Tale of three cities on the Straits of Mackinac
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Mackinaw City, MI -This is a story about three communities located on the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. The Straits are a narrow waterway that separates Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.
But the Straits connect two of the Great Lakes, and that is Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
The USA’s longest suspension bridge the “Mighty Mac” spans the five miles over the Straits. The steel construction swings in the wind. It connects the communities of Mackinaw City on the south side and Saint Ignace on the north side.
The area is magnificent as it combines human skill with nature’s beauty. It is rich in history and folklore. It is the most visited tourist location, and a nature lover’s paradise.
There are forts on both the Mackinac Island and the Mackinaw City, and an abundance of romantic lighthouses.
Local specialties include pasties, smoked whitefish and fudge.
One day is not enough for the entire area. So, you have to make a decision about your base camp. Saint Ignace is cheaper, but you pay the $4 fee to cross the bridge.
The most expensive is the Mackinac Island, some seven miles from the peninsulas. Three ferries will whisk you to the island in season for $18. My preferred time to go is off-season, because of the availability and the price of hotels. And the crowds are smaller.
Off season is somewhere around mid October until April. The colors are still beautiful in October, and the weather is nice around 60s Fahrenheit.
For a story on the Mackinac Island in winter go to the travel page on EW Emma’s Writings.
The stay in the new Bridge Vista Beach hotel in Mackinaw City at the beginning of November cost $69. The hotel has magnificent vistas of the bridge, the Straits and the island.
However, many establishments do close for the winter. So, check ahead of time who is open.
A great restaurant open year round other than the mainstay Keyhole Bar in Mackinaw City is the Pancake Chef. The local specialty the northern pasty beef or chicken is tasty and hearty. They also have local brews.
Many souvenir and fudge shops stay open. Marshall’s Fudge offered some 60 flavors.
To be continued….
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