Tour of the Great Lakes Part 3: July 4th at the Mackinac Island

Here’s the third installment of the Great Lakes Tour, and to spice it up, a youtube link covering the areas we covered here and Part 2


A drastic shift from our remote/dispersed camping, we are visiting the Mackinac Island and play a tourist.  Or what I would call a tad bit expensive shower.

Free hotel breakfast, at least we didn’t have to cook.  We checked out from the Hotel at Mackinaw City and proceeded to the Star Line Mackinac Ferry to catch our boat to the island.  But first we need to park the Jeepney in their fenced parking lot.  We don’t really have any expensive items to be worried about.  The boxes contain clothes and extra camping gear, the cheap gas can I got from Costco, and my Trasharoo .  But it costs me $5 to keep it safe so why not?  It would suck to find my underwear scattered on the open parking lot so…

Riding ferry boats is always a treat for me, this is no different.  I remember my first ferry boat going into the Madelaine Island where we brought with us our truck and canoe.  That was fun, and cold!  Today, the July 4th, is going to be a nice warm day.  Still crossing the Mackinac Straight is a bit chilly but refreshing nonetheless.

I’ll take that boat please
You’re greeted by this structure entering the Mackinac Island

We got off the boat and started walking towards the hotel.  I reserved a room at the Mission Hotel a few months back.  It’s about a 12-min walk from the dock.  As some of you may know, Mackinac Island only allows travel by foot, bikes, and horses.  The streets are already starting to get busy with the bike traffic, and the horse carriages.




We didn’t have any plans so we just did what we saw what most people are doing, ride the bikes.  We rented bikes for all of us and followed the traffic.  I just know it goes around the island so I doubt we will get lost.  We made a few stops to let the boys rest and check out the views.  But otherwise it was a pretty easy ride for all of us.  By the time we’re done we rode about 9-miles, not too bad.


I can’t help but be amazed by the clear water.  Well I found out that it wasn’t like this before, but no thanks to the invasive species (illegal aliens), they did a great job filtering the lake that led to this crystal clear waters.

We grabbed tickets to Fort Mackinac.  My boys love museums and historic sites!  They saw a rifle firing demonstration and a cannon firing as well.  I enjoyed them as well but I let them tour the Fort themselves while I catch up to my social network, haha.  They ended up spending quite a bit of time exploring the area so it was well worth it.


We stopped by the town for an ice cream, and did a little more riding.  Then the kids hit the pool before we went for dinner at the Italian Restaurant in the hotel.  I had me a good chunk of Osso Bucco — not the best I’ve had but I always get one when it is on the menu!


We decided to watch the fireworks at the lawn of the hotel.  We grabbed a spot along the shores to possibly get a good view of the fireworks.  Well I guess I was expecting a good show but the fireworks display was a little disappointing.  I think they still light the fireworks manually.  The cool thing is we can see all the other fireworks from the mainland from the distance.  It looks like Mackinaw City really brings it.  Anyways, it was getting late and it has been a very active day for us so we retired early for the day.

where’s everyone?!
I wish

The next day I found myself the only one wanting to take the 12-min walk back to the dock.  So we decided to take the Horse Carriage taxi.  I am no horse aficionado but these horses are huge!  Now i see how you can get killed when you get run over by horses (I play Battlefield in XBox and it is fun running over people).  The taxi driver was a young guy who was pretty well knowledgeable about the horses breed, even the names of the horses in the island.  He gave everyone not just a taxi ride but a tour guide and answered everyone’s questions in a fun attitude.  We made sure we gave him a considerable tip, since folks like him are really the ones that make a trip pleasant and memorable.

We rode our ferry boat the last time ready to get going to our next adventure.

See you Mackinac Island

For Part 4, we will be visiting the coastline of Lake Michigan and then end our trip in Chicago (for the ultimate jungle experience!)


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