“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee
Have you ever thought about experiencing the real Utopia city? Or did you ever imagine it could even exist? I was in complete shock once I traveled over the Lake Huron over to Mackinac Island on a ferry. Mackinac Island sits in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.
Never did I imagine that by crossing a lake I will encounter the ultimate fairytale trip. List to check off before going off to Mackinac Island? Wear your most comfortable clothes, and shoes, and leave your car behind, because quite frankly, you won’t need it. The only way of transportation in the island is by foot, bicycle, or horse carriages. It’s like going back in time! Once passing under the Mackinac Bridge I knew we were getting closer to this beautiful paradise.
*The horses on the Island are kept in few working hours. They get days off and are treated very well, with lots of love and proper training. They live up to 30 years old on the island. *
Once the ferry comes to a stop, the beautiful cookie cutter-like homes and the natural green scenery welcome you right in. I stepped foot off the boat and went straight to exploring the Island. I did have some extra things I was carrying, I felt as if I was preparing to enter a ride at Disney, right before entering the island there are lockers where you can place extra belongings you wish to not carry during your visit. We weren’t spending the night, just the day, so we left some extra sweaters in the locker. How convenient that they think about every detail? After dropping the extra items off, we were ready for an adventure. I had the privileged to experience this beautiful island with my family.
The walking has begun, I had my fitbit watch tracking the number of steps I was going to take that day, I knew that if most of my journey was going to be by foot, I was going to exceed my 10,000 daily steps, did I manage to do so? I guess you’ll have to continue reading to find out.
Walking down the downtown strip, was a mouth-watering experience. When you look to your left and right all you see are delicious little cafés, restaurants, and *drum roll please* Homemade fudge! Yes Mackinac Island is known to have the best fudge in town. At this point by the end of the downtown strip my family and I were craving some food. There was one restaurant in particular that caught my attention when walking the strip, Pancake House.
I am a huge fan of pancakes, and when I see a place named after one of my favorite breakfast obsessions, I get eager to check it out and indulge in my guilty cravings. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the wait was over 30 minutes, at this point we didn’t want to spend our time salivating with the delicous that passed us on the trays and waiting to eat, so we ended up at a little local pub place to feed our tummies.
After eating lunch, my stomach was not satisfied. I was still craving the
Pancake House and I knew I had to have some fluffy pancakes before leaving the island. On our way over to the bike renal station I made a pit stop to order my batch of fluffy, buttery, homemade pancakes. Was it worth it? Well, I enjoyed them so much that I didn’t make the time to capture an image of these suckers. Sometimes we have to REALLY enjoy the moment, even if it means not capturing the moment with a camera, but with your heart and mind.
After lunch, and my savory butter-made pancakes, we were ready and full of energy to take on this 2-hour bike ride. It takes approximately 2 hours to make your way around the island. 2 hours may seem like a lot, but with all of the scenic trails and picture-perfect pit stops, the 2-hour adventure might turn into double that. My family and I shared the experience of trolling in our vintage style bicycles around the island; we captured beautiful scenic views, and being able to really connect with nature. One of our pit stop (it’s a must) was the famous Mackinac Arch Rock.
The only way up to the Arch Rock from the biking trail are the stairs. 207 steps to be exact, but I knew I wanted to get my steps in and see the famous arch face to face. 207 steps later, it was well worth breaking a sweat for. When looking out of the viewpoint, the only thing your eyes capture is pure crystal blue water, I tried to find the end of the lake, but it seemed endless to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes, is this really a lake? Pinch me I must be dreaming! It was then when I had an epiphany, now I know why they call Michigan, “Pure Michigan.” It all makes sense now!
After taking the pure crystal-blue view in, we went on our way to complete our bike trail journey around the island. Soon after we embarked again, my mother pointed out a coffee shop that caught our attention. It was located inside of the Mission Point Resort, a white Victorian-like building on the shores of Lake Huron. We decided to take a coffee break there and enjoy everything Mackinac Island offers, and more. A tranquil setting with cozy amenities to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
All of this, and more, perfectly sums up what Mackinac Island is really all about. After our almost 3 hour bike trail adventure, our journey was coming to an end, and we had to take the bikes back to the rental station. It was too soon to say goodbye to this beautiful fairytale place. Not only is this island so colorful and peaceful, but the people also make you feel so warm and welcomed.
The Island has a program that invites people from other parts of the world, national residents, and students etc. to be part of the island touristic workforce. I came across many individuals from Jamaica. Not only is this island clean and friendly but it is also very diverse with their staff. You really feel like you are on a different planet! *
We could not leave the island without getting a taste of the so-called best fudge in town! We ended up going to Ryba’s Fudge shop. It was the closest to us at the time and our taste buds were craving some sweets. Little did we know that it was chosen as the best stop for the one of a kind fudge experience! Not only do you get a variety of fudge flavors to choose from, but also you get entertainment within the fudge shop. The fudge makers were sharing their skills with the visitors making the fudge right in front of our own eyes. Got fudge?
Needless to say the first, and certainly not last, Mackinac Island adventure is one for the books. It left a special spot in my heart and I would certainly love to go back and enjoy another 2 hour bike ride around the island. Before I got back on the ferry to make our way back to shore, or should I say reality, I took a glance at my fitbit and to my surprise I had managed to get 14,000 steps all in a matter of 4 hours! Thanks to the bike ride, stair climbing, walking and chasing after the beautiful horses for a face-to-face picture with them. I can say I did not feel guilty about the batch of pancakes, or the fudge; hopefully I managed to walk off those savory calories.
Until next time Mackinac Island!
Places to visit: