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Old 07-08-2009, 04:03 PM   #1
dsprik
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Prices @ Mackinaw...

The purpose of this post is to give MOCers an idea of things to do in M.C. and M.I. and the monetary attachment to those recreational outings so MOCers can plan ahead a little. There may be some group rates in some cases - we will have to decide who wants to do what and when...

Hope this is helpful - please feel free to PM if you don't want to ask a question on the open forum.

Dave


Here are some prices (all "Adult" pricing) in and around Mackinaw City and the Island...

First of all, the Big Mack bridge: $3.00 toll for cars and for a pickup with a Monty (2 axles) it will run you $6.00. These are ONE WAY prices. The toll booth is on the north end of the bridge.

If you are coming in from the south on I-75, you will be looking for Exit 337. If you are coming in from the north, over the bridge, you will get off on Exit 338 (US-23 South).

(They are working on I-75 south of the Bridge. It is supposed to be a single lane each way. Only a couple miles at most, but it is right where Exit 337 and 338 are located).

In Mackinaw City: The Crossings is the big shopping outdoor mall. Plenty of shopping on the streets also, but the separate shopping area of the Crossings is truly unique. Those interested in the outdoors have the Mackinaw Outfitters store - similar to a mini-Cabelas store. You will love this. Also, they have a laser light show at dusk in the commons area.

Restaurants are plentiful, but Cheryl and I have some favorites. The Pancake Chef on main street is a terrific breakfast place. Buffet - good food and good prices. The Dixie Saloon is a great dinner place - great steaks. There are other restaurants around - some good, some not so good. There may be others that are OK and things change year by year there, but over the years, these two establishments have remained pretty consistent on there food quality.

In Mack City area there are 4 State Parks. All with entry fees. They are as follows: Fort Michilimackinac-$10.50, Mackinaw Light House-$6.00, Mill Creek Sawmill-$8.00, Fort Mackinaw (on the Island)-$10.50. They have a special rate if you think you would like to hit any 3 out of these 4 parks: $23.00.

Also in Mackinaw City: Vesper Cruise at Sunset - put on by the local churches. This is a free cruise (I think this is only one night a week-Sat or Sun?) with some great views of the Bridge with it's lights on at night. The USCG Cutter Mackinaw has guided tours. 40 min. $10.00. Then - something new - Professional Lumberjack Competition at 7:30 pm (not sure where in MC, or if every night - they started this since the last time we were there). $11.00. Sounds interesting...

Now for the Island...
You are simply going to have to get used to the smell of horse poop. It is NOT an option. Might as well start getting yourself psyched up right now and get over it... Then you can enjoy this incredible, historically rich Island. You will need your cameras. And yes, there is pretty good cell reception on the Island.

The ferry ride over can be a little cool so might want to take a light coat or sweatshirt/sweater. Remember, though, you will have to rent a locker on the Island (fairly cheap IIRC) or carry it around all day. All ferries (Star Lines, Arnold, Shepplers) charge the same fee. $24.00. 15 or more people can get a group rate of $20.00. This is a round trip ticket - do not lose the 2nd half of your ticket.

You can eat on the Island, but don't expect low prices. Plenty of quaint outdoor patio eateries and beer gardens, though.

On the Island, I have already mentioned Fort Mackinac. If you have any reservations about taking this terrific, historic tour, talk to Steve Emmel. It is $10.50 as I mentioned earlier - unless you take advantage of the 3 out of 4 discount ticket. The Team Horse Drawn Carriage Tour is great and a must see. $23.50. This is worth it. There may be a group discount on this, but I am not sure. Then there is the The Grand Hotel. Last time I checked, non-guests were allowed on the porch for $12.00 (and yes there are takers on this). Then you have your myriad of shops on main street. The Governor's Summer Mansion is also on the Island.

There are 2 Butterfly Houses on the Island. One up by the Carriage horse barns $6.00 and one down by the marina $8.00. This 2nd one also has additional insects of some sort.

Bikes: Only bikes and horses allowed on the Island (except for a very limited number of emergency vehicles). The Island is 8 miles around - paved road all the way. You can rent a bike for ~$15/hr (last time I checked) or you can bring your own bike over on the Ferry for $7.50 for round trip (this was last year). Bring some very good walking shoes.

For the strong at heart and strong at wallet, you can also rent a horse or rent a single horse carriage "taxi" for you and the missus...

Well I am now exhausted... If anyone can add to the attractions I missed -this is by NO means an all inclusive listing, just the most popular with pricing - please feel free. There are several more things to see and do. Several re-enactments. The only restrictions are time and money - not necessarily in that order...

Oh yeah, if you like FUDGE you are definitely in luck... And don't let me hear ANYONE complain that they couldn't find a Mackinaw City/Mackinac Bridge/Mackinaw Island T-shirt and ball cap...

ALSO, Cheryl would like to organize a casino trip to the Kewadin Casino (~5 miles north of the Bridge, Exit 348). Remember the toll so you don't have to borrow from anyone to get back over the Bridge...

Please let me know if anyone is interested in going for part of a day.
 
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
mail2us
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Dave, Thanks for the great information and making it so inviting. We're ready! Dennis
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:35 PM   #3
Emmel
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Thank you Dave and Cheryl, that is a very impressive list. Lots to do and see!
As dave said, if you go to the island, the Fort is a must see! I'd like to see it again.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:19 PM   #4
dsprik
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I think the important fee is the Ferry ticket. I'm sure we will have more than 15 people that would want to go to the Island. We don't all have to TRAVEL to the Island the same time/day. However, we need to organize so that we BUY the tickets at the same time for the discount. I can double check on any restrictions.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:25 PM   #5
bigmurf
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Dave: Just bring your boat and sell some $10.00 tickets. g
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:35 PM   #6
dsprik
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Thanks for the idea, Murf. I could sell this as "An adventure of a lifetime!"... which would be very short with my 18 ft Hurricane out there amidst those huge ferries and their mammoth wake they kick up...
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:17 AM   #7
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Terrific job Dave,

Discount tickets sound good! Will have have the sign up list at your rig??
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:21 AM   #8
dsprik
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Absolutely, Carol. There will be a SLIGHT handling fee if I have to buy them all out of pocket... .

*On Edit~ Also, I would like to add here that I have re-read my post and being a native of the area, I was still almost overwhelmed by all the dollar amounts. I want to interject here that even if you only take the ferry over and wander around all day without spending any more money (except for buying some fudge) it would be well worth the ferry tickets.

I would suggest that if you are going to spend any money on the Island, I would save it for the Carriage Tour of the Island and the Fort Mackinaw State park.

If you take the carriage tour, it will drop you off at the gate on top of the hill (big hill) at the Fort entrance at the end of the Tour. If you want the Fort experience w/o the Carriage Tour, you will have to walk up the hill.

If you have any questions about this, talk to me or Steve Emmel or Rich (Richfaa). Us three couples spent a day there together.

Also, FYI, the Island is staffed in the summer by college students that live above the downtown shops and in some hotels/houses specified for them. If you wander down by the Marina, below the Fort, you will see a grassy commons area where all these kids hang out, play Frisbee, and sun themselves at lunch or before/after their shift. You are allowed there too, just don't be surprised to see all the college age kids - all very well behaved.

Wives, there are some college girls that sun themselves, so keep and eye on your husband. Of course the college guys are there, too...

Every summer a Girl Scout Troop is chosen to spend the summer at the Fort as greeters and information specialists. This is neat and you will see this also at the Fort.
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:22 AM   #9
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Thanks Dave for the info. We can't make the Rally as our adult kids, Grandkids and us will be spending the week of the 19th on Black Lake. We have planned a day for the Island. We hope all you non-Michiganders enjoy our beautiful State and we'll see you at the Fall Rally. Stacy
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info Dave! Looking forward to the Rally! You gong to join us for golf? Haven't been up in the area for years! I was stationed at Kincheloe in the UP back during the Nam era. Loved the area and revisited it about 10 years ago with DW. I know why you head south for the winter however. We had 13 ft of snow up there when I was stationed there! Not my bag of tea especially coming from Okinawa! Looking forward to putting faces with the names and AKAs of MOC. See you in about three weeks!
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:54 AM   #11
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Dave, Thanks for getting all the great info. Last time we were there we popped the $40 per person for the admission to the front porch of the Grand and the noon buffet. It's pretty pricey but worth every penny. Excellent food, deserts, and service. Everyone should do it at least once. I'm thinking we might even do it a second time.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:26 AM   #12
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Dave,

I'm with ya on that carriage ride to the top, then wander down from the Fort. I believe that is what we did the last time we were there with the kids (1984). I have a photo of the three boys sitting on a cannon at the Fort Michilmackinaw, which as you know is on the main land, not the Island. Ahhhh, memories!

Gotta say, we have wandered around in the Grand Hotel, don't remember eatting there tho. The place is AMAZING!! For Christopher Reeves fans, this is where they filmed Somewhere In Time (1980).

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:51 AM   #13
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The buffet on the porch is something relatively new, Carol. As Jim said it is pricey, but I hear it is terrific.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:32 AM   #14
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Buffet?? Did we say Buffet?? SHHHHH, don't let CountryGuy hear that word!
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:25 AM   #15
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Don't worry Carol! When CountryGuy hears the price of $40 per person for the privilege of eating lunch on the Grand Hotel's porch and not getting to see the inside, he just may take you to MickeyD's!
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:10 PM   #16
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You don't eat on the porch. You eat in the main dining room. Besides getting to sit on the porch you get to tour the inside of the Hotel. I don't know why they term the extra as "sitting on the porch", but that is how everyone refers to it. Dining room is really nice. Hell, I'm getting hungry.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #17
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Buffet.....did someone say buffet!!!! I second that one Carol.

Thanks for doing all this Dave.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dsprik


Then - something new - Professional Lumberjack Competition at 7:30 pm (not sure where in MC, or if every night - they started this since the last time we were there). $11.00. Sounds interesting...
Dave, The Lumberjack Competition is on the left a bit further south on 23.
Also in that same direction is Historic Mill Creek State Park. The admission I believe was $8 for adults.

BTW-I still haven't given up on the possibility of attending. Hopefully I'll know tomorrow (FridaY) after my doctors appointment.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #19
dsprik
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I hope you do make this, Glenn. And I hope you are correct on the $8 vs the $11 that I was told. That came from the Information Center at the Rest Area off of Exits 337 & 338. I talked to them by phone.. That would make sense for the location also. $8 sounds much more reasonable. Was that last year, though?

Do you remember what nights this event took place?
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:34 PM   #20
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OK Dave, now it is a done deal! Gail and I will be checking a bunch of this out when we get up there on 8/28.

We were able to call the campground and get our reservations changed for the same number of days exactly 30 days from the original dates. It didn't cost me a dime to change 'em.

So, we are still on. I just regret that we won't be there for the rally. Dang knee, anyway!
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