As the month of love gets into full swing and you start looking for the best deals on Valentine’s Day flowers, chocolates and the perfect card, you should think about booking a Mackinac Island vacation, too.
“It seems to be an incubator for love,” said Phil Porter, director of Mackinac Historic State Parks. “There’s something about Mackinac – its character, ambiance, beauty, weather – that speaks to romance.”
Indeed, Mackinac Island continues to be one of the most idyllic places in the world to relax and reconnect. Just being on the island can get you in the mood for love, and some places are especially romantic:
There are many places to watch the sunset on Mackinac Island, but there’s a reason this place is called Sunset Rock. Located on the west end near the Inn at Stonecliffe, Sunset Rock is one of the better-kept secrets of Mackinac Island. The breathtaking view captures the Mackinac Bridge, Lake Huron and the Upper Peninsula, making Sunset Rock one spectacular stop.
Sunrise Kayak Tour
If you enjoy the view from Sunset Rock, the next step is to watch the sun greet the day from the water with Great Turtle Kayak tours. There is something romantic about starting the day on the water as you wait for the sun to kiss Mackinac Island “good morning.” Plus, it gives you an excuse to catch a nap together in the afternoon.
Bike the island with a picnic or stop at Cannonball
One of the most memorable moments of a getaway might just be to take a bike ride until the spirit moves you to stop and have a picnic. Imagine a spread complete with wine, cheese, some artisanal treats, and of course, that special someone. You can almost hear the waves lapping at the shore as you relax and take in the view. Additionally, there’s always Cannonball Inn you can stop at for your food, located at British Landing.
A carriage ride to Woods
The “clip-clop” of horses on Mackinac Island is one of the main cues that life is slowing down for you. The island’s equine transportation can take you anywhere, and one of the more unique stops is a romantic ride deep into the island for dinner at The Woods. Inspired by the feel of a Swiss hunting lodge, Woods has hunting trophies adorning the walls of its expansive lobby and features America’s oldest operational Duck Pin Bowling Alley. Once you are seated, the experience gets even better, from the presentation of the dishes to the seamless way in which you feel welcome and special at the same time. Woods offers a dining experience with service next to none and food that satisfies the palate with every course.
If you’re the type of person who likes to capitalize the “R” in relax, the Lilac Tree Spa in the Lilac Tree Hotel should be your first stop when you get off the ferry to Mackinac Island. The couple’s massage is a great way to kick off your romantic vacation. Another relaxing spa option is the Mission Point Resort Spa, which was completely renovated and expanded last year. The space now includes a full service salon, multiple treatment rooms including couple’s rooms, his and hers saunas and much more.
Fort Holmes stargazing
On a clear night, one of the more uniquely romantic things to do involves simply looking up and seeing the wonders of Mackinac Island stargazing. Just as they do at sunrise and sunset, the skies around the island offer breathtaking lightshows at night. Fort Holmes is the highest point on Mackinac Island and gives you a chance to stargaze in a way that isn’t possible in places with more people and lights to spoil the view.
Carriage House dining room
There are plenty of fantastic places to dine on Mackinac Island, but there is something about the walk out to the view at the Carriage House that sets the mood. Directly overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, the Carriage House dining room at the Hotel Iroquois is the epitome of romantic dining. Serving a menu of fine American classic cuisine and a brilliant selection of local seafood, Chef Jim Lahti creates magic for your mouth. There are also outdoor seating options and a live piano player every night to help set the mood. Reservations here are a must as this is a stop on anyone’s list who wants enjoy a special meal with an amazing view.
Whatever time of year you visit Mackinac Island, there’s an abundance of opportunity to create a special experience with your valentine. Plan your stay now.