To follow up my post on taking time off, I wanted to share some travel inspo! I recently took a trip to Macinac Island, Michigan. This trip was a small get away where it was close to home (home being Chicago, where I’m from!) and easy enough to drive to in one day without having to book another flight after traveling from NYC to Chicago. I wanted to do something small for my birthday but get out of the city for a while, and Macinac did not disappoint. Check out below for our itinerary and some photos from the trip 🙂
We started in Mackinaw City, Michigan, and stayed the night there. I recommend staying there and traveling to Mackinac by ferry during the day because the hotels are quite expensive on the island itself. You also can’t drive a car on the island, so if you’e driving to Michigan, it’s much easier in my opinion to leave your car at the hotel while you visit Mackinac.
The ferry leaves every 30 minutes from the port and you can book tickets online. The island is great for biking, so there’s actually an option to book a ticket with a bike option to bring your bike along on the ferry. We opted to bring our bikes – Although there are bike rentals on the island, I liked the idea of bringing my own bike (and finally getting some use out of it!).
The ride was super fun. We sat inside since it was an extra chilly day. There were quite a lot of people traveling to the island on a Monday afternoon, which I thought was interesting. I would expect the big rush hour of people traveling would be in the morning or evening, but it seems like there was a steady flow of people throughout the day. The view is quite pretty and the excitement of getting to the island was definitely building during the trip.
Lunch at Watercolor Cafe
After unloading our bikes from the ferry, we biked around a bit to find a place to grab lunch. We discovered the Watercolor Cafe, a super cute restaurant right on the water. We ordered the Chorizo Breakfast Burrito and The Monet Sandwich. We also each got a cold brew coffee, our first of the day.
The coffee was alright; I’m kind of particular about my coffee, and the cold brew we ordered was nothing special. We split the burrito and the sandwich since we both wanted to try both. The chorizo burrito was hands-down the better meal! My boyfriend always orders the better meals, I swear, it happens every time! He just has a really good palette.
Anyways, The Monet Sandwich was… interesting. My boyfriend described it as tasting like “an antique shop”, whatever that means. I thought the sandwich sounded super delicious because it had turkey, brie cheese, fig preserves, and spinach! I love me some brie and had to try it. I think the flavor of the whole grain bread was a bit weird, as well as the texture. I’m also wondering if the mustard on the sandwich threw the flavor off. Overall, we had a wonderful experience at Watercolor Cafe, but I wouldn’t order The Monet again.
Macinac Island is perfect for afternoon biking, which is exactly what we did! We brought our bikes along on the ferry and rode them around the island. I tried to take as many photos as I could while also living in the moment and absorbing all that Macinac Island has to offer.
There are bike paths basically everywhere on the island, and bike paths that will allow you to bike fully around the island. This island is set up for biking natives and biking visitors alike – everyone kindly greets each other while biking by, and everyone adheres to the rules of biking while on the road. It’s a very quaint, calm activity compared to the biking I am used to in the city.
The Grand Hotel was our next stop on the bike ride around the city. We really wanted to see the beautiful architecture and learn more about the hotel as we had never heard about it before our trip. Below is more information on the history of The Grand Hotel.
Here is the view of The Grand Hotel we saw!
And of course, I had to snap a shot of the amazing garden out front. I love beautiful flowers and these were just perfect!
To finish off our day on the island, we grabbed some fudge from the local shop, Joann’s Fudge, and biked around the rest of town. We meant to stop by the fort on the island but, honestly, we ran out of time from trying to see as much as we could before catching the ferry back. The last ferry back to Mackinaw City, MI, leaves at 8:00pm, but we wanted to catch an earlier one to grab dinner in the city and get back to our hotel at a decent hour.
The last photo of Mackinac Island I’ll leave you with is to demonstrate how actually bike-friendly this city is… Check out the amount of bikes (NOT locked up!) on the streets of Mackinac Island, MI.