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  • Writer's pictureShannon Westblade

Five Reasons Why Mackinac Island is Overrated

Written by Shannon Westblade*

1. Everything is old. Like hundreds of years old. And there are groups of people on the island who work to actually preserve all the history. The Fort, the State Historical Sites, the Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts - most of them are very old. And they go to absurd lengths to educate you about the old stuff. You might even have to listen to people dressed in old timey clothes explain some of the old things around you. The Island doesn’t even have cars. You ride around in horse-drawn carriages. It feels like you’ve gone back in time,... why haven't they modernized?

Horse carriages line up by a bed and breakfast that is almost 200 years old

A local kid gifts fresh picked flowers to passersby

2. The charm is grotesque. Everywhere you look on Mackinac Island you’re smacked with how charming it is. You could try to escape the charming homes, hotels, shops, but its impossible to find anything on the island that is boring or normal. There is a real neighborhood on Mackinac Island where the hedges are grown into doorways for the historic cottages (which, again, are old). Did you really want your vacation to feel like a fairytale?

3. The natural sites are eerily peaceful.

If you step out of the main downtown area and walk the trails in the State Park you barely see any people. There are wildflowers everywhere, there are so many trails you’ll probably get lost, and the beautiful scenery is obtrusive. There have been times when I have been on a walk in the woods for hours and not run into a single person. Its abhorrently quiet. Plus because you can’t drive your car you have to ride your bike or walk. Do you really want to exercise while you’re on vacation?

Admittedly, one of the few natural sites on Mackinac Island you can occasionally find a crowd

Have you been to Friendship's Alter? How many "Hidden Gems" does one place need?

4. There are too many things to do and see. I have lived on Mackinac Island almost every summer of my life and there are still new things that I’m discovering. Hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback-riding, shopping, exploring, seeing the historical sites, visiting the Fort, perusing the art galleries, tasting fudge, touring the hotels and Inns – you can’t do everything in a day. How am I supposed to tell my friends “Been there, done that,” if there is still more to do and see?

5. Downtown smells like horse-poop. And fudge and occassionally lilacs.

*Author Shannon Westblade writes in jest about her beloved Mackinac Island

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