Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City

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Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City
Man, talk about a weekend you really don't want to end. Going back to the real world is always rough after a few days off, but I was kind of riding the struggle bus all last week.

Of course, I can't say that's a surprise--after all, Brad and I did get to visit northern Michigan and the U.P. for the first time ever (finally!). This was our first "real" vacation together in I don't know how long, so we wanted to make sure we went someplace completely new to us. After tossing around a few ideas, we finally decided on Mackinac Island.

Of course, I couldn't concentrate on anything else for two days leading up to our trip because I GOT REALLY EXCITED.

When choosing a place to stay, we received lots of feedback from friends--on the island, in the city, up in the U.P.--it all sounded fantastic. We ended up booking a place in Mackinaw City, and to my surprise, this "city" ended up being an adorable beach town! We got in around lunchtime on Saturday, so we had plenty of time to explore the area before taking the ferry to the island the next day.

Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City 

Our first stop: Darrows! We chose this lunch spot based on an overwhelming number of high ratings on alllll the travel apps. Happily, it did not disappoint. The restaurant was busy, but we got a table right away. I ordered the special, an honest-to-goodness real pasty, and swapped half for part of Brad's open-faced turkey and gravy sandwich. Sooooo good.

Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City

I'd never eaten a "real" pasty before (unless you count the packaged kind at Kroger--I don't), and I think we chose the perfect place to give it a try (Darrow's is also known for its handmade pies, so the pasty crust was without a doubt divine).

Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City

Next, we wandered downtown and happened upon the USCGC Mackinaw. Brad was practically magnetized to this museum vessel, so we trekked through the shipyard to climb on board.

Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw CityNorthern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw CityNorthern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City

Commissioned in 1944, the Icebreaker Mackinaw played a huge role in World War II by breaking through ice on the Great Lakes to make way for transportation of war materials. Our self-guided tour started on deck, followed by tunneling through the ship's living quarters, offices, and engine room. I was a little nervous by all the steep staircases (really, they were ladders with chains for railings), but climbing down backwards, holding on tight, and saying a few prayers got me through. ;)

Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City

After leaving the museum, we strolled back downtown to shop for souvenirs and taffy, then made a detour for all-you-can-eat fish and shrimp (nom) at Tugboat's Grub & Pub. In need of some exercise after a huge (and delicious) meal, we took our bikes out to enjoy the sunset at Michilimackinac State Park, then snapped photos of the sky, the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and the "Mighty Mac."

Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City
Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City
Wading-In-Big-Shoes-Mackinaw-City-Sunset
Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City
Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City
Northern Michigan Weekend: Exploring Mackinaw City

After dark, we wheeled over to Mackinaw Crossings for ice cream at Kilwins (I know, eat all the food) and music (Mackinaw Crossings features live bands and laser shows nightly during the summer!). Not a bad way to start off our weekend, I've gotta say.

How many of you have spent time in Mackinaw City? I'd love to hear about your favorite activities and places to visit - comment below!

Check out these other posts from our Northern Michigan Weekend!:

* 11 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Mackinac Island
* 5 Reasons A Mackinac Island Carriage Tour Will Make Your Day
* Fort Mackinac: Explore, Unwind, And Enjoy Breathtaking Views
* THIS Is Why Everyone's Telling You To Bike Around Mackinac Island


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