One of the things that makes Mackinac Island unique is that there are no cars on the Island, so transportation is via foot, bike or horse.
The Mackinac Bridge is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. It connects the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan and can be seen from Mackinac Island. There are no bridges to the Island, though; the Island is reached by ferry from either Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula or St. Ignace in the Upper.
I had been before, but my friend had not. We decided to tour the Island by carriage, which was great fun (and educational). The first half of the tour, on a carriage pulled by a two-horse team–took us through the town, past the Grand Hotel and to a little village where we visited the carriage museum.
Then we switched to a three-horse team and continued uphill through the state park and on to Arch Rock.
We were surprised at the beautiful flowers and gardens around the island–given it is the end of September.
This past weekend, my sisters and I went “up north” (as we say in Michigan, although there seems to be some debate as to where “north” begins). A friend generously let us use her cottage on a small lake in northwestern Michigan.
Michigan is said to have 11,000 inland lakes, in addition to the the Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie) that outline the state (Lake Ontario is east of Michigan).
The inland lakes vary in size from Houghton Lake, which covers more than 20,000 acres to small lakes like the one we visited (which I once kayaked around in 45 minutes).
The weekend was very peaceful and relaxing, and I am grateful for my friend’s generosity and my sisters company.
A visit with friends in Holland, MI, led to a side trip to Saugatuck, MI, a town I had never visited. It is a quaint tourist town on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Shops and restaurants line the streets, with gardens and parks tucked in along the way.