The nature of Mackinac Island is that it doesn't change too much. It's historic buildings, fort, cottages and natural landmarks keep fans returning time and again. But like any tourism destination, some change is inevitable and even good (especially if it involves food).
After some careful investigation, which often involved repeated visits to some establishments, here's my list of what's new on Mackinac Island this season.
The big news is the opening of the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum
. Housed in the former Indian Dormitory at the east end of Marquette Park, this museum provides a showcase of Mackinac-related artwork from the last two centuries, including some Native American artifacts recovered on the site of the museum. The lower level of the museum features the Kids' Art Center that allows young participants to work with a variety of media to create their own Mackinac-inspired art!
To coincide with the opening of the Art Museum, Mackinac Parks is hosting the Grand Mackinac Antiques Appraisal Show
on July 15. If you've ever watched 'Antiques Road Show' you'll probably want to attend the Mackinac Island version. Proceeds benefit Mackinac Associates
, a non-profit group that helps preserve Mackinac's rich history.
New lodging is available at the Voyageur Inn
, located at the end of Bogan Lane. The inn is managed by Bogan Lane Inn and has a three-night minimum stay.The Butterfly House
, a longtime island attraction, has opened a downtown gift shop and ticket center. Located on Main Street, the shop is between Martha's Sweet Shop and OrrKids Bikes.
A popular island restaurant has changed ownership. Three Brothers Sarducci is now Island Slice Pizza
and I'll attest that it's good pizza!
For those wanting a taste previously not available on the island, Texas Turkey Legs
has opened on Hoban Street next to the Village Inn. In addition to the giant turkey legs, they also offer fish tacos, roasted corn and even sweet tea! Goodfellows WIngs and Things
, located in the Lake View Hotel, expanded over the winter, converting the former 'Sticky Paws' shop into an outdoor patio area facing Hoban Street.
A few other new additions to the island include Photos By Blair
, owned by Steven Blair, opened on Astor Street across from the Mustang Lounge.
Mackinac Island Bike Shop is advertising tours of the island, but at present are being delayed pending approval of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, which regulates tour groups operating within the park.
The Biddle House on Market Street, one of the historic downtown buildings operated by Mackinac State Historic Parks had barriers removed from the kitchen area. Visitors can now interact with the interpreters and even help with the baking, cooking and cleaning!
We also found painters putting a new color on the Mackinac Island Public Library. We found the color fits the library well, especially if you've ever been inside. It's one of my favorite spots on the island to relax.
For an island that firmly plants itself in the past, it's good to see a few things that are new and benefit the visitor and resident alike. I hope you'll take time to visit the new Mackinac Art Museum, along with the other listings I've included.
I've tried to be thorough in my list, but if I've left something off that is new in 2010, please let me know!