Girl Scout Trip to Mackinac Island

I got home last night from Mackinac Island, very exhausted from traipsing around with my daughter and her Girl Scout troop. We had so much fun! I have always wanted to go to Mackinac, so I jumped at the chance when the troop announced this activity

I was wishing I hadn’t paid for it once my husband’s summer class got canceled, but I am so glad we went now that it’s in the past. No regrets. Except that maybe I ate too much.

I took around 500 pictures! Here are a few of my favorites from the first day of our trip.

Our first stop was Marquette, which is about 2 hours from where I live. We found our first letterbox there, and my daughter was hooked for the rest of the trip and couldn’t wait to go on all the letterboxing expeditions. She liked it so much, that I am going to make sure we go often as a family this summer.

I took this photo of Lake Superior during that stop.

Lake Superior

Then we got down to “The Bridge” which is approximately 5 1/2 hours from my house.The Mackinac Bridge is just 28 feet short of 5 miles long and used to be the longest suspension bridge in the world. It is still the longest in the Western Hemisphere and I have no idea where or what the bridge is that beat it out, but there you go. Fun facts about the Mackinac Bridge.

I love bridges! And I really love taking photos of bridges.

First, we stopped at a bridge view park before crossing the bridge.

Mackinac Bridge
Bria with Bridge
Mackinac Bridge
Statue with Bridge
Mackinac Bridge

Then we crossed the bridge into Mackinaw City (by the way, Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw—not sure why the different spellings) and caught the ferry over to the island.

Our ferry was called The Marquette.

The Marquette

Here is our ferry pulling out of Mackinaw City and towards the island. I love the spray that they send out behind them.

Leaving Mackinaw City

Obviously, I had to catch another view (or twenty) of the bridge while we were on the boat.

Mackinac Bridge

A view of the ferry dock.

Mackinac Island

And, of course, The Grand Hotel. if you don’t know The Grand Hotel, it’s in the movie Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Love that movie. The hotel is pretty darn grand, too. It seems to take up the entire island as you are coming toward it on the water. this was also the only time I could get the whole thing in my viewfinder, since I was far enough away. Once on land, you can only get parts of the building—especially since you are charged $10.00 just to set foot on the grounds. Rooms are quite expensive, too, running from $500-$1000 per night. Dressing for dinner is mandatory.

But it sure is a beautiful building.

The Grand Hotel

Once we arrived on the island, we went to a park by the lake (Lake Huron, fyi) to eat our dinner.  The seagulls were hoping for some handouts.  But, we obeyed the posted sign.

Seagull and Yellow Umbrella
Positively No Feeding of Seagulls

In fact, we obeyed all the posted signs.

No Swimming

After dinner, we decided to do some more letterboxing.  I used the time to explore with my camera, but the thrill of finding the letterboxes was also very cool.

My daughter thought so, too. Like I said, she fell in love with letterboxing.

Letterboxing on Mackinac Island

There are no cars allowed on the island, so there are lots of horses and carriages around.


And there are bikes everywhere.


The real estate is pretty amazing, and just plain pretty.

Orange house

I want to live in this house.

Island Home (back)
Island Home (front)

But the most magnificent views, were definitely the ones God Himself created. With maybe a little bit of help from man for a lighthouse or a streetlamp here and there.

View of the Lighthouse
Lamp Post
By the Boardwalk

I will post more. Just as soon as I can figure out a reason to live there for the summers.

Free and cheap things to do on Mackinac Island.

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Kristina P.

It looks so calm and serene. Beautiful!

The Atomic Mom

My brother served in Marquette for six months, but it was winter…not quite as idyllic.

Second, I LOVE the Mackinac Bridge. Seriously, everytime the episode of Modern Marvels on History Channel comes on about the bridge, I watch. So very cool. Now I am insanely jelous that you've been there.

As for Mackinac island, do the people that live there have cars? How do they get around in the winter? Sleigh?

Lara Neves

Joyce, they have snowmobiles for winter. Those are allowed. 🙂


My parents attended some doctor conference there years ago and stayed in the GRAND HOTEL! They said it was truly amazing and that they went from fudge shop to fudge shop all through the town. I would not survive there….well, at least not at a reasonable weight. 🙂


I did a search on keweenaw county for letterboxing. Quite a few in Cooper Harbor and Eagle River. We have the bug too.


Very , VERY cool pics!


So fun to read your newfound and refreshing excitement about "the bridge" and Mackinac Island…we pass over and sometimes stay there every summer on our way to spend some time just a bit north of you (and I think I probably have almost all of my almost 40 years!). It's still kept exciting though through the eyes of the kids, which is fun to see.


Those are incredible Lara.
And I could so live in that house too!


Really awesome pictures!


Gorgeous! I'll probably never see that island personally so thank you for transporting me there today through your blog.


Beautiful shots! Goodness. Glad you got a little adventure and that you are able to avoid regretting it. (I can't think clearly enough to articulate what I mean, just that I'm glad you weren't just worried about the money etc.)


Oh my goodness! I am now having visions of 1900. I will go halvsies with you to live there in the summer. And a hotel that demands dressing for dinner? I am so in love!

Alyson | New England Living

Your photographs of your trip are stunning! I loved tagging along with you on your journey. So lovely!

Braden Bell

I feel more relaxed and tranquil just having seen these pictures! Lovely work, Lara.


Some of us are lucky enough to live on Mackinac all year!


Lovely pictures! I'm glad you made the decision to go before you were put in a position were you couldn't have said yes. Looks like a lot of fun. I've been meaning to letterbox with my kids forever, but haven't done it yet.


What a photo essay! I loved this post.

Could I post some of your picts to my blog sometime, linking back to you & giving you full credit, of course. Loved these to bits & pieces!!!


Beautiful scenery and stunning architecture, I love architecture. I will drive around looking at houses for design inspiration and imagine how I would configure rooms based on the outside dimensions 🙂


Kate has that shirt! 🙂

What gorgeous pics. I want to live in that house, too!

annie valentine

I made this pilgrimage with an ex-boyfriend. We argued the entire day and broke up before I went home. Thank goodness I dumped his trash, it left me with fond memories of this beautiful place–the moment I pulled my head out of the sand and moved on.

Relyn Lawson

Lately I keep encountering Mackinac Island. In books, in magazines, on blogs. You have clinched the deal. It's on my must-list for vacation spots. And, oh my, what gorgeous images you captured.


Ohhhhh! So, so beautiful. And no cars! Definitely going on my vacation wish list.