But you may still visit
Mackinac Island after the regular ferries stop running. Arnold Transit
offers limited scheduled ferry service until the ice stops them from running
(usually sometime in early in mid January). From then until spring, you
can fly to Mackinac Island from the Mackinac County Airport in St. Ignace.
Lakes Air has 5 scheduled flights each day, for $48 round trip.
City, Michigan offers a different pace in winter. Most stores close when
the regular ferries stop running to Mackinac Island in the late fall, but
a few businesses stay open year around. During the winter, most streets
are opened to snowmobiles and there are many interesting routes out ot
town. Cross Country skiers will find fun trails at the west end of town
and nearby Wilderness State Park.
The Dixie Saloon is located
at the northern terminus of the US-23, the Dixie Highway. is only one of
about 8 Mackinaw City restaurants that stay open through the winter months.
favorite Mackinaw City restaurants in winter are the Chippewa Room
at Audie's Restaurant and the Key Hole Bar & Grill. The
Chippewa Room offers a different menu than Audie's main restaurant and
fine dinning. Now that Michigan has gone non smoking, I can give the Key
Hole a strong recommendation for the fish or burgers.
Arnold Transit ferry forcing its
way through the icy
Straits of Mackinac in late December.
'09 Mackinaw City winter trip report
Mackinac Island winter trip report
St. Anne's Church on Mackinac Island
There are several winter
events such as Winterfest and the Mackinaw Mush Sled Dog Race on select
winter weekends. Contact the Mackinaw Area Tourist Bureau at
New in 2007, Mackinaw Outfitters
is a large sporting goods store which stays open year around.
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse at
the foot of the Mackinac Bridge
Old United States Coast Guard Cutter
Mackinac is permanently moored in Mackinaw City and open for tours
during the summer months.
Snowmobiles can travel on most of the streets in Mackinaw
City and can easily reach any of the businesses, but may not run on state
Groomed snowmobile trail leading
from Mackinaw City to Cheboygan, 15 miles away.
Central Avenue is closed to snowmobiles,
but businesses can be easily accessed from the alleys behind them.
Looking for a place to stay in Mackinaw City in the winter?
Most of the motels close, but a few stay open. For good customer service
and nice rooms at a reasonable price, I recommend the Holiday Inn Express.
Or treat yourself to something special and book a room at the Deer Head
Lodge Bed & Breakfast.
by Keith Stokes.
photos may not be reproduced without written permission.