The Rainbow was quite inexpensive, but ranks as the #4 hotel in Mackinaw City (out of 41!) according to Trip Advisor. We were quite satisfied with our stay there, and the money saved enabled us to do other things. While the Arnold ferry is slower than the other two lines, one of which is a hydro jet, they offer a two-day pass, which made it the most economical option. And with a 35-minute travel time, it hardly made for a day wasted in commuting. Both days we were on the ferry for the earliest crossing (8 a.m.), and arrived on the island before it got overly busy. Wise indeed!
|My husband had fun turning a color photo into black & white to create an impression of times gone by.|
We had breakfast at The Chuckwagon, a popular greasy spoon, a smoothie at Twist 'n Sprouts for lunch, and spent the afternoon hiking along the paths, including a stop at Fort Holmes. I admit that we didn't visit Fort Mackinac, mainly because we tend to feel that if you've seen one fort, you've seen 'em all, and because we were there as a couple and not a family. Fort Holmes, a reconstruction with no activities on site, was a free attraction.
On day two, we rented a horse and carriage from Jack's Livery and Stable and my husband drove us along the lakeshore and through the middle of the island from British Landing. This was an opportunity to good to pass up. Where else can you self-drive a horse and buggy like this? We enjoyed the romance of it, as well as being able to travel at our own pace, instead of being shepherded to sights determined by the official carriage drive at a pace set by them. While we also didn't get all the commentary that goes with that, we felt that we had the info we needed in our little guidebook.
|My husband's hand and Shorty's rump as we steer along the lakeshore|
That day we also went to The Grand Hotel for their luncheon buffet. We quite enjoyed it, though we felt a bit uncomfortable that while most of the diners were white, 95% or more of the wait staff were Jamaican. It seemed a throw-back to another era, which is likely the intention. The good thing is that these servers are not slaves or servants. When their paid shifts are over, they're over and they go to their places of residence. I expect Jamaicans are hired either because of tradition or because no Afro-American would take these jobs due to the effect of history on their collective conscience.
We also enjoyed exploring the public areas of the hotel and the grounds. In a word: exquisite, especially the interior.
|The Grand Hotel - note the topiary 'horses' in the bottom left|
We walked and walked, too much, my husband would say. But all-in-all a worthwhile experience, and one I wouldn't hesitate to have again should the right time arise. As you know, I have many other travel destinations on my list!
What did we miss? Unfortunately, the monument that references the movie Somewhere in Time. Forgot all about it and didn't look for it.
But in Mackinaw City, we did enjoy the Mackinaw City Trolley sunset tour, which took us across the famous landmark Mackinac Bridge. We learned about the city and the bridge, got lovely photos and a spectacular view of the sunset. Highly recommend this if you are going.
|Mackinac Bridge, Michigan|
Traverse City and Harbor Springs were suggested as places to include in our trip, but we didn't get to them. Instead we stopped at Frankenmuth and Birch Run on our way home. I won't go into detail on them here, as they weren't bucket list items and by this time you've probably read quite enough!
|What's a trip anywhere without a visit to the local library?!|