The Great Lakes Maritime Academy's State of Michigan
We drove to Shepler's ferry dock in St. Ignace. Although this ferry route doesn't have the same beautiful view of the Mackinac Bridge that the Mackinaw City route does, it knocked 15 minutes off our travel at this time. The next ferry came within a few minutes and we nearly had it to ourselves.
As we approached the Mackinac Island harbor, I saw a ship with an unfamiliar design approaching from the other direction. Using an app on my phone, I learned that it was a 224-foot former Navy submarine surveillance ship, now used as a teaching vessel by the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and named the State of Michigan.
When we left the ferry, we walked out to the end of the dock so I could photograph it. I didn't feel as much like a tourist, when several people who work on the Island came out on the dock to photograph it as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with Mackinac Island, it was the nation's 2nd National Park, after Yellowstone. A couple of decades later it was turned over to the state of Michigan and became Michigan's 1st State Park. Today about 85 % of the Island is park, with the balance consisting of a small resort community. No motor vehicles are permitted on Mackinac Island.
Since our bags were already on their way to the Grand Hotel, we spent some time exploring the downtown. It wasn't long before we started encountering wedding parties. First one group which was having a wedding the next day, then a bridal party leaving Trinity Church. We enjoyed watching the photography of the party boarding carriages, then saw the photographer hop on a bicycle to race ahead of the bride & groom's carriage to take more photos along the way. We would encounter the same and other wedding parties during the rest of the stay.
We continued to wander more or less toward the hotel, stopping at the post office, some shops and Dr. Beaumont Museum. We also stopped for drinks at the Yankee Rebel Tavern.