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Honeymoon: Did Someone Say Fudge? How to Avoid the 57 Fudge Shops on Mackinac Island

We had to wait an hour but we made it onto the next ferry.

I couldn't keep my eyes off the Mackinac Bridge. One of the Star Line Ferries actually passes under it. Next time we go to Mackinac, probably with kids, we'll have to drive over it.

I kind of had low expectations upon arriving on Mackinac Island. After talking to a few people who had been there they all said it was a giant tourist trap.

Once we got off I was a little shocked at how different it actually it was as opposed to what I'd seen in photographs. Bikes ruled the roads, every home was a beautiful Victorian and the smell of fudge wafted into the streets. The main street was a little crowded, but things quieted down once we found our super darling B&B.

We had an awesome corner room with big windows and views of the lake.

For about $95 we got a nice big bed, a private bathroom and, of course breakfast free of charge.

Apparently the Pine Cottage, where we stayed, is haunted.

The Pine was once a hotel, but is now a B&B. As for the haunted part, we slept like babies.

We got gussied up and went out for dinner. We didn't bring any cameras so all we have is this Instagram photo Scott took of his beer. When we searched for a place to eat Scott said, "We are not going anywhere that has someone standing outside convincing people to come in". We chose Seabiscuit Cafe. We sat at the bar as opposed to waiting for a table. We talked with our bartender for much of the night, the guy has the best jobs in the world. He spends his summer on Mackinac Island and his winters out west at a ski resort. 

It seemed like the least touristy place on the island. The beer was great and the fish local. All in all it wasn't a bad choice and we even saw a bat fly into the building. Apparently its a nightly occurrence.

After our dinner we went on a night walk around the Island. I was surprised at how quiet it got after 10pm. This is about as close to the Grand Hotel as we got, to get closer you have to pay $10.

The place goes for something like $600 a night, can't they let the plebeians check it out for free?

Day 7

We had only planned to stay for the night so we got up early again to get all our sightseeing in in one day. In all the years I've known Scott I'd never seen him get up this early or earlier than me willingly.

I had talked to my dad a few weeks earlier about coming here and he was surprised we were staying the night. It's not very cheap here and most people come for the day. The money we spent taking the ferry over meant we'd spend the night. It is our honeymoon afterall.

I read reviews that their food wasn't good and was basically boxes of cereal. It couldn't have been more the opposite. Tiny quiches, cherry tarts, assorted baked goods; it was a veritable smorgasbord.

We were the first ones up so we got first dibs on everything.

We each ate just enough and headed out.

The owner of our B&B suggested we walk up the hill for an awesome view.

Halfway up the stairs the view was already great. I mean if you enjoy looking at a horse's rear.
I can't believe these are peoples summer homes.

Well you don't know that for certain. There is a contingent of year-rounders. Brooke finds this crazy. I find it amazing. 

The view of downtown and the harbor was as good as the proprietor said.

Mackinac has its cheesy tourist stuff, but once you get away from that this place is awesome. The no car rule is enough to get me to move here. I tried to convince Scott we need to sell our house and live here next summer. The only thing that would have made this place absolutley perfect would be beaches. I couldn't believe there weren't any.

I'm up for selling our house and living someplace remote like this. We'll see if we really are adventurous.

After a bit of gawking we headed back down the stairs and to downtown.

We happened to bike by Fort Mackinac right as they were raising the flags for the day. It was nice to be up early to see everyone getting things together and to see the people who actually live here before all the tourists arrived.

We headed inside the oldest grocery store on the island to escape the drizzle.

They sell yarn here too? I'd have no reason to ever leave.

Actually that was next door Brooke.

You can't go to Mackinac and not get fudge. Although growing up near a candy store by our cottage it wasn't that big of a deal to me. We found the one place that didn't have any other locations on the island. Unlike Ryba's that owned 5 shops. We got half a pound free for coming in during the early bird special.

We decided on 4-1/4 pound pieces.

 We still chose Murphy's despite having another coupon.

I know the market demands more fudge shops, but it's kind of absurd. You don't need more than one per block. There has to be at least 20 on the island.  I'd rather see some non-burger bars and a few unique shops. I don't need a tie-dye shirt.

Other than bicycles, horse drawn carriages rule the road. It's like your in some alternate universe with hybrid bikes, chubby tourists and horse manure. Somehow it's actually a fun place to be.

This is probably the cutest fudge shop on the island, except they have four other locations.

Having brought our bikes along, we figured it would be cheaper than renting, we followed the 8 mile shoreline trail that takes you around the island.

The homes outside of the "city" are the most interesting. Secluded Victorians on a tiny island, what's not to love.

We also biked past a few landmarks such as the Arch Rock.

This old place was for sale and visibly falling apart. I'd like to buy it with a bunch of friends and turn into a foodie paradise. Since it's opposite of town, most of the fudgies would never show up and it would become a hippie paradise. It's selling for over a million, but with enough people it wouldn't be a bad deal.

Parents, should you really let your kids play in the Devil's Kitchen?

I loved that you don't have to lock your bikes here. Because, really, if someone takes yours the island is small enough you're bound to find it and a theif really isn't going to pay to take it across on the ferry.

I decided to get a cherry malt from this little hole-in-the-wall near the British Landing.

We made all the way around and backtracked to where more trails took you to the inner island. The ride around was probably the easiest bike ride I'd ever been on. It was so flat!

Scott was asked to take a few photographs for people.

I love a big lens and SLR makes you a professional. In my case I guess it's true.

Scott and his malt. Fudge wasn't good enough for him I guess.

Actually, I forgot that we had bought fudge. You whipped them out after I bought this.

Since we were going to be gone for 17 days, the fort seemed redundant. We'd just been to Fayette and it seemed redundant.

Even If I was going to be cheap, I had to peak in.

We got back on our bikes and dodged horse manure to get a better view of Arch Rock.

You can't really see in this image, but people wrote messages with rocks in the shallows.

We wanted to check out the governor's residence, but it wasn't open this day. That's got to be the best perk of being the Michigan Governor. Your economy is one-dimensional, but you've got that Mackinac home!

Just down the raod we got a better view of the Grand Hotel.

Then we road down the "hill." All the foreigners who work on the island speed down it every 2 minutes.

We were then hungry for lunch and Scott said a place called Chuckwagon sounded good. About the same size as Al's Breakfast in Minneapolis, this place tossed up some mean burgers.

The pretzel buns were so good.

Then we walked around some more. This guy actually walked into my picture and just stood there. Congratulations dude, you've made my blog.

That's what you call a manure streak on his back.

My first instinct was to always look for cars when crossing the street. But there aren't any!

I never thought that, weirdo.

We had seen everything on the island and tried to decide what to do next.

During our walk last night we passed a mini golf course that was actually made of grass. When we saw how much that cost we had to turn it down.

Instead we took a potty break at the old Catholic church.

With nothing left for us to do without spending money we left the charming island. I'm afraid of how it will be when we return again in the future.

Every storefront will be fudge. Fudge burgers. Fudge t-shirts. Fudge urinals. You name it.

The big question now, what's next?


emma said…
Don't worry Brooke, it looks exactly the same as the 5 times I've been there... 10 years ago or more. Except maybe the bike paths have been paved. I don't think it used to cost to go on the porch of that big hotel but you couldn't go inside.
Katrina said…
Maybe we could buy that old place with you guys. The island is really cute despite some of the really touristy spots. There was sort of a beach by the British Landing that we swam at, but it was pretty rocky. What was up with all those shops with neon t-shirts that said, "dude, cool story.. tell it again" or "babe, cool story, now make me a sandwich". Am I missing some reference to pop culture? Definitely drive over the Mackinac Bridge next time.

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