the wandering chick
and Mackinac Island
This whole area, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Bridge, is located at the very most northern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Mackinaw/ Mackinac - the spelling is different, but the pronunciation is the same: MACK-in-awe.
The focal point of this area is the bridge, Michigan's own Mighty Mac, strattling the Straits of Mackinac, separating Lake Michigan from Lake Huron, and most importantly, providing the link to Michigan's grand Upper Peninsula.
Mackinaw City is at the south end of the bridge, a wonderfully picturesque little town, driven mostly by tourism, but with a lot to offer, including the boats that go to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island sits peacefully on Lake Huron, an 18-minute boat ride from Mackinaw City. There are absolutely no cars on the island, so it's a step back in time to see horse-drawn carriages and bicycles carrying people to and fro. Mackinac Island is a wonderful walking island, from the Fort Mackinac that towers above the island to Mission Point at the southeast end of the island. Bicyclists can completely circle the island.
My pictures center on these three things as well as shots from the Mill Creek Campground which is nicely located on the shore of Lake Huron with a tranquil view of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island.
Life is good.
The Star Line hydro-jet cruises across Lake Huron, carrying passengers between Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island.
Above and below: Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City
A wooden carving of Chief Wawatam sits in a park named for him in Mackinaw City. In the background is Mackinac Island, which you can get to by boat from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace, on the north end of the bridge.
Looking out over Lake Huron from the Mill Creek Campground on the edge of Mackinaw City.
Round Island Lighthouse, built in 1895, sits on Lake Huron and, up until 1948, guided ships through the Straits of Mackinac. It lay abandoned and in disarray until the 1970s when it was restored and today is considered a treasured Michigan landmark. Its replacement is pictured in the photo on the left.
Hydro-jets with their showy "Rooster's Tail" cruise past the Mackinac Straits' newer lighthouse, erected in 1948.
Old Victorian homes (below left and right) make a nice backdrop coming into the harbor of Mackinac Island, which is pictured above.
Bikes and buggies - that's how you get around on Mackinac Island. No cars are allowed. And the horse and buggies are not just used to transport people. It was quite interesting to see garbage collected and store supplies delivered on flat-beds drawn by horses.
The island's principle street is Main Street, which, after the boat docks, turns into Huron, where these pictures were taken. Pristine Victorian houses line Huron, as do St. Ann's Church and an eatery or two.
Left: Fort Mackinac, built by the British, held significance during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Today it is a museum.
Right: St. Ann's Church
Lilac trees abound on Mackinac Island, and each spring the Lilac Festival as well as a Lilac Walk/Run draw in the crowds.
The island's Mission Point holds historical significance and is positioned at the southeast end of the island. Today, the old buildings have been turned into the Mission Point Hotel Resort with expansive grounds that look out over Lake Huron.
The residential side streets on Mackinac Island offer as much charm as the main streets.
Little Stone Church is a Union Congregational church, located on Cadotte Avenue. Below is a stained-glass transom window above the main entry to the church.
The businesses along Main Street are colorful and inviting.
Above: Sunset at Mill Creek Campground, from my site #24
Left: Sunset over Lake Michigan
Below: A family of ducks makes its way to a place known only to them on Lake Huron
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Mill Creek Campground and Lake Huron at sunset. The lights in the distance are St. Ignace, on Michigan's UP. The bridge is just to the left, not pictured.
With no cars on the island, horse and buggies can always be seen at the dock transporting goods.
Arched Rock a natural arch carved over the years by wind and rain.
A wonderful bike path goes all the way around the island. Bikes can be rented in several places on the island.
This and the next several shots were taken at the elegant Grand Hotel.
The Grand Hotel, in its magnificent Queen Anne style arcchitecture on Macinac Island, has been welcoming guests to its 170 rooms since 1887. Its front porch, at 660 feet long, is said to be the longest in the world. Endless features of grandeur make it a must-see on the island. Pay the small fee and check out its luxurious interior.
The picture above was taken in one of the upper floor's tea rooms. The three below are of the main foyer which runs nearly the length of the front porch.
A view of the island and the road leading to the hotel