#1
Old 06-17-2010, 09:37 PM
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Getting from Chicago to Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island looks absolutely awesome. But getting there appears to be somewhat of a bitch unless you have a private plane.

Anyone gone from Chicago to Mackinac Island? I'd love to hear how you did it.
#2
Old 06-17-2010, 10:15 PM
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Yeah, it's gorgeous. From Chicago it is a 7-hour car trip. Plane to the island? Not at all. There are three ferry lines that run regularly from St. Ignace, it's like a 20-minute trip. Hydroplane even quicker.

Oh yeah - watch your step on the island. No motor vehicles allowed, but horses abound.

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 06-17-2010 at 10:16 PM.
#3
Old 06-17-2010, 11:02 PM
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The ferries can get extremely crowded during the summer months, but it's very beautiful and totally worth it. No one flies to the island unless A) it's an emergency and the ferries aren't fast enough, or B) they're obscenely wealthy and they have more money than they know what to do with, or C) the ice has blocked the place in before the thaw.

Last edited by apollonia; 06-17-2010 at 11:02 PM.
#4
Old 06-17-2010, 11:22 PM
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Location: Chicago,IL
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It's a beautiful drive. Western Michigan is great. Don't forget to stop at the Michigan Dunes on the way up. Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Warren Dunes State Park

The bad part is you have to eat the fudge they sell on Mackinac Island. Oh the fudge rocks, but not the 20 extra pounds you leave with

The whole Upper Peninsula is beautiful. Marquette is a neat little town and you can visit Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario and/or Michigan.

I prefer to drive from Chicago to the UP on the Michigan side, though you can go up through the Wisconsin side.

There's a ferry that goes from Muskegon Michigan to Milwaukee, if you want to save some time. I have never used it and while it'd be a huge saving from Milwaukee in terms of time, I don't know how much time it'd save you from Chicago
#5
Old 06-18-2010, 08:31 AM
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Born and raised in Michigan.

The ferry service is the way to go.

Staying on the the island is, imho ( and I'm a cheapskate) expensive, so we've always stayed in Mackinac City. ( Usually the Days Inn.)

We've also always taken our bikes to M.I. ( extra fee for transport.) . Just easier .

Ironically, I've never been a fudge fan in my life and eating the stuff up there is an easy pass for me. Me, who loves chocolate.

Pack a fleece pullover, it can get chilly at night up there.
#6
Old 06-18-2010, 08:38 AM
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...And take a camera...
#7
Old 06-18-2010, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Born and raised in Michigan.
Me too.

Quote:
The ferry service is the way to go.
Indeed.

Quote:
Staying on the the island is, imho ( and I'm a cheapskate) expensive, so we've always stayed in Mackinac City.
Last October was the first time we've ever stayed on the island, and I highly recommend it (at least once). We stayed at Mission Point Resort. Very cool*

Quote:
Ironically, I've never been a fudge fan in my life and eating the stuff up there is an easy pass for me. Me, who loves chocolate.
Me too, exactly. I'll eat maybe one piece just out of a sense of duty.


*Well, except for that mouse I saw scurrying down the hallway
#8
Old 06-18-2010, 10:35 AM
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Chicago-area resident. I agree that going through western MI is better than going through WI and the UP. If you can take two days to get there, I recommend Sleeping Bear Dunes which is at the top of where the pinkie would be in the mitten.
#9
Old 06-18-2010, 10:48 AM
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You could go down to the Chicago yacht club and try to get pressed into service by July 12 for the start of the ChiMac race.
#10
Old 06-18-2010, 10:53 AM
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Hell, this is RR asking here. What's all this talk about driving and ferries? Any reason he couldn't just walk across the water?
#11
Old 06-18-2010, 10:01 PM
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OK, thanks guys. It sounds like driving and ferries is the way to go (with a couple of different options). That just sounds like such a chore, especially with a 19-month old. I guess I need to resign myself to the fact that Mackinac Island isn't a weekend place, it's more of a spend-a-week place.
#12
Old 06-20-2010, 08:55 PM
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from phila i flew to chicago, then small plane to traverse city, then taxi van to mackinac city, then ferry to the island, and finally carriage to the b&B.
#13
Old 06-20-2010, 09:08 PM
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i forgot to mention the the bus i took to the train, to the airport in phila. it was quite the journey! i was a bit landsick by the time we got to the b&b.

mackinac was well worth it.
#14
Old 06-21-2010, 09:01 AM
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Forgot to mention, you should hit Horizon Books In Traverse City (one of the best book stores in the state.) and The Book Nook and Java Shop in Montegue ( right on your way, you will need coffee at some point!) and because you will be rolling right through Sausage-Tuck....errr....Sagatauck, make sure you stop by Open Door Music.

All stores are Shirley Ujest approved.
#15
Old 06-21-2010, 11:20 AM
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Location: Grand Ledge,Michigan, USA
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Life-long michigander here... When are you going?

Unless you have the money to fly, or the time to take a boat up the lake, you're driving. Depending on where you are in Chicago, you might want to go through Wisconsin. Otherwise, you have to go through all of Chicago, plus Gary, plus the eternal construction and traffic on I-94 in that area. I'd almost rather chew through a half-axle and leave a tire there in traffic than have to wait that out again...

Mackinac is gorgeous. You can do it in a weekend if you don't have to spend a lot of that time driving. If you're driving 7 hours one-way, I'd make it a long weekend. Leave Friday morning, or come back on Monday. You CAN get decent rates on the mainland, though. Search some of the travel sites (hotels.com, travelocity, kayak.com, etc) for St. Ignace, MI, or Mackinaw City, on the troll-side of the bridge. My wife found some pretty decent rates for us in Mackinaw City for both the week of 4th of July, and Labor Day weekend, so it can be done.

Bikes are a great way to see the island, but if you have to haul them and a kid and baby supplies and all, consider renting them up there. There are 2-3 bike liveries right by the ferry docks, and prices are pretty comparable at each. If you want to take the bambino in a bike trailer, search for them online, contact them, and be sure the trailer is there and reserved. You CAN see most of the touristy parts of the island in one day. It's not that big a place.

If you want a decent hamburger and a cold beer while on the Island, look for the Mustang Bar, on a side street just off the main drag in downtown. It's a locals hangout, but they're happy to have tourists spend money there, too. And it's not as pricey as some of the places on main street.

If you want a more touristy lunch, pay the admission to the fort on the island, and have lunch at the Tea Room restaurant there. It overlooks the city, the harbor, and the straits. It's a little more pricey, and harder to get into because of lines and demand and such, but you won't have a better view any where. And how often will you get back up here?
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