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  • Writer's pictureAmy Sherman

Sip N' Sail, shop, stir and stay downtown Mackinac Island

This weekend's Behind the Mitten has us back on beautiful Mackinac Island. How lucky are we?

We'll take you along with us as we kick off the show in the most Mac Island way making fudge! Our good friend Carnell at Original Murdick's Fudge welcomed us onto the fudge floor and let us give it a try, live on the air.

Let's just say it is not as easy as these professionals make it look.

Fudge making is both an art, and a science, and something that truly takes years to master. Knowing how the ingredients will react to different temperatures in both the air and on the marble slab, understanding the alchemy between butter and sugar, knowing the exact time and temp to pour the brittle....this is science. Having that perfect flick of the wrist while turning the fudge to get that perfect level of creaminess? That is the art.

One of our favorite fudge artisans opens the show this week, our very good friend Carnell Samuel. He's been making magic at Orginal Murdick's for 24 years now. He shares his journey from his homeland of Jamaica to the island with us, and why he loves the island now.

As always, he's "FRESH IN".

Nicole and Andrew Doud run multiple businesses across downtown, all while raising the three nicest little boys you'll meet on the island, including their oldest son. Louie Doud, who recently has been "working" over at Original Murdick's Fudge, is already well on his way to master fudge maker.  Andrew shared a bit about what it's like raising their boys on the island on the show, and you definitely want to hear why Louie has been fired from Doud's, and now must find work across the street.

Doud's Market has a storied history, both on-island and off. Doud's is America’s oldest grocery store and has been serving the locals, residents, and visitors of Mackinac Island since 1884. Stroll through their aisles to find not just delectables like rotis chicken, freshly baked pizza by the slice, hot coffee, marinated steaks, prepped veggies, wines, beers, and assembled meals.......but also tons of pictures documenting the long history of this bustling center of the island.

We ALWAYS buy a lottery ticket when we are at Doud's....tune in to find out why.

Also, be sure to stop by Patrick Doud's Irish Pub right up the street for a perfectly poured pint, some fish and chips, and a big helping of Irish hospitality. Named for Andrew's great-grandfather, the pub honors his memory with pictures of the many buildings that "Mackinac's contractor" built across the island. Well worth a stop, for every reason.

We visited The Mackinac House a luxury boutique hotel located just steps away from Main Street, but in a whole new world on Market Street, and chatted with general manager Alyssa. Removed just enough from the hustle and bustle of a busy summer day downtown, this charming inn offers 19 stunningly beautiful rooms to enjoy. The hard-working staff is ready to welcome you with a generous breakfast, plus yummy snacks throughout the day. Guests feel welcome to relax on the porch and watch the carriages go by, or use the inn as a base for exploring the island.

We could spend days lounging on this porch.

"Inspired by a love of Mackinac Island and the simple delights that make it home, Nicole Doud took a leap of faith and opened Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island in May 2009. She had little retail experience at the time, but Nicole knew her weekend shopping trips to cute stores and small towns with mom growing up had to count for something. Things like using a cash register were eventually learned, but traveling the country and our beautiful state for unique gifts was something Nicole knew how to do by heart.

Now entering its fifteenth year, Little Luxuries has blossomed into a charming gift shop that’s filled to the brim with home accents, body products, stationery, accessories, handmade goods, and more. We carry more than 200 vendors from across the country. Our store celebrates the spontaneous discoveries that happen when you slow down, stroll around, and embrace life’s simple joys."

This is the store where you can wander around for hours, and always find something incredibly cute on the next shelf. Unique gifts galore, special island mementos, gorgeous goods from around Michigan....they have tchotchkes for any and all. Plus the staff is top-notch!

We think that the Sip N' Sail Cruises is one of the coolest things you can do on the island, whether it is your first visit, or number one hundred.

Since 2015, The Isle Royale Queen III has been owned by partners Veronica Dobrowolski, Co-Owner and CEO of Arnold Freight Company and Andrew and Nicole Doud, owners of Doud's Market and Little Luxuries retail stores. This historic ship used to sail on Lake Superior starting in the 1950s, ferrying people to Isle Royale. She made her way to Mackinac Island and now welcomes guests seven days a week in season.

There are multiple cruising options, and something for everyone, from young to old. The classic Sip N' Sail Sunset Cruise is a favorite, hop on board to enjoy a craft beverage, live music, and a stunning sunset under the Mighty Mac. Or choose a Sunday Morning Mimosa Cruise, which from personal experience we can say is a great time. Special cruises featuring Michigan beer, bourbon, live music, and history presentations are also available, plus you can book this boat privately for your own special party.

Seeing the island from the water is truly a special treat, and so is cruising on the Isle Royale Queen. We highly encourage you to book this incredible experience in advance, so you won't miss out on its awesomeness.

Mackinac Island is a Michigan gem any time of the year, we hope you’ll discover something new there this year.

Follow John and Amy:

Instagram at @BehindTheMitten


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