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A Travel Guide with Eric Dowdle: Mackinac Island

Travel Back in Time on a Trip to Mackinac Island!

The following post was first published on BYUtv

Last night, we joined Eric as he travelled to the horse-and-buggy town of Mackinac Island, Michigan, in Painting the Town with Eric Dowdle!

After becoming an honorary lumberjack and eating lots (and lots) of fudge, Eric feels enchanted by the island’s antique charm and can’t wait to share the highlights of the town! So we teamed up with him to create the ultimate travel guide that will make you feel just like the locals as you navigate the city!

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, there’s no better place than Mackinac Island to relieve your stresses, and this travel guide won’t lead you astray when it comes to finding the best places around town.

Famous Landmarks Worth Giving A Visit:

The Butterfly House and Insect World (6750 McGulpin St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757)
At the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World, you can interact with one-of-a-kind species from all over the world in their tropical garden home.

Fort Mackinac (7127 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757) The historic landmark of Fort Mackinac once served as a military garrison for both British and American soldiers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and stands as the oldest building on the island. On a tour, you can learn more about the martial conditions of the era as well as interact with exhibits and even fire the Fort Mackinac cannon!

The Grand Hotel (286 Grand Ave, Mackinac Island, MI 49757)
You won’t want to miss taking a visit to this iconic hotel—if not to stay here during your trip, at least to experience the old-world charm of sitting in a rocking chair on the world’s longest porch or taking a tour in a horse-drawn carriage.

Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows (10510 US-23, Mackinaw City, MI 49701)
If you didn’t know that Michigan is home to world-class lumberjacks, now you do! Jack Pine’s daily lumberjack shows feature log rolling, axe throwing, and speed climbing and are the perfect way to entertain the whole family.

Mackinac Island Bike Shop (7421 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757)
To help maintain the quiet quaintness of the city, Mackinac Island has prohibited motorized vehicles practically since they were invented, so it’s important to have a good bike shop around. The Mackinac Island Bike Shop is the perfect place to purchase or rent bikes, including tandems, to take a ride around the beautiful island.

"This is the only place you’re going to get that feeling of real yesterday." –Eric

Best-Kept Secret of the Town:

The Saint Anne Catholic Church is more than just a beautifully constructed centerpiece of the island; the church has been around since the 1700s and represents Mackinac Island’s important religious history, in which Roman Catholicism was one of the few things that united Native Americans, European businessmen, and visitors alike.

Saint Anne Church (Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757)

Eric's Favorite Places to Eat:

As Eric quickly discovered, Mackinac Island is known for its sweets. But not just any sweets—Mackinac Island is home to some of the best fudge on earth, which you can find on virtually every corner of the city. Here are some of the tasty sweets Eric especially loved!

May’s Candy (PO Box 483 Mackinac Island, MI 49757)
In a city teeming with fudge shops, May’s has distinguished itself as the only shop on the island that handmakes all of its candy, including fudge that is made from generations-old recipes. Yum!

Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor (1891 Cadotte Ave, Mackinac Island, MI 49757)
Located just outside the Grand Hotel, Sadie’s Ice Cream has become a local and tourist favorite. Don’t forget to try the Sadie’s Sundae, a huge dish of a variety ice cream flavors and toppings made just to your liking!

The "Mackinac Island" Painting

This old-fashioned town is nothing short of picturesque, which made the perfect muse for Eric’s painting of the town! Check it out here!

And if you love this painting, don't forget to buy the puzzle!


  • Peter E Mousseau

    I am interested in obtaining a copy of the version of the painting done for the show. I was one of the two soldiers in the video. Where does one order that version of the art?

  • Rick Harkness

    So glad you enjoyed your visit to Mackinac Island. It’s a great get-away for a day trip or to spend a few days on the island hiking, riding bikes, walking the shops in town, golfing, or flying kites along the shore.

  • Floyd King

    Are prints available of the town paintings?

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