The entire crew plus the in-laws.
How did we pay for this trip:
We decided to do a road trip from Chicago. We only paid for gas and food for the 500 mile road trip.
How did we get there:
We have a 2017 Toyota Sienna SE. If you are familiar with the SE model, the van comes with a wide-screen TV and a Blue ray player. If you have small children then you already know that TV + Blue ray = peaceful drive. If you are thinking about buying a Toyota Sienna, this is how we rate our van:
Comfort: 10/10 – Pretty spacious seats even for the back row. Everyone was comfortable and we had a full van (8 people).
Performance: 4/10 – It’s a van and that is all there is to it.
Gas mileage: 6/10 – Yes, we load this van with 8 people plus luggage. It all fits, but at a cost. We get about 22 MPG Highway.
Entertainment: 9/10 – Widescreen TV, Blue ray player, HDMI inputs, video inputs and nice sound system. Do I need to say more?
Where did we stay:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express St. Ignace-Lake Front. Price was a little bit higher than usual for a Holiday Inn, but all hotels are pretty expensive near this area. The hotel has a free shuttle to the Island so that was pretty convenient.
Rent a bike:
You can’t go to Mackinac Island and not bike the entire island. Do you go to Orlando and skip on all the theme parks? Maybe you do, but you just can’t come here and not rent a bike. Rent that bike, please.
The Grand hotel:
We have stayed at this hotel in the past thanks to my previous job. The hotel stay is expensive but well worth the price. It is old-fashioned, grandiose and unbeatable location.
Go into the stores:
Souvenirs are all over the place. It may seem overwhelming seeing all these people in the stores, but trust me, it’s part of the experience.
Headlands International Dark Sky Park:
It’s a short drive from St. Ignace, but it is well worth the drive. This park is basically best seen at night. Ok, so you really can’t see the park at night, but what you can see are the stars! We were lucky enough to go on a weekend with shooting stars on the sky. It was really beautiful and all the kids loved it. We did too. Take lawn chairs and blankets.
Our only regret is not staying one night on the island. We liked our hotel, but staying one night on the island is well worth the price.