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ate success, it’s gained a cult-like following and the weekend draws hundreds of enthusiasts. The Grand has a no-tipping policy. Room rates include both breakfast and dinner. Rates in 2009 ranged from $235 per person for a smaller, inside room to $360 per person for a uniquely appointed, luxury guest room during weekdays. Larger and more luxurious accommodations are available. There are also a full range of accommodations on the island ranging from single rooms in Victorian era hotels, to bed and breakfasts, to condominiums to full service resorts. See for more housing and island activity information.

The Clip-Clop Sound of Mackinac Island The clip-clop of horse’s hooves is the background music of the island. In addition to the island taxi service, visitors can rent horse-drawn carriages and saddle horses for touring the island. Mountain, tandem and touring bicycles can also be rented. Joggers, bicyclists and trail runners will enjoy the many trails that crisscross the island. In addition to the many well preserved historical buildings—such as the McGulpin and Biddle Houses which both date from 1780 and hotels such as the 1830 Inn and the Island House which was built in 1852—fully-restored Fort Mackinac is located high above the town center on a steep bluff overlooking Haldiman Bay and picturesque Round Island Lighthouse. Adjacent to the Grand Hotel, on a bluff that looks west to the 5-mile long Mackinac Straits Bridge, are a half-dozen of over 70 beautifully maintained Victorian “cottages” that dot the island. Cottages built on Mackinac Island between 1870 and 1910 are living examples of Queen Anne, Shingle Style and Carpenter Gothic schools of architecture. Surprisingly, this small island was at the center of the fight over the control of commerce during fur trades of the 18th and 19th centuries, was home port for many boats during the heyday of Great Lakes fishing, and has been fought over by French, British and American armies.

Carolyn May’s grandfather worked at Murdick’s before opening his own shop in the 1930s. “We still use my grandfather’s recipe book,” said May, during a conversation at the Grand Hotel, where she works during the summer. Robert Tagatz, the irrepressible concierge at the Grand, said, “During busy summer days as much as 10,000 pounds of fudge is shipped off the island.” I shipped three “slices” during my brief visit. There’s no doubt that I’ll be asked to send some more and there’s also no doubt that I’ll visit Mackinac Island again. Hope to see you there.

URLs: Mount Washington Resort:

Grand Hotel:

Hotel Del Coronado:

Great Lakes Air Service:



windows and further tantalized visitors by installing blowers to waft the sweet smell of fudge out over the sidewalks.

Two years after the Grand Hotel was finished, Henry Murdick opened the island’s first “Candy Kitchen.”

Mackinac Island Visitors Bureau:

By 1920 fudge had become the island’s most popular souvenir. Harry Ryba, a rival fudge shop owner moved the fudge mixing tables to the front of his shop, installed plate glass

Mackinac Island State Parks:

M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 0

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PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

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