Mackinac Island - Stay in St. Ignace?

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Johnvan, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Johnvan

    Johnvan Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John
    I’m considering a short trip to Mackinac Island in May or June, mid-week. VFR only so I can’t pre-book accommodations.
    Based on the fact that there’s no fuel available on the Island I’d plan a stop in St. Ignace. It seems that there are numerous hotels within walking distance from the airport. Wondering if anyone has done a similar trip, staging out of St. Ignace, walking to the airport from hotel, then the quick hop over to the island by air for a day trip? Potentially doing this for two consecutive days. Not sure if I’d be setting myself up for more headaches than it’s worth.
     
  2. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,002
    Location:
    Illinois
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kevin
    Sounds like more hassle than it’s worth. We’ve stayed at the Iroquois and bicycle inn. Liked both. Having been a few times we like staying on the island. Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
     
    Johnvan and GMascelli like this.
  3. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CFL
    We fly to Mackinac Island at least once a year, sometimes more. No way would I stay in St Ignace...the Island way better after the last boat leaves. We also have fold up bikes to get around.
     
    Johnvan likes this.
  4. kaiser

    kaiser Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2019
    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cool Beard Guy
    Flying to Mac is pretty unique. I don’t think St Ignace would be worth the hassle.

    That early in the year, you should be able to get a hotel fairly last minute (even if it’s the Grand $$$$). Murray and Mission Point often have last minute availability and they are decent hotels. I’ll have to pull out my list of places to stay on the island but agree w Iroquois). Metivier is my go to but books fast.

    Bring your own tie downs and pls don’t fly over the island in the pattern (in AF/D). Rent bikes for the time you’re there. For fuel, on my way home I hopped over to Cheboygan Co (KSLH) ~8 minutes SE for cheap self serve.
     
    Johnvan likes this.
  5. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,619
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    I wouldn’t hop back n forth... get fuel if u need it at boyne city on the way up- it’s alwYs the best price I’ve found in N Michigan...

    I’d avoid the Grand myself - I’ve stayed there- not impressed....especially at $600 a night in off season! I’ve had nice $130 rooms...
     
    Johnvan likes this.
  6. Johnvan

    Johnvan Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John
    Thanks for the tips. I’ll plan on staying right on the island and skip the St. Ignace idea. I’ll wait for a good stretch of weather and see if I can snag a room at the last minute. Eventually it’ll work out.
     
  7. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,619
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    One other consideration would be stay on Beaver Island if you want to do an island and hop over to Mackinac for a day. Beaver is far more quaint and less tourist trappy- mackinac is cool but a day is plenty IMHO....
     
    Todd82 and Johnvan like this.
  8. kaiser

    kaiser Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2019
    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cool Beard Guy
    Enjoy!

    Avoid the week of the Mac race 18-21 July, as you will be inundated by drunken sailors (and no rooms avail) - unless that’s your thing.
     
    Johnvan and eman1200 like this.
  9. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    13,120
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    And the Bayview Mackinac race is the next week.
     
    Johnvan likes this.
  10. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CFL
    The airport is a pretty good hike from town. I recommend a carriage taxi...it’s well worth it if you didn’t bring bikes. And if you’re last minute, go on weekdays to make it easier for a last minute room.
     
    Johnvan and Huckster79 like this.
  11. flibmeister

    flibmeister Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    flibmeister
    We've flown into Mackinac Island many times during the 70's and '80s, including for our honeymoon in 1974 (yes, we stayed at the Grand; no, it wasn't worth it). I'm with the rest of the gang, buy your fuel someplace else on the way up or afterward, but RON on the island.

    Back in the day, the wait to get a horse carriage out to the airport to pick you up could be a long one. Now, with cell phones, they probably have a better system-- but you might want to find out what it is.
     
    Johnvan likes this.
  12. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,495
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    2nd. Machinac is worth the visit for sure. But having done both (and having spent my childhood living in a town where tourists were the primary industry), I'll take a weekend of peace and quiet on Beaver Island over fighting throngs crowds just to get from one side of the street to the other any day.
     
    Johnvan and Huckster79 like this.
  13. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,619
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    The only downside to Beaver is Beaver doesn’t have 73 stores selling the same generic souvenirs that are sold at every tourist area with the name of said tourist location printed on them :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
    Todd82, EdFred and Johnvan like this.
  14. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,495
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Downside?

    [​IMG]
     
    Huckster79 and Johnvan like this.
  15. keen9

    keen9 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    KCPS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    keen9
    Everyone ignores the fact that the shops and tourist crap is a couple of blocks on one corner of the island. Biking around the island (still crowded), hiking in the middle, or pretty much anything outside of those blocks is great.

    You will go there to eat, rent bikes, etc, but just walk most of the way to where you are going one block back, and it is way better.

    PS best restaurant on the Island based on a week long visit is surprisingly Kingston Kitchen. Seasonal Caribbean workers are used on the island, which once you learn that makes it is not so surprising.
     
  16. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    13,120
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    If you bring your own bike, make sure it has fenders.
     
    masloki and Huckster79 like this.
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,495
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Better yes, but still crowded in season. The most crowded areas of Beaver Island are similar to the least crowded areas of Mackinac IME. And the most crowded areas of Mackinac are similar to Times Square except with more horses. Talking in season. Off season, is better on both islands IMO.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  18. DoubleD

    DoubleD Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    David
    Talk to the hotel on the island you'd like to stay at. Ask if they're likely to be fully booked. Ask about cancellation policy---often you can cancel day of before a certain hour. Don't shuttle back and forth.
     
  19. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    766
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Especially if it's wet. The horse poop racing stripe is not uncommon.
     
    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe likes this.
  20. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,177
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    I am thinking of going to Traverse City and Mackinac the week after Labor Day. Will the crowds be less then?
     
  21. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,619
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    typically... yes.

    If you are going to Traverse I’d highly suggest stopping in at 5d5 just north of TVC- especially if you like camping- but even if not stop in- amazing story behind the field named Clinton Woosley Memorial- google that and read the article from the Traverse City Eagle - he was quite the pioneer in American Aviation Hostory- the field is on his families old farm. There’s a short walk up the road to a state park of walking trails, scenic overlooks over lake MI looking out at the islands and a natural beach you can walk down on- far cooler than typical public beach with groomed beach sand for a couple hundred yards wide- really beautiful.

    if you don’t mind over water flight hop out over the islands there’s two very easily seen ship wrecks just south of S Mantou and it’s cool to log N Fox Island that ya landed there.

    8124331E-4F6F-418E-A3EB-B9C92DCAC20D.jpeg
    parked at 5d5- all grass but nose dragger friendly 2658CDEB-88EE-43F8-BCC1-EB90FD140C9D.jpeg
    Views from N Fox Islsnd 7EFA93CA-BB99-45AB-B321-9A62C31A11B2.jpeg
    Lighthouse on S Mantou
    A2043211-513F-4984-98FA-7283B6A41157.jpeg
    shipwrecks (there two there)
     
  22. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,177
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    Great pics! North Fox is on the list of things to do, we're definitely going to be flying around doing some sightseeing as well. Looks like a beautiful area from what I have seen so far.
     
  23. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,619
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    It really is beautiful up there, the waters are Caribbean-like blue/green! I camp up at 5d5 pretty regularly. Hoping to get out and stay a weekend on Beaver as well- Beaver Island is like a flight back to Mayberry. Quaint, kind community that is open to tourists but isn't a "tourist trap"

    I'd also highly suggest N98 Boyne City (Not Boyne Mountain) for gas in the area, predictably best price, scenic flight in by the bay, and you write down your contact info and the amount of gas you took and they will send you a bill in the mail still- like flying back in time a bit :)

    PLN Pellston Regional also has a fantastic restaraunt on field that overlooks the airport from the second story- the fried mushrooms are second to none- fresh battered not food service ones that are the same no matter where you get them.

    The area is just a couple hours away even in my low n slow old bird and I consider myself very lucky a retreat like this is in my back yard. This year I have a goal to get up to the Two Hearted River strip in the UP....
     
  24. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,177
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    What are things like in Charlevoix? Debating staying up there vs TVC area.
     
  25. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,619
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    I'm not sure, I was there years ago, I'm sure its beautiful... I think its a bit "high brow" for my tastes... But remember I fly a Cessna 140 with a walmart tent and sleeping bag in the back and some Stove top stuffing with a can of canned chicken to warm up over a fire as my MO of air travel- so I tend to do things more on the "rough it" than Ritz it... nothing wrong with either-
     
  26. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,177
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    I wish there was a Ritz up there so I could use my hotel points to stay there! haha.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.