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Mackinac Island, MI- any tips?

vad005 567 200 April 16, 2012 at 02:03 PM
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If someone has been to mackinac island, MI before could you please share your travel experience here?

What's the best place to stay? I see that there are only a few options available on the island and they are very expensive....any good budget places on the island itself? there are a few not so expensive options available around the island but then you need to take a ferry to travel back and forth...

We are looking to travel Memorial Day weekend...

Thanks!

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#2
You are likely going on the most expensive weekend of the year. I don't have any specific recommendations for lodging but I would definitely not stay off the island. Commuting back and forth defeats the purpose of doing there to begin with.
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#3
The Murray Hotel on the island sometimes has relatively reasonable prices, but I wouldn't call it budget, but they also sell the best fudge in town. The Grand Hotel also is advertising a $297/night rate for 4 people with breakfast included (easily worth $25-30/person - which for them isn't bad and the Grand is a very special place to stay at least once in a lifetime. Island House Hotel was also recently advertising a Groupon deal. Don't stay at Mission Point. I strongly recommend staying on the island - you don't get the full experience if you don't wake up to the sounds of horses walking or enjoy the quiet of the town after the "fudgies" (daytime visitors have left).

Take a carriage tour of the island and if you go to the Fort, eat lunch in the Fort Tea Room for a stunning view of the island. You can often get package deals from the ferry companies that include roundtrip ferry tickets, the carriage tour and one other attraction at a modest discount. There are three ferry companies - Starline, Shepler and Arnold Transit - all offer discounts if you purchase tickets in advance online.

The best restaurants on the island are the Yankee Rebel Tavern and Seabiscuit Cafe. If you want to rent a carriage to drive yourself versus riding horses, go to Jack's Livery on the Grand Hotel side of the island. The lilacs covering the whole island will probably be in bloom when you're there, which should be wonderful! Have fun!
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Last edited by ajea April 17, 2012 at 02:21 AM
#4
Make sure to at least go to the Grand Hotel and have the lunch buffet it is pricey but well worth it.
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#5
I was just talking to a coworker about the island. He said there is a red colored house on the island that is a bed and breakfast. Relatively cheap and nice. Later tonight I might have more info. Right now at work on break.
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#6
Quote from tangerinemixer View Post :
You are likely going on the most expensive weekend of the year. I don't have any specific recommendations for lodging but I would definitely not stay off the island. Commuting back and forth defeats the purpose of doing there to begin with.
Thanks for the tip...I am starting to think on those lines as well....staying off the island would defeat the purpose....
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#7
Quote from ajea View Post :
The Murray Hotel on the island sometimes has relatively reasonable prices, but I wouldn't call it budget, but they also sell the best fudge in town. The Grand Hotel also is advertising a $297/night rate for 4 people with breakfast included (easily worth $25-30/person - which for them isn't bad and the Grand is a very special place to stay at least once in a lifetime. Island House Hotel was also recently advertising a Groupon deal. Don't stay at Mission Point. I strongly recommend staying on the island - you don't get the full experience if you don't wake up to the sounds of horses walking or enjoy the quiet of the town after the "fudgies" (daytime visitors have left).

Take a carriage tour of the island and if you go to the Fort, eat lunch in the Fort Tea Room for a stunning view of the island. You can often get package deals from the ferry companies that include roundtrip ferry tickets, the carriage tour and one other attraction at a modest discount. There are three ferry companies - Starline, Shepler and Arnold Transit - all offer discounts if you purchase tickets in advance online.

The best restaurants on the island are the Yankee Rebel Tavern and Seabiscuit Cafe. If you want to rent a carriage to drive yourself versus riding horses, go to Jack's Livery on the Grand Hotel side of the island. The lilacs covering the whole island will probably be in bloom when you're there, which should be wonderful! Have fun!
Thanks for such excellent tips...very much appreciated...I would definitely consider the Grand Hotel if it is going to be $297/night for 4...but I doubt they would have this rate for the memorial day weekend.....i'll research a bit more...but thanks again
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#8
I've seen travel shows about this place. I don't recall who was the host, but if you can find that and do some reading on TripAdvisor you should be in good shape. It looked like a nice place to visit.
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#9
Rent a bicycle and do a tour of the island. There's a map with stopping points. The most fun thing to do on the island.
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#10
TIP - Wear a jacket on the ferry!
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#11
Ahoy! I see that you are looking at tips for Mackinac Island. I just happen to be a Captain for Shepler's Ferry and I may be able to help a little.

As for a place to stay, if you can afford it or can find a special I also do recommend the Grand Hotelhttp://www.grandhotel.com. It is a once in a lifetime place to stay, top notch. You will not leave disappointed. If you are looking for a cheaper but still a great place to stay I also recommend the Lake View Hotelhttp://www.lake-view-hotel.com.

Couple money saving tips.
  • If you can bring your own bike, do it. It is only $8.00, round-trip, to bring your own bike to Mackinac Island. To rent a bike is much, much more. If you are going to rent a bike be sure to ask for a coupon at our ticket office as we always have some.
  • For your Ferry tickets go on our website and buy your tickets for a discount http://www.sheplersferry.com. You will save quite a bit if time because Memorial Day weekend is one of our busiest weekends of the year. So buying your tickets online will keep you out of that busy ticket line. If you staying overnight be sure to do your overnight parking arrangements online as well.
  • The only other way to get cheaper tickets is become a fan of our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/sheplersferry and watch for a Facebook special that we sometime put up.

If you or anyone has any questions about Mackinac Island or the ferry service please feel free to email myself, greg@sheplersferry.com, and I will help you out.
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#12
Unless you plan to stay the whole weekend on the island I would suggest staying off the island like in Mackinaw City and taking the ferry over for the day. On the island, I have stayed at the Island House and thought it was just fine and was less expensive than some of the other places. I got a package a few years ago that included ferry tickets, dinner and a gas card.

Other tips... be prepared to walk a lot so bring good shoes and watch for "road apples" left from the horses. Go early on first ferry if possible to avoid the rush of people. Eat at off hours to avoid crowds at restaurants. Have fun!
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