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Mackinac Island Vacation: Festivals, Fun & Food
by Deborah Fellows

No need to dream about going back in time-simply transport yourself to Mackinac Island floating in Lake Huron between Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas. Like "Somewhere in Time," the 1980 film that made the wee 8-miles-round island a national celebrity, this place rolls to a classic soundtrack: the clip-clop of horses hooves on cobblestone streets, the creak of carriage wheels and the lapping waves of the surrounding Straits (but never, ever a car engine; the island banned autos long ago).

What to do in such vintage bliss? Stop and smell the island's lilacs, savor its sweet fudge (you'll find fresh hunks at nearly a dozen shops on Main Street), see-and hear!-a cannon fire at Fort Mackinac, ride a bicycle built for two, play a round of golf at two century-old golf courses, stroll arm in arm along the world's longest porch at the Grand Hotel-or take a hint from history and do exactly what the island's Victorian visitors did at Mackinac Island: relax.

PLAN YOUR TRIP AROUND A FESTIVAL Mackinac Island loves a good festival and no matter what the celebration you can be sure the setting will be absolutely gorgeous. Who wouldn't want to kick up their heels and celebrate on one of the world's most beautiful islands? The famous Mackinac Island Lilac Festival won't happen again until next June, but you can still make it to the island in time for these fab festivals:

Mackinac Island Music Festival: AUGUST 18-20, 2009 Headliner Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels returns after a much-adored concert at the '08 fest. Other bands include Michelle Chenard, Barbara Payton, Kraig Kenning and Ash Can Van Gough. 800-454-5227, MACKINACISLANDMUSICFESTIVAL.ORG.

Mackinac Island Fudge Festival: AUGUST 20-22, 2009 Celebrate the place and the treat that made the word "fudgie" synonymous with "tourist" in the North. 800-454-5227, MACKINACISLANDFUDGEFESTIVAL.ORG.

Somewhere in Time Weekend: OCTOBER 16-18, 2009 Play Victorian dress-up, talk to people who helped make the movie, generally immerse yourself in the romance of this 1980 cult classic featuring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. At the Grand Hotel, 800-334-7263, SOMEWHEREINTIME.TV.

WHERE TO EAT When you know where to go, the restaurants on Mackinac can be reason alone to hop the next ferry to Michigan's most famous island.

Breakfast Enjoy the laid-back pub atmosphere at Patrick Sinclair's Irish Pub while deciding whether you want bacon and cheese or tomato and onion in your three-egg omelette. You pick your own ingredients, so you can get either, or both. PATRICKSINCLAIRS.COM, 906-847-8255.

Lunch Order the sky-high BLT with smoked Gouda at the Island House Bar and Grill and don't forget the fresh-cut potato chips. 906-847-3347, THEISLANDHOUSE.COM.

Snack Carry out one of 3 Brothers Sarducci's crunchy pan pizza square for a picnic in Marquette Park, in the shadows of Fort Mackinac. 3 BROTHERS SARDUCCI, 906-847-3880.

Dinner #1 Dine on the patio or in the herb garden of The Epicurean at Mission Point Resort. Choose delicate filet mignon stuffed with bourson cheese or salmon with lobster ravioli. 800-833-7711, MISSIONPOINT.COM.

Dinner #2 This classy pub, the Seabiscuit Cafe, is housed in an 1800's brick bank is your place to drink brews, pink cosmos or a bottle from the vault-turned-wine cellar. Consider: mussels steamed in dark rum-ginger-butter broth and beef kabobs with lemon, mint and garam masala. 906-847-3611, SEABISCUIT CAFE.COM.

Don't Forget the Fudge Fudge is King on Mackinac Island! Fudge-makers say the remarkable confluence of humidity, temperature and fresh Great Lakes breeze creates the ideal conditions for mixing up the finest fudge in America. Which brand do your taste buds rate the best of the best? Taste test: buy three bricks of the same flavor from three different vendors-plain chocolate for the most pure results-find a quiet park bench, and conduct a blind tasting. MACKINACISLAND.ORG.

Quick Links to more Mackinac Island Fun!