When you think of Mackinac Island, what word comes to mind?
Breathtaking? Surrounded by water within sight of the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island offers stunning sights all the way around. Relaxing? On Mackinac Island you can leave your fast-paced life behind. Cars aren’t even allowed. Fudge? Mmm, world-famous Mackinac Island fudge!
Heather Passariello has been visiting Mackinac Island pretty much every fall for a decade, and the word she uses is “exhilarating.”
This is how she describes the scene: The sun has set. The sky is dark. The fall air is crisp. The moon looms high above. On an island where motor vehicles are banned, Passariello is on a bicycle.
“It is exhilarating to be riding in such a historical place in the dark, and the cool air is rushing at your face, and you’re hearing the crunching of the leaves under your bike,” she says. “It’s just a different kind of feeling.”
For Passariello, Mackinac Island in the fall has an atmosphere that you just can’t replicate anywhere else. For other visitors, Mackinac Island represents so many other great things:
Amazing. Awesome. Wonderful. Magical.
Lilacs. Family. Horses.
This word cloud illustrates which words come to mind when people think of Mackinac Island. The bigger the word, the more that people use it to describe Mackinac Island.
As you can see, Mackinac Island is all these words and so much more!
Here are a couple more words to describe Mackinac Island:
Has Mackinac Island ever made you think about “Christmas?” Each year the island hosts a tree lighting and Christmas bazaar, and New Year’s Eve parties, too. Although the primary season for visitors runs from late April through October, Mackinac Island is open all year-round. Some restaurants and hotels welcome you throughout the winter and, of course, Mackinac Island State Park is a treasure to explore in all four seasons.
How about “timeless?” With no automobiles and a wealth of historic architecture including the 240-year-old Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island seems to stand still. Yet, there’s always something happening: Adventure. Romance. Shopping.
Mackinac Island also is where many engagements, weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries are celebrated. Heather Passariello and her husband have celebrated their wedding anniversary on Mackinac Island several times through the years. Even after many trips, they’re still finding new, exhilarating experiences as they ride bikes, hike into the woods in the middle of the island and enjoy all the other things to do on Mackinac Island.
“Don’t just be focused on riding a bicycle around the island because there’s so much more in the middle, and the views are just fabulous,” Passariello says. “It took us a couple years to realize there’s more to do than go around.
“There’s so much more to see when you go up – up into the trails, to the cemeteries. Sugar Loaf is just beautiful in the fall. That’s something that a lot of people that come to the island neglect to do.”