Friday, June 26, 2015

Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Mackinac Island

This is our fifth and final post for Mackinac Island Week!  Thank you for exploring Mackinac Island with us!  We can't wait to visit again soon and see even more sights.
Day Four: The Woods - Mackinac Island
Day Five: Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Mackinac Island

Chianti at Mission Point Resort was a lovely evening with an amazing view.  The restaurant is located inside the Mission Point Resort, which was very beautiful and ornate inside.  Walking into the restaurant, you are greeted by a beautiful staircase and a grand piano.  This is definitely a meal that you would want to dress up for!  We started out with some great focaccia with roasted garlic, balsamic oil, and white wine.  We requested to sit on the porch, which was private, quiet, and perfect!

Mackinac Island - Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Bread

Also, a super refreshing mojito!

Mackinac Island - Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Mojito

For dinner, we had fresh spaghetti with marinara and fresh basil.


Mackinac Island - Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Spaghetti

We loved this lemon- parmesan - truffle ravioli. Great flavors!

Mackinac Island - Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Ravioli


Did we mention the view?  The view was beautiful from the porch!

Mackinac Island - Chianti at Mission Point Resort - View


Don't forget about the wine!

Mackinac Island - Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Freighter and Wine

Check out Chianti at Mission Point Resort for a relaxing and beautiful date night!


Woods - Mackinac Island



This is our fourth post for Mackinac Island Week!

Day One:  Getting To And Around Mackinac Island
Day Two: The Chippewa and Pink Pony - Mackinac Island
Day Three: Hiking - Mackinac Island
Day Four: The Woods - Mackinac Island
Day Five: Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Mackinac Island
The Woods Restaurant - Mackinac Island Michigan

After a day of hiking, we stumbled into this place ready to eat.  We had never heard of The Woods, or Stonecliffe before.  This is not on the main drag - it is located in the Stonecliffe area.  Stonecliffe has lots of condos, and a little community.  I would recommend taking a horse carriage taxi there, or going for a bike ride.  You can walk it if you'd like to go for about 2 miles from Main St. 

Map of The Woods - Mackinac Island Michigan

We were so pleasantly surprised by this place!  The entire place looked like something out of a fairy tale.  From the details on the exterior, to the stained glass windows, to the Bavarian ski lodge interior, to the tuxedo-wearing staff, this place was amazing.  They even had an antique one-lane mini bowling alley.  Everyone was so nice!  Now, you would normally want to dress up and get reservations to go to this place, but we were lucky since we got there around 4:00.


The Woods Mackinac Island Michigan
We started off with some bread.  I'm a big bread person, and all of this fresh baked artisan bread didn't disappoint!  The pretzel bread was the best.


Bread - The Woods - Mackinac Island


Next up, some beverages and soup.  Wonderful!

The Woods - Mackinac Island

For dinner.... corned beef, mashed potatoes, sour kraut, and apples.  It was fantastic and flavorful.

Corned Beef - The Woods - Mackinac Island

And... a perfectly pan seared steak, mushrooms, broccolini, sour kraut, and mashed rutabaga.

Steak - The Woods - Mackinac Island

Make the trip out to The Woods.  The service and food was simply the best I have ever had on the island.  It was beautiful and romantic.  It was perfect!  We can't wait to go again!



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hiking - Mackinac Island

This is our third post for Mackinac Island Week!  

Day Three: Hiking - Mackinac Island
Day Four: The Woods - Mackinac Island
Day Five: Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Mackinac Island

People don't automatically think of hiking when they think of Mackinac Island.  Typically, they think of riding bikes around the island.  There are actually around 100 miles of hiking trails on the island.  Some paved, some not.  Most of them were very well maintained.  On the week that we went, there were so many people on the streets and on the road around the island.  We felt like we were on a different island while on the hiking trails since there were hardly any other people around.  They were so peaceful.  We can't wait to explore the trails again, we still have so much to see.  We do not have a background in hiking, but we are in relatively good shape.  We brought a camel-back of water with us since there are not many places to stop once you get off the main drag of the island.  And BUG SPRAY!!!  Even during the day, this is important.  Here are the places we went on our two days of hiking.

Day 1 Hiking Map - Mackinac Island

On Day One, we first stopped by the Butterfly House.  This is a nice stop-over if you have small children, but you can skip it if you are with a group of adults or older children.

Mackinac Island Butterfly House

Next, we hiked on the trails up around Fort Mackinac.  Since it costs money, we did not go inside The Fort.  It was built by the British during The Revolutionary War, and was also used during the War of 1812.  These trails in this area were not well maintained, but might be enjoyed by younger children since it is close to the main drag and has amazing views of the harbor.

Mackinac Island Hiking View

Onward through the trails to Arch Rock and the Watch Tower!  This was the only area of hiking trails that we actually saw other people.  Many people will climb these trails from the bike loop around the island.  Some of these trails were paved, and are fun for the whole family to climb.

Mackinac Island Arch Rock

Mackinac Island Watch Tower

From Arch Rock, we went North along the coast.  Tranquil Bluff Trail.  These were the most difficult trails that we walked.  Up and down, cliffs to your side, the occasional slippery area.  The views are absolutely amazing - the water here looks like a Caribbean Blue.  There are lots of little lookouts to discover.  We even found a little bench with the most beautiful view.

Hiking View Mackinac Island

Hiking View Mackinac Island

From there we went across the island, first coming across an open, beautiful field out of nowhere.  This was called Soldier's Garden.

Soldier's Garden - Hiking - Mackinac Island

Next, we kept going through the center of the island and found ourselves in a little town that I didn't even knew existed!  We talked to some people, and there are some nice Condos for rent or purchase, as well as a hotel in that area.  The area was called Stonecliff.  By this time, we had been hiking for hours!  We were hot and hungry, and we stumbled upon this little oasis of a restaurant called The Woods - owned and operated by The Grand.  (We will be reviewing that later in the week!).  It was exactly what we needed!  From there, we treated ourselves to a carriage ride back to Main Street.  (Carriages depart from Stonecliff on a regular basis.)


Day 2 Mackinac Island Hiking Map

On the second day, we started by walking around the beautiful homes in Hubbard's Annex.  They are historic and so well maintained.

Mackinac Island Home Hubbard's Annex

Mackinac Island Home Hubbard's Annex

Mackinac Island - Hiking Trail near Hubbard's Annex

From there, we went toward the center of the island again and found Great Turtle Park.  We were blown away by this park!  They had every type of sporting field you could imagine there, and it was all beautiful and looked brand new.  Families were here together, and obviously lived in the area.  There were even large picnic areas with fire pits, and we just felt a great sense of community there.   The Park was surrounded by modern homes that you would see in the suburbs in any other Michigan city.

Onward to the beautiful Cemeteries which are all located together.

Mackinac Island Cemetery

Next, we decided to take the paved path up the center of the island toward British Landing.  We were amazed by the way the landscape changed as we went North.  There are great historical markers about the wars fought on the island as well.

Mackinac Island Historical Marker Battle of 1812

First, the Wawashkamo Golf Course.

Wawashkamo Golf Course - Mackinac Island

Wawashkamo Golf Course - Mackinac Island - Historical Marker

Then these crazy big trees with branches that all curved up toward the sun. 

Trees - Hiking - Mackinac Island

Then extremely tall pine trees, bare on the bottom, that swayed and made loud noises as they hit each other in the wind.

Trees - Hiking - Mackinac Island

We took a small detour off the paved road onto Croghan Water Trail.  This was marshy, and had some natural springs and small rivers running through it.  During this entire trip, it was interesting that we didn't really see much wildlife.  For being in the woods, I think that we may have only seen one squirrel.  We also stopped at Friendships Alter.

Friendship's Altar - Mackinac Island

Time for a well-earned snack!  This popular stop is about half way around the island for bikers.  We had to try their fried pickles, and we also ate some sandwiches that we got at Doud's Market in the morning. 

British Landing - Mackinac Island

Cannonball - British Landing - Mackinac Island

Fried Pickles - Cannonball - Mackinac Island

Finally, we followed the main bike road down past The Grand, to Main Street.  We were done for the day!  We have never been in The Grand, but we hope (and dream!) to stay there one day!

Mackinac Island Coast

Mackinac Island - Grand Hotel

Hiking at Mackinac Island was such a great experience.  We saw so many things that we didn't know existed, and talked to some really nice people.  Consider using these trails during your next trip!  Don't forget your water, bug spray, and grab a map or two from the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau Stand next to the Murray Hotel.

Mackinac Island Main Street

Mackinac Island Main Street at Night



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Chippewa and Pink Pony - Mackinac Island

This is our second post for Mackinac Island Week!  

Day One: Getting To And Around Mackinac Island
Day Two: The Chippewa and Pink Pony
Day Three: Hiking - Mackinac Island
Day Four: The Woods - Mackinac Island
Day Five: Chianti at Mission Point Resort - Mackinac Island

Last Summer, I stayed overnight on Mackinac Island for the first time ever.  This is shocking since I have been there so many times.  I am surprised that I hadn't stayed there sooner!  Let me tell you - The Island is completely different at night.  For my first stay, I chose The Chippewa.  I figured it would be close to the action, convenient, and the price was reasonable.  I got the street-view as opposed to the water-view, and no balcony.  The room was nice and clean, and the front desk was incredibly friendly and helpful.  The rooms were also a bit more updated than you would find elsewhere on the old fashioned island.  I would definitely stay there again.  They provide luggage service, so don't be silly like us and take your bags on the ferry yourselves and wheel them all the way down to the hotel.  I also really liked the Lilac Tree Toiletries that were provided.  (The Lilac Tree is another hotel on the island, known for their great smelling toiletries, and owned by the same company.)

The attached Restaurant/Bar is one of the most popular on the island, and it's easy to see why.  Great food, great drinks, great atmosphere - The Pink Pony.  The first night we were there, we stayed for drinks.

Pink Pony - The Chippewa - Mackinac Island

Pink Pony - The Chippewa - Mackinac Island

Pink Pony - The Chippewa - Mackinac Island

The next morning, we had an amazing view of the harbor while we enjoyed breakfast outside.  This is separate from the bar section.

View From Pink Pony - The Chippewa - Mackinac Island

The skillet was great.   The eggs benedict,  though - those were AMAZING!

Eggs Benedict - Pink Pony - The Chippewa - Mackinac Island

Breakfast Skillet -  Pink Pony - The Chippewa - Mackinac Island

It was also very convenient that Doud's Market (http://www.doudsmarket.com/) was right across the street.  Doud's is open year round on the island.  They have everything that you need including groceries.  They also have a great pre-made sandwich section that is convenient to get before you go out riding/hiking around the island.  If you don't mind standing in line, they will make you fresh custom sandwiches.

The Chippewa is a great place to stay - not just for the location, price, food, and bar, but also for the outstanding customer service.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Getting To And Around Mackinac Island

With the start of summer, there will be lots of chances to travel Up North.  Here at Rediscovering Michigan, we are dedicating an entire week's worth of posts to Mackinac Island in honor of summer.  One thing that I really missed about Michigan was the celebration of summer and all of the wonderful activities that we try to squeeze in here while we can.

Here's our line-up for the week:
Day One: Getting To And Around Mackinac Island

Some of my absolute favorite memories from my childhood are at Mackinac Island.  Here is a great throwback picture of my Mom and I on our way to the Island.  You can see The Grand behind us.  We would usually do the normal tourist thing - walk up and down the main road, get fudge, and ride bikes around the island.

90s - Mackinac Island Ferry and Grand Hotel

The first trick is getting Up North!  Here are some places to stop on your way up (or down):

The next trick is picking your ferry!  Currently, there are three different ferry lines for your Mackinac Island needs (Shepler's, Star, and Arnold). Check their websites for prices and schedule.  This time we took Shepler's.  Also, if you are staying on the Island - be sure to coordinate with your hotel or Bed & Breakfast.  Many hotels will provide luggage service for you.  They pick it up right at the docks, then get it to your room for you so that you don't have to worry about it on the ferry and the busy streets of the Island. They may even have services to pick YOU up from the ferry.  Ferries will also currently will tote your bike for much less than renting one.  Dogs are welcome and free!

Mackinac Island Ferry

Once you get on the island, you will be right on Main Street with the crowds.  Here's your basic information: Put your back toward the docks.  To the right, you'll see The Fort.  To your left is the way to The Grand.  There are lots of little shops and fun things to do along the way no matter which way you go.  Go one block inland, and there are even more shops.  Go past the main strip, and you'll be on your way around the island - about 8 miles. There are many bicycle rental locations right near the boat docks.  You can even get baby carriers attached to your bike.  Horse-Drawn Taxis will be there to take you up and down Main Street also.

British Landing - Mackinac Island - Rental Bikes with Kids

To get visitor information, I recommend going to the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau Stand (Located next to the Murray Hotel).  They will have free maps and lots of different pamphlets on what to do.  They are also conveniently located across from the Carriage Tour stand for Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours.  If you are with a large group, I recommend getting a private tour.  Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the carriages.  (Note - there is also a building that will have you PAY for maps and guides.  That is fine, but if you want free maps, be sure to go to the stand.)

Mackinac Island - Private Horse Drawn Carriage Tour - Dog Friendly

As for horseback riding, you'll want to find Cindy's Riding Stable on Main St. near the boat docks.  You can do guided or individual riding based on your experience level.  Check out Jack's Livery Stable in order to drive your own horse-drawn carriage (they are located up toward The Grand, just start walking that way).

Horseback Riding on Mackinac Island - Early 2000s

The best mode of transportation on the Island is a good pair of shoes, so come prepared!