Is Mackinac Island Michigan’s Best Romantic Destination? Help It Win New Poll Against World’s Top Locations
Any Michigan resident who has visited Mackinac Island can list off a handful of reasons why they find it so charming: countless historic locations, excellent chances for outdoor recreation, a complete absence of motor vehicles, and eight miles of scenic Lake Huron shoreline. USA Today and 10best.com are back with another Reader’s Choice poll, and Mackinac Island is one of 20 finalists (only 4 of which are in the United States) in the running to be named “Best Under-the-Radar Romantic Destination.” At the time of this post, it ranked second behind Porto, Portugal. You can cast your vote and help out at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-under-the-radar-romantic-destination/. Voting runs until Monday, August 3rd.
The lack of cars on the islands leaves walking, bicycling or riding in a horse-drawn carriage as the three main ways to get around. A carriage ride to the back half of the island is an excellent idea for a romantic day trip, while those who enjoy outdoor pursuits together may want to rent (or bring) bicycles and circle the island. The throwback to a simpler time is one of the reasons the island has been Michigan’s best romantic destination, and now we see some national recognition being directed to this vacation paradise.
The Grand Hotel is one of the premier hotel destinations in the entire state, and boasts the “world’s longest porch.” The state and national historic landmark was built in 1887, and has had five U.S. presidents stay there. With beautifully landscaped gardens, a large swimming pool and a golf course right next door there is definitely plenty to see and do if you choose to stay at the Grand Hotel.
Other lodging options include Mission Point Resort, Lake View Hotel, Island House Hotel, and many bed and breakfasts. Some cottages and vacation homes are also available to rent for a week or weekend. A full list of options with links can be found at http://www.mackinacisland.org/accommodations-directory/.
Mackinac Island is such a romantic place that it was the setting for the 1980 film Somewhere in Time starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. In the film, Reeve’s character is able to travel back in time and find love with an actress whose photograph he saw on the wall of the Grand Hotel. Parts of the movie were filmed at the Grand Hotel; other filming locations included the Round Island Lighthouse and the island’s southern shoreline near the hotel – a spot which is commemorated with a plaque on a rock (shown above).
In addition to the scenic shoreline, the island is also home to some amazing geological formations. Visitors will enjoy stopping at Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, Devil’s Kitchen and Skull Cave. While things can get busy in downtown, the back half of the island is a great spot to get away from the crowds and enjoy all of the natural beauty the island has to offer. Fort Mackinac, Fort Holmes, and the Market Street Historic District will delight history buffs, and restaurants like the Pink Pony, Seabiscuit Cafe and Yankee Rebel Tavern offer up fantastic food. Before you leave, don’t forget to take home some of the island’s famous fudge!
Ferries to the island leave from Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, and a few of the Shepler’s departures swing west under the Mackinac Bridge on the way. For more information check out the websites of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry and Star Line Mackinac Ferry.