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24003
Michigan

Mackinac Island Adventure for Women: The Jewel of Michigan

Mackinac Island was a fur trading post, Revolutionary War site, Victorian resort destination and much more. Alongside encouraging women, explore this small island with a big story.
Program No. 24003RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,599
Michigan

Mackinac Island Adventure for Women: The Jewel of Michigan

Mackinac Island was a fur trading post, Revolutionary War site, Victorian resort destination and much more. Alongside encouraging women, explore this small island with a big story.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,599
Program No. 24003 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Explore the treasures of Mackinac Island, sans vehicles, with a group of empowering women as you delve into the island's glorious history, natural beauty, and unique modern life. Discover old-world traditions as you learn the island's early economic and military importance as well as its development into a Victorian resort. Customs and cultures will come alive as camaraderie grows during lectures and field trips with local residents, area experts and newfound friends. Experience the island’s charm on this adventure for women with a field trip to Fort Mackinac, a carriage ride around the island and afternoon tea at the historic Grand Hotel.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn why Mackinac’s Victorian homes are an important part of island history on a field trip with the Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks.
  • On a walk with a naturalist, explore the island's beautiful natural spaces up close, then juxtapose your natural encounter with afternoon tea amid the elegance of the historic Grand Hotel.
  • Build connections with fellow Road Scholar women through exploration, learning and fellowship on this women’s-only adventure.

General Notes

Transportation by foot, horse-drawn carriage, bike.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Fudge: Mackinac's Sweet Souvenir
by Phil Porter
Mackinac Island and fudge. Both symbolize indulgence, fantasy and escape. But there's more to fudge than sugar, butter, chocolate and cream. In this book, historian Phil Porter stirs up the past to find the hard work and sometimes bitter controversy behind this sweet souvenir. In his hunger for truth and historical accuracy, Porter dug deep into the kitchens and cupboards of the fudge culture. No appetite for history, no taste for sweet truth will be satisfied without reading Fudge: Mackinac's Sweet Souvenir.
Mackinac Island: Three Hundred and Fifty Years of History
by Robert E. Benjamin
This guide to the history of Mackinac Island will increase any visitor's enjoyment of this beautiful and historic island. This chronological account of the significant events in the island's history is illustrated by fascinating photos both current and historical.
Mackinac Island Adventures
by Lynda Hepker and Steven Hepker
An introduction to island culture and adventures on beautiful Mackinac Island. Written by year round residents of the island, this booklet offers information that you should know before traveling to Mackinac Island. Plus, a little history, some fun facts, things to see and do off the beaten path, and a little humor about how residents live on the island through the fours seasons of Michigan.
The Legend of Mackinac Island
by Kathy-jo Wargin
Beautifully illustrated story incorporating Indian legends of Mackinac Island. Retells the story of the great turtle Makinauk that enlists the aid of other animals to help create the special place known as Mackinac Island, and their discovery of new lands and long-lasting friendship. llustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.
Mackinac Island (Images of America Series)
by Tom North
From historical richness to unparalleled natural beauty, Michigan's Mackinac Island is the crown jewel of the Great Lakes, unique in America. Native American visitors preceded French explorers and missionaries of the 17th century. Forts were established and battles fought between American and British soldiers. Commerce, including fur trading and fishing, later surpassed military importance, in turn yielding to the tourism industry that has dominated the past 150 years. Accessible by water, "ice bridge," or air, Mackinac Island encompasses a state park, harbor, city, and Victorian hotels and homes. A permanent automobile ban helps preserve the island's historic character, leaving land movement to foot, bicycle, and horse-drawn carriage. This book uses historical photographs to depict Mackinac Island heritage and culture. Rare images capture bygone days and lifestyles on this island where 19th century charm surprises and intrigues even today.
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Mackinac Island
D
Harbour View Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the Inn dining room at 6:00 p.m., we’ll have a buffet meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: Orientation: 7:15 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Mackinac By Carriage, Fort Mackinac, Lectures
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off horse-drawn carriages. Walking about 1.5 miles throughout the day; paved and gravel roads and sidewalk.

Breakfast: At the Inn, the breakfast buffet includes beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Cars are not permitted on Mackinac Island. We’ll board horse-drawn carriages for a narrated ride through the downtown area and into the state park. We’ll hear about the valuable roles horses play on the island. Next, we’ll explore historic Fort Mackinac and learn about the island’s military importance. After the field trip, we’ll walk back to hotel, approximately 1/2 mile.

Lunch: At the Inn, we’ll have a buffet meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: We’ll be joined by a prominent local naturalist who will give us a presentation on the geological history of Mackinac Island and the Great Lakes region. We’ll then set out on a walking field trip with our naturalist to see first-hand what we’ve learned about.

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: A year-round local resident will join us and tell us about the daily challenges, unique dilemmas, and unexpected pleasures residents face living on the island.

DAY
3
Mackinac Island History, Flora & Fauna, Grand Hotel
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; paved roads and sidewalks. Getting on/off horse-drawn taxis.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: The Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks will join us to discuss the unusual combination of Mackinac Island history — Native, French, English, American — and learn how each culture played a role in the island’s development. We’ll learn about the island’s role in past wars, as a home for early fur traders, explorers and mapmakers, and its development as a popular destination for visitors.

Lunch: Inn buffet.

Afternoon: Attend an expert-led session to learn about the island’s distinctive flora and plant life followed by a walking field trip to experience the island’s natural beauty up close.

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: We’ll be joined by the island veterinarian who will tell us more about one of Mackinac Island’s most important resources: the horses. We’ll learn about their different roles, their care, and why they are so essential to island life today.

DAY
4
Mackinac Island Birding
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; paved roads and sidewalks. Getting on/off horse-drawn taxis.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined by an experienced birder for a lighthearted presentation on indigenous birds. We’ll then go on a 1-mile walk to see habitats and nesting areas.

Lunch: Inn buffet.

Afternoon: We will again divide into two smaller groups. Those who went to the Grand Hotel yesterday will have an expert-led session to learn about the island’s distinctive flora and plant life followed by a walking field trip to experience the island’s natural beauty up close. Those who had the flora and fauna lecture and field trip yesterday will enjoy afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel.

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: Our birding expert will join us again to learn more about the island’s birds and raptors as well as their behaviors and flying patterns.

DAY
5
Victorian Architecture, Free Time
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile; climbing approximately 75-80 steps; paved roads. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: The Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks will join us again and discuss the Victorian homes on Mackinac Island and their important role in the island’s history and their status today as renowned works of art. Next, we’ll take a walking field trip with the Deputy Director to admire the architectural beauty and designs.

Lunch: Inn buffet.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: We’ll gather for a wrap-up session to review all we have learned and experienced. Prepare for check-out and departure tomorrow.

DAY
6
Traditional Foods Presentation, Program Concludes
Mackinac Island
B,L

Activity note: Inn check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: An island resident will join us to talk about traditional foods of Northern Michigan, including their historical and cultural influences.

Lunch: Box lunches. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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