Restaurants:Our favorite is Darrow's (on Louvingny near Etherington), good prices for their meals and wonderful pie, good sweet and sour cole slaw. Get there early for the best pie selection with many unusual flavors. Audie's (on Nicolet, near Sinclair) is also very good, as is Cunningham's (downtown). Crossroads (downtown) is good, and recommended for its pizza. We have learned through our local contacts that the Fort Restaurant has been shut down and will be converted into a condo unit (strange). There is also Anna's Country Buffet, which is new. Have not tried this. If you want the old stand-bys there is a Big Boy. There are pastry and donut places, and many others to choose from. We welcome any other recommendations as we haven't tried them all. Many serve whitefish, very popular in this area.
Accommodations: Plenty of hotels, with wide price range depending on season, location of hotel and room, etc. The following will give you a range of prices, decor, etc. Some of them are: Downing's, Ramada Limited, LaMirage, Friendship Inn (has private chalets), Days Inn, Anchor Inns, Affordable Inns, Rainbow, EconoLodge, Vin Del, etc. Best to get a list from the Chamber of Commerce. Many have AAA discount rates. Call around for prices as they vary with location of room (lakeview or not), what the hotel offers, location of the hotel, etc. Rates are higher in the summer, on weekends, holidays, etc.
We usually stay at the Clearwater Lakeshore. We like this place because it has an indoor pool, a nice beach, and they provide firewood for bonfires on the beach. The kids like it because of the beach and the play area. The other nice point is that it is at the end of the beach and has a good view of the Island and bridge.
Shopping and other things to do: Nice gifts shops along the main street. The Windjammer features interesting trolls. There is a kite shop and a couple of stores that feature Michigan made items on Langlade just west of Central. There is Adventure Golf, the Woolen Mills, etc. The Woolen Mills was remodeled a few years ago. The bridge museum above Mama Mia's pizza is an OK attraction. Mill Creek (take US 23 toward Cheboygan) is a great place for hiking, and the Fort is worth a visit, particularly the archeaological exhibits in two of the buildings. Digs start in mid to late June.
Fudge: Our favorite fudge is at Murdick's in Mackinaw City (not the same as Murdick's on the island), the owner is the grandson of the original fudge maker and he uses the same recipe. Chocolate peanut butter is wonderful! All will give samples. Try them and see what you like best.
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