Mackinac Island is the “fudge capital of the world“.
Fudge is a dense, rich confection typically made with sugar, milk or cream, butter and chocolate or other flavorings. It’s creamy, smooth, and semi-soft. Although fudge often contains chocolate, fudge is not the same as chocolate.
The first written record of fudge’s existence was at a bake sale at Vassar College in 1886. One year later, in 1887, Sara Murdick and her family arrived at Mackinac Island. Their shop Murdick’s would soon kickstart Mackinac’s fudge empire.
Mackinac Island is revered as a National Historic Landmark, and it’s nestled between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.
Confectioner Harry Ryba (lauded as the “Fudge King of Mackinac Island” by The New York Times) once offered to sell folks a lifetime supply of fudge (three pounds a month) for $2,250, says Mental Floss. But before that, Rome Murdick opened the first candy shop on Mackinac during the 1880s. Murdick turned fudge-making into a public spectacle by making slabs right in front of customers, funneling vanilla into fudge cauldrons, and even blowing the enticing aroma out into the street with kitchen fans.
Where can you buy fudge on Mackinac?
Several shops on the island, including Joann’s, Ryba’s, Murdick’s, May’s, Sanders, Murray Hotel, and Kilwins.
During this time, the small island churns out 10,000 pounds of fudge every single day.
What: Mackinac Island Fudge Festival
When: August 25-27, 2023
Where: Mackinac Island Michigan
Jobbie Crew’s Recommendation of Things to Check out:
On the Island
Mackinac Island-rent a bicycle from Mackinac Island Bike Shop (7421 Main Street) and cruise the entire 8-mile loop around the island
Mackinac Island-Great Turtle Kayak Tours (7395 Main Street) take a kayak around the entire island!
Mackinac Island-The Pink Pony (7221 Main St) c. 1948 waterfront lounge hidden behind the Chippewa Hotel. Sit outside and drink bloody mary’s and eat whitefish tacos.
Mackinac Island-Chuckwagon (7400 Main St) best burger on the island; cheeseburger, olive burger, rattlesnake burger, get pretzel bun
Mackinac Island-Doud’s Supermarket (7200 Main St) c. 1883; USA’s oldest supermarket
Mackinac Island-The Butterfly House (6750 McGulpin St) over 1,200 live butterflies inside a tropical sauna that you can walk through
Mackinac Island-Skull Cave (Rifle Range Rd.) old Ojibway Indian burial ground for over 4,000 years. Hippies also used to party here until it was dynamited in 1972
Mackinaw City-Rusted Spoke Brewery (810 S. Huron Ave) definitely try the BBQ tater tot nachos, Michigan cherry salad, and Chin Diaper beer (6.5% American IPA)
Mackinaw City-Mackinac Bridge Museum on 2nd floor of Stillwell’s Mama Mia Pizzeria (231 E. Central Ave) Been here since 1958. The pizza is so-so but the museum is fascinating.
Mackinaw City-Keyhole Bar (323 E. Central St) c. 1893 bar plastered with over 18,000 keys. They also have some of the best hot wings we’ve ever had anywhere. 20 wings for $25.
Mackinaw City-Darrow’s Restaurant (301 Louvingney St) best whitefish and chocolate peanut butter pie