I was born in Michigan and have lived in the Mitten a great portion of my life but had never been to Mackinac Island or the Upper Peninsula. This past Sunday that changed and I am so happy to have experienced this adventure.

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It is  a rather long drive to the Mackinac Bridge from Williamston so we decided to break up the journey by driving to Traverse City Saturday evening and staying the night at my Mother-in-Law’s place before venturing the rest of the way. On Sunday morning, we hit the road bright and early to finish the remaining two and half hours of driving to the bridge. I really loved going over the bridge itself as it reminded me of a mini Golden Gate Bridge after spending many years in the San Francisco area.

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We then boarded the Star Line Ferry to embark over to the island. Gucci and Tucker were on this adventure and this was there first boat ride ever. It is so wonderful that the island and transportation options are dog friendly. Round Trip Adult tickets were $25.00 at the gate (dogs were free), however you may purchase online for a discount savings of $2.00 a ticket. The ferry runs every 30 minutes and the last one departed the island at 9:00 pm on Sunday. The ferry ride itself is short taking around twenty minutes with plenty of scenery to enjoy including another view of the bridge.

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The island is very beautiful, quaint and touristy all at once. You can explore by bicycle, foot or by horse carriage. The main perimeter road is eight miles and offers scenic views of Lake Huron. We chose to adventure by foot with the furkids though we did have the Dogger with us to help Gucci and Tucker navigate within the busier crowds. The main downtown is filled with fun boutiques, restaurants and, of course, Murddick’s Fudge shops. I returned home with a souvenir Mackinac Island shirt, a sweater perfect for layering this fall and three delicious flavors of fudge.

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There are several dog friendly restaurants and we enjoyed lunch at the Grill’n and Chill’n Waterfront Cafe with burgers, hot dogs, fries and frozen drinks to consume. The food was prepared outdoors on a barbeque grill so it was fresh and tasty.

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It was a beautiful day weather wise; warm with the sun shining but not overly hot and uncomfortable. By the afternoon, we were all ready to enjoy a treat of shaved ice found at Scoops cafe.

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There is so much to explore and do on Mackinac Island and it is filled with historic homes, hotels and scenery to enjoy. There are three golf courses and sailboats available for charter at the marina.

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The historic Fort Mackinac features the oldest building in Michigan where you can view costumed interpreters, cannon blasts, musket firing, soldiers marching and more.

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We enjoyed walking through the Mackinac State Historic Park letting the dogs stretch their legs in a non-crowded area while viewing the water and scenery from greater heights.

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Lots of island visitors stay overnight or longer when visiting the island and I can understand why. I definitely would have enjoyed more time on this adventure! I have since researched and confirmed there are dog friendly accommodations available at Mission Point Resort which may not be as famous as the Grand Hotel still looks beautiful and inviting. I can’t wait to return for longer adventures and explore more of Mackinac Island and the UP.

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About Liz Ball

Liz Ball is a freelance writer focusing on Michigan travel and local events in her community.