Michigan Journey: Mackinaw -> Mackinac -> Frankenmuth

Blog Date
Julie Smith
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

Dessert Time! Anniversary Cake at Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn!
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Due to commitments at home, this is the first vacation in quite a while where we both were free to take a week-long trip. Because of this, we decided to write this blog post about the different locations we visited in Michigan from June 24 through July 1, 2018. We are sharing our 100 @sos_jr tweets and retweets to show our activities and our photos.

While not a perfect trip, in that we ended up needing to cut it short by two days, we created this post so we can look back on it to remind us of the fun we had and to share it with visitors to our blog.

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, we left Cleveland after Stuart attended the Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) Common Ground 2018 at Cosmic Bobbins (@CosmicBobbins) and the Cleveland Office of The Trust for Public Land (@tpl_org). Read more about the day in our blog post: Cleveland Foundation's Common Ground 2018 - “Why Does Place Matter?”

We spent our first night in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the starting point of the trip.


Monday, June 25, 2018 - #MightyMac

Sunset at the Mackinac Bridge
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On our first full day, we visited Mackinaw City, Michigan, where we saw:

Please see our trip photos in @sos_jr tweets and retweets that follow. Clicking on Twitter photos will enlarge them!



Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - #MackinacIsland

Bike Ride on Mackinac Island to Arch Rock

On our first day on Mackinac Island, we toured Fort Mackinac. We had brought our bikes, and rode the scenic perimeter road 8.004 miles (M-185 Michigan highway) around the island. We enjoyed the boat ride over and back on Shepler's Ferry, and noticed how quiet it is to only have horses and bikes on the island roads. Stuart remembed visiting the Fort when he was a child -- watching the firing of the cannon.

It was great to enjoy lunch as we biked to the Cannonball Drive-In (funny name -- drive-in -- for a place with no cars) next to the island's nature center at British Landing. We then rode on to a viewing area to look up at Arch Rock. The whole bike ride took us along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Huron.

During our bike ride, we saw a neat connection to our home in northeast Ohio. Like the Akron Art Museum's Inside|Out community-activated art project, we saw public art displayed through support of the Knight Foundation (@knightfdn) on Mackinac Island.

(NOTE: On July 12, 2018, at the reception before the opening of the FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (@FrontTriennial) press conference at the Cleveland Museun of Art @ClevelandArt), Stuart met the Akron Art Museum [@AkronArtMuseum] Director and CEO, Mark Masuoka (@MarkMasuoka), and had the opportunity to tell him this story of this connection. UPDATE 7/31/18: See FRONT International Triennial Opening blog post.)

In addition to our photos, be sure to click on the videos in our @sos_jr tweets and retweets below.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - @GrandHotelMI

Enjoying the gardens at the Grand Hotel. Great view of the world's longest porch.
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On day two on Mackinac Island, we enjoyed exploring the grounds of the elegant Grand Hotel including the:

Stuart remembered learning when he visited as a child that the Grand Hotel's front porch was the longest in the world (660 feet). For Stuart, it was great to be back and to show Julie what he remembered on Mackinac Island, and also make new discoveries together. Julie now wants to see the Christopher Reeve movie, Somewhere In Time, that was filmed at the Grand Hotel.

After a bike ride to climb the 207 steps to Arch Rock, we enjoyed some of the famous fudge before ending the day with our trip back on Shepler's Ferry.

Here are our photos and videos in our @sos_jr tweets and retweets:


Thursday Morning, June 28, 2018 - #CastleRock and #Fudge

Julie with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox at Castle Rock
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Thursday was a travel day, as we left our hotel in St. Ignace, Michigan (@StIgnace). We first looked around the St. Ignace area, and climbed Castle Rock -- spent only $1 for fun, but strenuous climb. Castle Rock is like an old-time roadside attraction from the 1950s. We stocked up on fudge for gifts for family, and for ourselves, in Mackinaw City, Michigan, before heading south.


Thursday Afternoon/Evening, June 28, 2018 - #SeeFrankenmuth

Frankenmuth Bavarian Belle
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Michigan's Little Bavaria -- Frankenmuth, Michigan!! We took the last riverboat cruise of the day on the Bavarian Belle, after exploring the town's Bavarian-themed shops -- Bavarian Inn Castle Shops (@Bavarian_Inn) and Frankenmuth River Place Shops (@FmuthRiverPlace). A hot, lazy, summer evening on the river was a great way to end the day.

We also discovered that travel blogger was also on the exact same trip as we were enjoying. It was fun to see her tweets with reactions to some of the same places we were visitng on the same days.


Friday Morning, June 29, 2018 - @Bavarian_Inn

The Story of the Pied Piper - Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel
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Our Bavarian morning was spent exploring more Frankenmuth stores, playing indoor miniature golf at the Bavarian Inn Lodge Family Fun Center, and ended with a grand lunch for our wedding anniversay at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Of course, we watched the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin on the Glockenspiel clock tower. Eating lunch at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, reminded us of the first time we were here as a young couple with our four-and-a-half-month-old son.

After sharing on Facebook and Twittter our photo of the cake we had for dessert, we were approached to have our photo used by the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and by @Frankenmuth. If you are ever in Frankenmuth, let us know if you see our cake photo!
Facebook Post: Dessert Time! Anniversary Cake at Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn! Twitter: Dessert Time! Anniversary Cake at Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn!
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Friday Afternoon, June 29, 2018 - @BronnersXmas

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland
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We ended the day at Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland. Great to be back at this sparkling place and remembering our trip here years ago.


Trip Home and After

We had planned to visit the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (@TheHenryFord) in Dearborn, Michigan, but we ended up needing to end our trip early and heading for home. Fortunately, we knew by now about travel blogger Kim Reiner's Twitter feed, and saw that she next shared photos of Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. We were able to visit the locations we missed vicariously through Kim's tweets. We hope to return to Michigan soon to see what we missed.

As we were writing our blog post, we discovered Kim Reiner's two blog posts, 24 Hours On Mackinac Island With Kids and My Mackinac Island Bucket List. She wrote, that her "... itinerary includes a bike ride, plenty of fudge, exploring Grand Hotel, and breath-taking views." We highly recommend reading her Mackinac Island blog posts. We also included below her tweets that we had not seen earlier during our trip with great photos of Mackinac Island.

After Vacation



Happy traveling!