights! Woohooo! After snapping a couple pictures we piled up into the car and drove back home to Ann Arbor. 

It was a very perfect Pure Michigan weekend!

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