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#426520 - 08/01/08 06:40 PM Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace  
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USMCBoater Offline
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OK, for those of you that have been out of that port to Makinac- Which ferry is the best? Mostly with how nice the ferry is, but also the dock and the parking (clean, safe, etc)?

We are just doing a day trip there.


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#426539 - 08/01/08 07:50 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: USMCBoater]  
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Flip a coin. Arnold, Star and Sheplers have been competing for a long time. It's only a 20 minute ride over to the island, so the quality of boat really doesn't make much difference. Edit: The boats that say they are a hydro-jet aren't - it's just a gimmick - like a yamaha PWC - to make it look like the boat is fast.

Last time we were there, the Arnold cats were a bit faster out of Mac City, so that's what we took.

If you go, be sure to walk up into the interior of the island, or at least take the island tour. Don't just stay in town, then ride a bike around the perimeter - which is what most "fudgies" do.

Last edited by Indyboater; 08/01/08 07:54 PM.
#426552 - 08/01/08 08:47 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Indyboater]  
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Boatsrule Offline
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We never have used the St Ignace port.
We are heading up Tomorrow. Won't do the island until Thursday and will leave out of Mackinac city. I look for the least expensive way and found a free child ticket with two adult paid. So we will only have to buy two other kids tickets. Every dollar counts.
I personally think the rooster tails on the boats look pretty dumb.


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#426559 - 08/01/08 09:29 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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Boatsrule-

I am with you on price, but we also wanted to see St. Ignace, hence the further port.

I have 4 kids (5 actually, but he is 16 and starting doubles this week with FB, so he is staying with grandma). I found the same 2 adults, 1 child free. I just have 1 more to buy for and the twins are 4- FREE!


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#426560 - 08/01/08 09:30 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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A few tips.

Visit Great turtle toys on main street - one of the best toy shops we've found anywhere. The owner (forgot his name), if he's there, is a toy nut and will give you the best toy demonstrations ever- have him give you a yo-yo show then buy some stuff from him. They also own the toy shop next to the restaurant at the bottom of the hill from the grand hotel (used to be the French Outpost) - but the one on main street is where you'll normally find the owner. Go play with your toys in the park under the fort, or buy a kite from them and fly it at the park at the end of Main street. (he gives kite flying demos once a day at the park)

Take a horse drawn taxi ride up into the woods at night. It'll only be a few dollars, and it's a really cool experience.

Look for the duckpin bowling alley at the Stonecliff playhouse.

Visit the Carriage house behind the Grand hotel.

Get a brat from Brian's barbecue grill in front of the Hotel next to the Harbour View inn. He's a really nice guy.

Hike up to the middle of the island and visit the military cemetery.

Go to the Pink Pony and look up Bart's favorite on the menu. Ask about Bart - funny guy - if he's around tell him Indyboater says hi.

Hike up to Fort Holmes

Leave the kids somewhere and pay the $10 for a grand hotel tour

Play golf on the Wawashkamo course.

#426562 - 08/01/08 09:34 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: USMCBoater]  
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Originally Posted By: USMCBoater
Boatsrule-

I am with you on price, but we also wanted to see St. Ignace, hence the further port.


There's nothing special to see in St. Ignace, other than you get to cross the bridge - which is cool. Most of the tourists go from Mac City - St. Ignace is more the locals and the people that work on the island - that's why they use the older boats out of St, Ignace.

#426564 - 08/01/08 09:41 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Indyboater]  
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Dang Indy I never knew you spent so much time up there! There were few on your list I have never done. Thanks, we will look into them.


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#426566 - 08/01/08 09:43 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Indyboater]  
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Oh, just a couple more:

The bikes are expensive to rent. You'll need a couple hours to go around the island on the highway - which is 8 miles and pretty flat. No cars on the island - but the ambulance goes out a couple times a day for bike crashes on the highway.

The fudge is expensive too, but you'll buy some. Everybody does.

#426567 - 08/01/08 09:54 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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Originally Posted By: Boatsrule
Dang Indy I never knew you spent so much time up there! There were few on your list I have never done. Thanks, we will look into them.


At one time I thought about buying a place there - still might when the kids get older and things settle down at home.

#426568 - 08/01/08 09:57 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Indyboater]  
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Boatsrule Offline
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Oh yeah we always have to buy fudge for Mama and the girls! I really don't care for sweets but I do like a bite or two.


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#426583 - 08/01/08 11:28 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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Oh, one more thing. Bart is actually the "Commodore" of the Mackinac island Yacht club - which you can't miss, and one of the more interesting characters I've met in my life. If you find him ask him about his sailboat "Nyna" which will probably be moored in the harbour - very nice... bow

One of Bart's ambitious boating projects

#426588 - 08/02/08 12:23 AM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Indyboater]  
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Originally Posted By: Indyboater
Oh, just a couple more:

The bikes are expensive to rent. You'll need a couple hours to go around the island on the highway - which is 8 miles and pretty flat. No cars on the island - but the ambulance goes out a couple times a day for bike crashes on the highway.

The fudge is expensive too, but you'll buy some. Everybody does.

Went last year and brought our own bikes for $7 ea. It was $6 an hour to rent 3 speed bikes

#426608 - 08/02/08 08:06 AM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: BRYANT 192]  
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Originally Posted By: BRYANT 192
Originally Posted By: Indyboater
Oh, just a couple more:

The bikes are expensive to rent. You'll need a couple hours to go around the island on the highway - which is 8 miles and pretty flat. No cars on the island - but the ambulance goes out a couple times a day for bike crashes on the highway.

The fudge is expensive too, but you'll buy some. Everybody does.

Went last year and brought our own bikes for $7 ea. It was $6 an hour to rent 3 speed bikes


We were there in the 2nd week of July. We took the Arnold Ferry, printed the free kids coupon from their website and took our bikes which cost $7.50/each. We went out of Mackinaw City.


Joe
Four Winns 225 Sundowner
#426610 - 08/02/08 08:29 AM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: jtheile]  
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Not taking our own bikes. But we are planning on renting. Wife likes the bikes. So bikes it is grin


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#426612 - 08/02/08 08:44 AM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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- Pick any ferry, they are all the same.

- Skip the fort tour.

- Go to the Butterfly House...the kids will love it.

- There is a cool pet store that you'd probably like. Off the ferry go left to the last street in town and go right up the hill a bit.

- If you like mini-golf Mission Point has a very cool natural grass course.

- Lastly, if you like horses you can treat your kids to a special treat. Go up the hill to the Grand Hotel and walk past the porch and main entrance (don't go left at the porch, just keep walking up the hill). You'll come to a huge opening under the building. Walk through here and up the stairs to the right and it will take you to a horses stable where all the Grand Hotel horses live. There are 6 of them and they are beautiful. They also have sort of a museum back in there with a bunch of buggies and carriages but they still use all of them. Cool stuff, and you don't have to stay at the Grand to go back there. You'll encounter a bunch of hotel workers who could care less if you're there....ask them for directions to the stable.


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#427365 - 08/06/08 04:16 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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240 Bob Offline
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I just used Sheplers from St Ignace a week and a half ago. We were camping at the Strait's state park just north of the bridge (very nice place).

I used Sheplers to save the $3 per person because of some of the people we were with (a large group of 16). They charged $22 per adult vs $25 per adult at the other places. But be aware, Shepler's adds a $3 fuel sur-charge, I'm not sure if the other places do that or not so it might be worth asking.

I'd have to say I wasn't impressed. The boat seemed small, slow, and unstable compared to my previous trips on the other lines. We hit a wake from a 50+ ft Sea Ray, and I was truly concerned at how much the boat rolled. It seemed very top heavy.

The quarters for the bikes were small and cramped (a couple of new scratches on my new bike due to the above mentioned roll), and they seemed more interested in throwing the bikes into the area so that they could get under way than they did about their customers and their customers property.)

I am glad the lake was relatively flat on both of my crossings, otherwise I would have been concerned about the return trip.

Just my two cents worth, but I'll be taking one of the Cat's across on my next visit.

Bob

#428051 - 08/08/08 06:59 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: 240 Bob]  
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Boatsrule Offline
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The others add a $1


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#428053 - 08/08/08 07:01 PM Re: Makinac island ferries- From St Ignace [Re: Boatsrule]  
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We used Arnold with the coupon. Great ride, had the best times also. Used the Mackinac port.


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