Make Mackinac a Romantic Retreat

Pull up to Mackinac City’s ferry dock and watch as the first hints of your dreamy escape unfold. Sunlight glints off Lake Huron’s dark water, boats churn toward a string of islands still shaking off the morning mist. Catch the earliest ferry you can – then snuggle on the bench seats in the back as the boat chugs over to Mackinac Island (www.mackinacisland.org).

Once there, head hand-in-hand down Main Street to Hotel Iroquois (906-847-3321), where a sumptuous, served-on-china breakfast awaits at the waterfront Carriage House. A table for two on the veranda lets you sit back in yellow wicker chairs as you indulge in banana-stuffed French toast and watch the waves break on the rocks surrounding Round Island Lighthouse.

Mosey back down Main Street, then check out any one of the numerous bike-rental stands to pick your transportation for an island tour. To truly test the mettle of your relationship, try a tandem. After a few wobbly starts and undoubtedly some laughs, you’ll be cruisin’ in sync around the 8-mile island shoreline. You’re on island time now, so don’t be afraid to dawdle – pull off at an empty stretch of sun-bleached beach and cool your feet with a quick wade in the lake. At the south end of the island, stop to share a kiss at the cedar grove, where a scene was shot for the romantic classic Somewhere In Time. The spot is marked with a plaque at the side of the road.

Swing up to the island’s most famous icon, the Grand Hotel. A small fee will get you onto its porch – claimed to be the world’s longest. Rows of rocking chairs and red-coated waiters are on hand to ease you into a leisurely break amid the island breezes. Should the weather prove too cool, head inside and upstairs to the Cupola Bar where you can cuddle up in the plush window seats and enjoy a panoramic view of the island as you sip a cocktail and await the nightly entertainment.

Emily Bingham is assitant editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.[email protected]

Note: This article was first published in June 2006, and was updated for the web February 2008.

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