For those of you who read my blog regularly, you probably know by now that I’m a Midwestern girl at heart. I love the Midwest. The people, the food, the culture. Everyone is so friendly. We keep our families close to us, our friends near, and we treat strangers like our own family. Even though I have experience traveling other places throughout the country, the Midwest will always be my home.
Last weekend I had the chance to go to a place I have ever been to: Mackinac Island, Michigan. First of all, I’m surprise that it took me this long to ever visit Mackinac. Nestled in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is between the state’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It boasts s a unique place to visit for dining, historical sight-seeing, touring, and….wait for it…FUDGE sampling. I went along with five of my girlfriends from high school and made a girls’ weekend out of it. It was a four-hour drive from where we live in northeast Wisconsin, so we planned for a fun road-trip. (This included 4 stops along the way because many of us had to pee from all the caffeine we consumed due to getting up at 4am to leave). We packed with us so many junk food and snacked the whole way on chips, Cheetos, and chocolate muffins. But they, isn’t that what girls weekends are all about?
I am surprised that being a Midwestern girl, it took me this long in my life to visit Mackinac. I had always heard such wonderful things about it. Because it is such a tiny island, Mackinac is unique in the aspect that there are no automobiles on the island except for emergency vehicles. You have to take a ferry to get to the island and then once you are on the island, you must either walk or take a carriage ride. Totally awesome, right?! This is totally up my alley. I often wonder what it would be like to grow up in a generation a couple of decades ago. At Mackinac Island, it almost feels like you are back in time.
Many of you may have already seen the pictures I posted last weekend on my Instagram account of our time. But in case you don’t follow me, I’m here to share our adventures!
Traveling Through Time
We wanted to make the most out of our Mackinac experience, so we all opted to do the Carriage Ride Tour, which cost $47 a person (including ferry ride and back). This was a super awesome opportunity to sight-see and learn about the island’s history. We were blessed with beautiful weather and a hilarious tour guide that was actually a Green Bay native like myself, which was pretty cool. Along our tour, some of the sights we rode past included….
….the Butterfly House, a beautiful heated garden where I’ve never seen so many different kinds of butterflies in my life.
….Arch Rock, a formation formed by glaciers that stands on the Lake Huron shoreline 146 feet above the water.
….Beautifully painted and decorated houses, which were fun just to look at.
For lunch, we went to Goodfellow’s Grill. I had Steak Tips du Jour. It was sooo good!
Cutesy Shops and FUDGE
Mackinac Island reminded me SO MUCH of Door County in Wisconsin. There were so many cutesy shops that basically resembled a Pinterest explosion. I could have spent hours just walking around looking at all of the cute knick-knacks.
The very best part about Mackinac was…the FUDGE!!! Mackinac is famous for their fudge. A tradition born during the civil war, Mackinac Island holds the nation’s fudge capital with over 15 fudge shops alone on the small island. My personal favorite was Ryba’s Fudge shop, although I am a firm believer that fudge is fudge and it’s ALL good to me! For some reason, Ryba’s fudge just seemed to melt in my mouth just right. At many of the shops, the workers make the fudge right in front of you, which was pretty awesome to see. I am literally drooling right now just thinking about it! But wait for it…THE BEST PART was that each shop gives free samples. It’s a common practice for tourists to hop from fudge shop to fudge shop and satisfy your sweet tooth on samples alone! One of my girlfriends didn’t even purchase any fudge because she was so full from the samples.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Mackinac Island and I can see why Michigan talks it up so much. It’s a great family-friendly tourist attraction for those who love history, shopping, and chocolate.
What’s your favorite tourist destination in the Midwest? Have you ever been to Mackinac Island?
Have a great weekend!