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Ring in the New Year on Mackinac Island
Imagine snow falling, peaceful walks in the woods, great meals and time spent with friends and family and rockin' parties in the pubs downtown....that is a Mackinac Island New Year's Eve.
Restaurants include Cawthorne’s Village Inn, which is Grand Hotel's newest casual dining option. Located on Hoban Street and just a block off Mackinac's Main Street, Cawthorne's is open year round and features seasonally changing menus. Choices include the signature planked whitefish, special selections using Michigan products, several organic dishes; and favorite of hotel guests - the Grand Pecan Ball. A special dinner menu will be served with pianist John Kissane and entertainment into the wee hours. Dinner reservations are encouraged.
Huron Street Pub is the Island's former Irish Pub and still feels quaint as it should. This downtown pub serves American, Seafood, Steakhouse and Gastro Pub fare. Live entertainment on the weekends leading up to and on New Year's Eve. Dinner reservations are suggested.
For decades, the Islander’s year ’round hangout has been the Mustang Lounge. This wooden bar is what you would imagine in a Northern town with a full bar featuring canned & draught beers in casual environment. They serve premium steaks, whitefish, traditional bar grub, burgers, Detroit style coney dogs, wings, sandwiches, pizza, fries, rings, ‘shrooms and an array of great fried munchies. A special New Year's Eve menu with be served along with pub fare. Live entertainment will feature one of the Island DJs to get everyone dancing. Dinner reservations are highly encouraged.
Around midnight, folks can head to the center of Main Street for the third annual Great Turtle Drop---Mackinac Island's version of Times Square Ball Drop The large fiberglass turtle will be adorned with lights and slowly lowered to the street. The drop takes place on Main Street at the Christmas Tree around midnight, maybe not exactly at midnight, but on the Island, they say midnight-ish.
There are many places to stay, Bogan Lane Inn and Cottage Inn are bed & breakfasts, Lilac Tree Suites and Spa and Mission Point Resort open especially for the holiday. Mackinac Resorts offers accommodations at Harbor Place Studio Suites, Pontiac Lodge and the new Village Inn Suites.
Cross Country skis are available for rent from Cawthorne's Village Inn. The Mackinac Island Ski club grooms trails on the east and north side of the Island in Mackinac Island State Park. Hayrides will also be available during the day and includes complimentary hot chocolate, warm apple cider and coffee. It is recommended to call Cawthorne's Village Inn for reservations.
Since 1887, Doud's Market has been nourishing Islanders and visitors. This full service grocery store offers fresh cut meats, fresh produce, bakery, deli counter, prepared meals, packaged liquor and lottery.
Harrisonville General Store is located up Island and offers groceries, beer, wine, specialty items and jewelry made by Island residents.
SomeWear on Mackinac is a fine boutique of ladies clothing, outerwear, scarves and handbags at the Grand Gatehouse Courtyard Shops.
Mackinac Island's favorite outfitter, Mackinac Outfitter will open for the revelers. They have been providing the most popular lines of outdoor gear and clothing since 1981.
For those that prefer a little self-improvement to kick off their New Year's resolutions, Crystal Earth features Reiki and Crystal Bed Sessions, along with sustainable living, spiritual classes, and special presentations. There is also a great selection of books and music alongside carefully-presented crystals, and handmade jewelry.
With all of this going on, the only thing to do is to make reservations and choose which method of transportation is best to get to the Island. Arnold Transit Company offers scheduled ferry service from St. Ignace. Great Lakes Air offers scheduled flights and flights by appointment to the Mackinac Island Airport. They will even arrange horse drawn transportation to town or wherever you are staying on the Island.
For more information, call the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau (800) 454-5227 or visit www.mackinacisland.org/
Mary McGuire Slevin