Between 500 to 600 residents reside on Mackinac Island year-round.


I can thank TikTok for this one because I never really wondered until now. Michigan-based creator @Megsonmackinac recently shared a firsthand look at what a "quick" run to Meijer looks like for island locals and spoiler alert:

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There's nothing quick about it!

The famously car-free island is only located a couple miles offshore but when its full-time residents need more than a loaf of bread they can't simply hop in the car and make a Meijer run.

I've got to say, even though grocery shipping is one of my least favorite chores I will never take the convenience of being able to just run down the road to my local superstore-- any of them-- ever again.

Getting to Meijer

Because there are no cars on Mackinac Island every trip to the mainland starts with a bike ride. Meg and husband Dave begin their journey by loading their cooler and tote into their bike cargo trailer and pedaling over to catch the ferry.

What stands out most about their trek across the island is the streets that are normally busy and bustling with people and horses during the summer months are eerily quiet.

Mackinac Island
@Megsonmackinac via TikTok/Canva
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The pair must leave their bikes behind at the pier, and just like everyone else does it doesn't look like anyone bothered to put a lock on them. I guess with so few locals the honor system rules above all else.

After the approximately 20 minute ferry ride a shuttle to the long-term parking lot is required to get to the car. Again, I never really thought about what Mackinac Island residents do with their cars, if they own one at all. Turns out they do!

Once in the car the couple make their traditional pitstop at McDonald's before making the 1.5 hour drive up to the Sault Ste. Marie Meijer. Hey, time on the mainland is precious so you've got to get your McChicken fix while you can!

Mackinac Island
@Megsonmackinac via TikTok/Canva
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Return to the Island

When they're ready to return the two must first carry their groceries from their vehicle to the loading dock. The plastic storage tote the couple use to transport all their bagged groceries is then loaded onto a pallet with other packages headed to the island, shrink-wrapped for transport, and stored in the ferry's cargo area.

Thankfully, the hard part is over!

Now the two can just sit back, relax, and enjoy another 20 minute ferry ride knowing once they arrive their tote full of groceries will be delivered by horse-drawn wagon to their door.

Douds market mackinac island
via Google Maps
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Is That the ONLY Option?

While there is a market and a few general stores on the island, there certainly isn't anything like a Meijer that offers extensive one-stop shopping. If you need to stock up that pretty much involves a trek to the mainland.

Maybe I'm not cut out for "island life" after all! Would you be willing to make this trek every month?

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