BookNerd Adventure: Mackinac Island, MI
It was not my intention to have a Booknerd Adventure while visiting Mackinac Island.
Rather, my Husband, Dad, and I took a day trip up to the island to see the sights and to get the world-famous Mackinac Island fudge to bring home to friends and co-workers in Chicago. (It’s a thing you do while visiting Michigan – you go to the island, wander around, and come home with fudge. Done and Done.) Being a Michigander by birth, I’ve been up to the island approximately 10 times in my life for various reasons with various friends and family members, and it’s always a pleasant way to kill a morning/afternoon.
The island, which became a tourist attraction in the 19th century, still prides itself on it’s old-world feel – no motor vehicles other than emergency and utility vehicles are allowed, and horses pulling buggies is a totally normal sight.
We took the fifteen minute Shepler’s Ferry ride across the lake to the island, and set out in search of the massive and uber-h0ity-toity Grand Hotel. The movie “Somewhere in Time” was filmed on and around Mackinac, and prominently features this hotel, and it’s my mother-in-law’s favorite movie, so we were determined to get a great picture to send her.
So, we’re walking, and it’s a nice day, and we round a corner, and boom -
The Mackinac Island Public Library.
I had no idea this building even existed. It shouldn’t surprise me, as there are actually a few people who live on the island year-round, but I was stunned and delighted. The library, painted sea blue, is located feet away from the lake and it’s simply lovely. (Per their sign, there’s a “Book Sale Every Day,” too!)
This opened my eyes, and as we wandered around the 3.8 mile island (or, to be honest, as much of it as a pregnant lady can take in the summer heat) I also noticed a genuine independent bookstore – The Island Bookstore. Located inside the Lilac Tree hotel just off Main street, this small store stocks a huge amount of Michigan-related literature, along with a solid collection of popular literature. (I noticed “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and some James Patterson books.)
If you’re in the Mackinac City area, but not journeying to the island, you can still take advantage of The Island Bookstore, as they have a branch there as well (on Central Ave.)
I’m always delighted to encounter books in places I don’t expect — and Mackinac Island, always a joy, delivered.
And yes, we went home loaded with fudge. (From Joann’s Fudge. Though FYI Chicago, there’s a Ryba’s Mackinac Island Fudge Shoppe located on Navy Pier.)