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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mackinaw City, Michigan / Tee Pee Campground, Wineries & more!

May 2015, Weekday-Weekend, 2-nights, Lot #27

Sunset from lot 27 at Tee Pee campground
I am sharing a few pictures from our stay in this blog, and there are many more in the Mackinaw City album on my Facebook page.

Arrival and check-in at Tee Pee campground

I made an advance reservation at Tee Pee Campground even though it was not likely they would be busy when we arrived on a Thursday night in early May. Looking at the campground map online, lot 27 looked like the best lot for us. We would be facing the lake with a view of the bridge, so I asked if we could reserve that lot. The person I spoke with said that lots are not pre-assigned.

We stayed in this campground in 2004 with a pickup camper, and we did not recall much about the lots. I did not keep this blog then, so I only had a few old photos to look back at. I could determine that we had stayed on a lot numbered in the teens at that time, and that the lot next to us had been empty.
online map

A few days before our stay, I decided to call the campground to find out if anyone would be in the office when we arrived in the evening, and I wanted to ask about lot 27 again. I spoke with the same female I had spoken with when I made the reservation, and she did not seem to recall our previous conversation or that we were interested in lot 27. I was told that there would not be anyone in the office after 6:00 p.m., and that our lot assignment would be posted when we arrived. 

We arrived around 6:30 p.m. There was no one in the office, and there was not a notice posted with our lot information. As I started to dial the cell phone number on the door, my husband noticed a man inside the park waving us in. We later learned he is a caretaker/employee who stays in his camper in the campground. We gave him our name, and he said that lot 27 had been saved for us.

I completed check-in with the owner the next day. We had paid $33 when I made the reservation--a $3 advance reservation fee, and $30 for one night. There was a sign posted on the outside of the office that said that lot rent was currently $25, and that the showers were not working. Before I paid for our second night, I asked if I only owed $20, since we had already paid $30 instead of $25. The owner said that the campground had recently re-opened for the season, and that the showers were working now. He said that he had been planning to remove the $25 sign the day that I was completing check-in. Since it was still up, he graciously honored the posted rate of $25 for both nights.

Lot 27

The view from lot 27 was excellent! This lot is very close to the community fire pit, beach, and the playground. There were less than five other campers in the park at the time of our stay, so the community areas were quiet. I imagine lot 27 would not be one of the quieter lots when the campground is full.

view from lot 27 of a ferry returning to
Mackinaw City from Mackinac Island
The lot was slightly damp from the spring rains, although it was not squishy and there was no standing water. When we arrived, the caretaker told us that lot 24 would have been a better lot because it sits up on higher ground. I agree that lot 24 would be a good lot, however, only if no one camped on lots 25 - 27, as we were blocking the lake and bridge view for anyone camping behind us. He had also told us that campers would be arriving for two of the lots behind us. Lot 25 had a string across the front, as if it was being saved for someone, although no one pulled into any of the lots behind us before we left on Saturday.

The lots at this park are not very wide. Lot 26 behind us was especially small, and the fire pit was pretty close to our RV. I was glad that no one camped in that lot during our stay. If you have an RV that allows you the choice of which direction to park, I would suggest lot 28. That lot is not as close to the playground as it looks in the campground map because it sits back farther from the beach area, making it a bit more private than lot 27. We have to back in, so lot 28 would not have been a good lot for us.

view from lot 27
Lot 27 has water and electric hook-up (as all of the lots do), although the connections were a good distance away. We had to run our electric line and water hose along the back of lot 26 behind their fire pit as our connections were on that lot.

Wireless Internet is also included. Three Tee Pee connections were available, and I did not need a passcode. The Internet router was across the street from us between lots 76 and 77, and the connection speed was lousy. Either it was not fully up to speed for the summer yet, or it does not work well when the campground is full. I did not use it much, so I did not ask about the situation.

Beach and recreation at Tee Pee campground 

The beach sand in the water looked very stoney, and the sand farther on shore did not seem to have as many stones. I observed playground equipment on the beach, along with a few community benches, and a bench swing seat.

There were a couple of benches next to the community fire pit, as well. All of this is visible in my photos here and in the Facebook album.

I observed horseshoe pits, a volleyball net, and a small recreation room in the building with the office and camp store.

Bathhouse, dump station, camp store

The bathhouse looked okay. I have included a few photos of the inside and outside in this blog and in the Facebook album. We did not use the showers, so I cannot speak to that. The dump station, which we also did not use, was located next to the bathhouse with a drive-through entrance.

rec. room, camp store, office
The camp store was not stocked yet at the time of our stay. The owner said they had just re-opened and it would be fully stocked before Memorial weekend.

Mackinaw City area and misc.

It was an easy bike ride to downtown Mackinaw City, less than 2 miles one-way. When we rode to town Friday afternoon, it was the first day that many of the stores and businesses in Mackinaw Crossings and the area were re-opening for the season.

Along with some shopping, we visited Mackinaw Trail Winery, Nicholas Black River Winery, and Mackinaw Island Winery.

Mackinaw Trail Winery is one of our favorite wineries in Michigan. We purchased their sample glasses a few years ago, and you can get three complimentary samples when you bring the glass back in. We purchased a bottle of wine at this location, and another one later in the week, when we stopped at their location in Manistique. We have a trip planned to Petoskey this fall, and we are excited about visiting their new brewery at that location!

Nicholas Black River Winery offers three samples for no charge. This was the second time we sampled their wine, and again, we did not find anything we wanted to purchase. This tasting room, and Mackinaw Trail Winery are both located in Mackinaw Crossings.

Mackinaw Island Winery is located next to Noma Lisa's on S. Huron Street. They offer a wine tasting glass with five samples for $4.95, and a beer glass with five tastings for $8.95. We already had one of the beer glasses from a different visit to Mackinaw City, so we opted for one wine tasting to share. Most of their wines were sweet, and we prefer dry, other than an occasional dessert wine.

There is another campground located two miles farther from town than Tee Pee campground called Mackinaw Mill Creek campground. We intended to bicycle through that park to see what it was like and how the bicycle ride from there would be to town; however, the weather and other factors prevented us from doing that. Even though the view from lot 27 was excellent, and Tee Pee Campground is closer to town, I think we will check out the other campground to compare the next time we camp in Mackinaw City.

Remember, that photos in this blog can be enlarged by clicking on them, and there are more photos in the Facebook album. Please share your questions and comments!