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What to do around mackinack island

Old 04-20-09, 01:21 PM
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What to do around mackinack island

So I'm thinking of driving up there with my family(from Chicago). Looking to spend 4 or more days there if I can find enough activities to fit in. The problem is that I am taking my 90 year old grandmother along and she cannot walk more than a block. Ant suggestions for things to while there.

I'm thinking along the lines of state, national parks, zoos, or other nature attractions..

Also, is the weather up there "swimable" at all at any beaches. Last I recall it is fairly cold in late summer time. Any suggestions info is appreciated.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:38 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

This is where my all-time favorite movie, SOMEWHERE IN TIME was filmed. Even if you can't afford to stay there, the Grand Hotel is a must-visit.

I believe it's a bicycle-only island - meaning no cars allowed.
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Old 04-20-09, 02:17 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Mackinaw Island is a non-motor location, save for fire trucks and construction equipment.

The island itself is a day visit for a first timer. You can pretty much see/do most anything on the island. With your Granny along, you will be more likely to take a horse drawn carriage ride then rent bicycles. There is the for on the island you can tour, a butterfly garden, and other things, along with the normal tourist traps. I believe you need to PAY to tour the Grand Hotel grounds.

In Mackinaw city, there is a new mall thing, which is more tourist shops. There is a decent pizza place/bridge museum there. Under the bridge is another indian fort, but nothing special.

A bit south is an old sawmill place where they use the water wheel to saw logs. Neat, but some walking involved.

About an hour north is Sault Saint Marie, which has the locks (sp?) Again some walking, but you can take a boat trip through, which may be kind of neat...once. http://www.saultstemarie.com/

Along the way you can go to Tahquamenon Falls, and Whitefish Point. The former again has walking/hiking along trails. The later is a museum for the Edmund Fitzgerald, and some period structures.
http://www.superiorsights.com/inform...quamenonfalls/
http://www.exploringthenorth.com/whi...whitefish.html

Saint Ignace is across the bridge, but aside from a pizza hut, I am not is sure what else is there. There ARE Indian casinos, if you are into that. It has been a while, so I don't know how good or bad they are. Last time I was there is was basically a giant tent (think indoor driving range) full of slots and smoke. The state casinos are notorious for being tight as well.

Just west of St. Ignace is the "Mystery Spot". I rip-off tourist trap, but might be fun for kids, or to kill an hour. http://www.mysteryspotstignace.com/

As for swimming and the weather, it depends on the time of the year. The water temps usually range between cold and really cold.

Let me know if you want me to expand out further, or anything else I can tell you.
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Old 04-20-09, 04:58 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

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Old 04-20-09, 05:35 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

You could drive another hour northwest and spend an afternoon having coffee and conversation with my 83 y/o dad. Who will tell you that Mackinac Island is way overrated and take you to see the Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point, Paradise, and the Soo Locks instead.

And yes, you've got to pay to see the Grand Hotel. You also have to be properly dressed even to be on the street in front of the thing.
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Old 04-20-09, 05:43 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Originally Posted by jonw9 View Post
Saint Ignace is across the bridge, but aside from a pizza hut, I am not is sure what else is there. There ARE Indian casinos, if you are into that. It has been a while, so I don't know how good or bad they are. Last time I was there is was basically a giant tent (think indoor driving range) full of slots and smoke.
St. Ignace recently opened a brand new hotel and casino, and closed the crappy old one and the temporary one that was opened while the new facility was under litigation (I have never been, but was involved in the litigation). I hear it has a high-tech ventilation system so that it's not smoky. It's supposed to be quite nice.

Last edited by LurkerDan; 04-20-09 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 04-20-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Rent a bike on Mackinac Island and do the 8 mile bike ride. It's fantastic

Also if you are in St. Ignace, stop by B.C Pizza.....best Cheesy Bread ever
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Old 04-20-09, 08:43 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Traverse City is also beautiful, you could hit that on the way back.
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Old 04-21-09, 06:44 AM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Originally Posted by Jadzia View Post
Traverse City is also beautiful, you could hit that on the way back.
Depending on when you go, you can catch the Cherry fest: http://www.cherryfestival.org/
or the film festival: http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org/

I would personally try to avoid the former, but I hate being surrounded by tourists!
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Old 04-21-09, 10:09 AM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

The best casino near there is an hour north of the bridge at the Bay Mills Reservation a few miles east of the Sault. That's really really nice...and has a FANTASTIC 18 hole championship golf course. top notch all around.

if you do go to St. Ignace, go to the Driftwood right next to a cool little Ojibwe history museum. hit the museum and then get some good food/beer at the Driftwood. tell the owner that Cleland's Crew sent you - they'll know what you mean.

and for everyone misspelling it: It's MACKINAC - not Mackinack or Mackinaw although the latter is how it's pronounced

If you do hit Traverse City, avoid Cherry Festival at all costs. I thank god every year I live outside of town now so I can avoid it completely. I get what I need from in town merchants and hole up until it's over. The Film Festival, however, is incredible and something that is only getting better each year. That's at the end of July/early August. It's gaining a very big reputation in Hollywood, since the beautifully renovated State Theater downtown keeps outgrossing NY/LA theaters for special screenings of new films.

http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org/

go see a movie there no matter when you come through...it's staffed by all volunteers and the best movie going experience you can have - if your cell phone rings during a movie you are banned for life! it's awesome.
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Old 04-21-09, 10:14 AM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

oh, and I disagree with jonw9 vehemently w/ regards to the "indian fort" being nothing special. It's an 18th century British Fort on the mainland that is completely renovated and has on going archealogical excavations - some with glass over the open ground so you can see where stuff laid. The fort is awesome and you can tour it and the grounds yourself. the detail is quite amazing...it's the best living history site i've ever been to. a few times a day they have a British regiment come out and fire muskets and the cannon..it's amazing how loud it is. gives an eerie feel to what it must have been like....

http://www.mackinacparks.com/fort-mackinac/

there are useful pages on that link to the rest of the area including the island as well....
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Old 04-21-09, 11:25 AM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Originally Posted by brizz View Post
and for everyone misspelling it: It's MACKINAC - not Mackinack or Mackinaw although the latter is how it's pronounced
I thought the latter was also acceptable? What about Michilimackinac?

Originally Posted by brizz View Post
oh, and I disagree with jonw9 vehemently w/ regards to the "indian fort" being nothing special. It's an 18th century British Fort on the mainland that is completely renovated and has on going archealogical excavations - some with glass over the open ground so you can see where stuff laid. The fort is awesome and you can tour it and the grounds yourself. the detail is quite amazing...it's the best living history site i've ever been to. a few times a day they have a British regiment come out and fire muskets and the cannon..it's amazing how loud it is. gives an eerie feel to what it must have been like....

http://www.mackinacparks.com/fort-mackinac/

there are useful pages on that link to the rest of the area including the island as well....
Last time I was up there, all the had open was basically the gift shop. It was in June, so it wasn't the offseason. Maybe they were doing renovations or something? It has been many years since I was through there.
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Old 04-21-09, 11:26 AM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Originally Posted by amd555 View Post
The problem is that I am taking my 90 year old grandmother along and she cannot walk more than a block.
Originally Posted by asianxcore View Post
Rent a bike on Mackinac Island and do the 8 mile bike ride. It's fantastic
Well the OP did say she couldn't walk more than a block.

Seriously, with an elderly family member it can be difficult with the lack of motorized transportation. They do have horse-drawn carriages that are enjoyable. I can also recall a vesper cruise being available on Sunday evenings which is fun.
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Old 04-21-09, 11:32 AM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Rent a foldable wheelchair for your grandmother. You can rent one for about $20/week. Mackinaw Island is handicapped accessible, as is everywhere now. Take a pillow along for her to sit on while in the wheelchair (trust me on this, I was in one for 2 1/2 years).
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Old 04-21-09, 12:21 PM
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Re: What to do around mackinack island

Originally Posted by cardsfan111 View Post
Well the OP did say she couldn't walk more than a block.
I can't read Apologies to the OP.

Then I change my answer to checking out Fort Michilimackinac. I haven't been there in a while but the last time I went it was interesting.

I still keep my recommendation for B.C Pizza's Cheesy Bread in St. Ignace though
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