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Road Trip: You’ll never want to come back from Mackinac Island, MI

614now Staff

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Disclaimer: This article will contain positive statements towards the state of Michigan. Swear words, like the one you just read, will not be censored. Football fanatic discretion is advised.

No cars, no chain hotels, no land lock. Just world-famous fudge, clear water, and historic landmarks.

For centuries Mackinac Island, Michigan has been revered for its uniqueness and beauty—and for a good reason. From lovely sunrise to gorgeous sunset, we’ve taken the liberty of booking your adventure to Mackinac Island. Have fun!

Since there are no vehicles on the island, Mackinac has gotten creative with transportation. Get to know the island from the water by kayak, parasail, cruise ship, or fishing charter. Or, take in the charm by land via bike, horseback, or horse-drawn carriage.

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No matter how you get around, the following adventures are an absolute must:

  • Fudge
    • Nobody does fudge like the island folk of Mackinac. With six candy shops to visit, you should be able to keep your sweet tooth at bay.
  • History
    • Mackinac was home to an Odawa settlement before European colonization began in the 17th century. It served a strategic position as a center on the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade. Visit the Forts and museums to time travel back to another century!
  • Landmarks
    • The Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957. At 26,372 foot long, it’s the world’s 22nd-longest main span and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere!
    • Sightsee lighthouses around the island, including Round Island, for scenic and educational opportunities
    • Arch Rock towers above the water and is more than fifty feet wide. This rock formation attracts the vast majority of the tourists to the island.

After a long day of island traverse, you’ll surely be exhausted. From bay-view bed & breakfasts, to historic cottage inns, to full-blown resorts, there are over 1,600 unique rooms and accommodations to suit your needs—just as long as your needs don’t include franchise hotels, because you won’t find any on Mackinac.

Mackinac Island will take a bit over seven hours of travel to reach from Columbus. You may see that as a barrier to go, we see that as an excuse to take a vacation day from work!

To learn more about Mackinac Island, visit mackinacisland.org.

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Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back

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It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Community

Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday

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Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Coronavirus

Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen

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Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit https://www.greatohiolodges.com/ to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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