12 Cozy Stories to Warm Your Seafaring Heart

Whether arriving by ferry, ice bridge or flight, each mode of travel unfolds a new facet of Mackinac Island’s winter allure. These 12 short stories will warm your heart, thrill your imagination and stir your soul.

Book a table by the fireplace at this Chappaqua stalwart and savor a menu filled with New American comfort food favorites, including butternut squash soup and lobster bucatini cacio e pepe.

Mackinac’s Winter Allure

With its ice-covered streets and serene landscape, Mackinac in winter is a different world from its bustling summer self. Whether by ferry, the ice bridge or a snowmobile, winter visitors discover a quieter island, one where each snowflake tells its own tale and the silence sings with the history of historic times.

This enchanting novel captures the magic of Mackinac in its sleepy, off-season season. Written entirely in letters, it unfolds a narrative of how London writer Juliet becomes immersed in the kind, quirky people of this isolated Scottish island community and, perhaps, even finds love.

Emily’s Pick #1

This charming fantasy offers a low-stakes adventure, perfect for those who seek the thrill of fantasy without the stress of an impossibly epic journey. From its sassy, orc barbarian heroine to the unlikely team she assembles in order to bring Thune’s first coffee shop to life, this novel wraps sapphic representation and healthy relationships into a warm, snuggly hug of a story.

A Quiet Time on Mackinac

When you step off the ferry in Mackinac Island, it’s as if time slows down. You’re surrounded by Victorian-era buildings and horse-drawn carriages instead of cars. People walk, bike or ride snowmobiles around town and savor the quaintness of this place untouched by modern technology.

This quieter side of Mackinac Island is the setting for this charming novel that combines history, romance and magic. Set in the Grand Hotel, this story introduces you to a young playwright named Richard who discovers that he has a time machine when he receives a vintage pocket watch from the late-early-20th century stage actress Elise McKenna. The two fall in love and rekindle their childhood feelings for one another despite the fact that they are from completely different eras.

The book captivates you with its characters and their unique relationships, but it also captures the magic of the island itself. Whether you’re a visitor looking to experience a summer of blooming flowers, soaking up the sun on a bicycle ride or watching a sunset at the Grand Hotel, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on Mackinac Island.

TikTok creator Bailey Janette has made a name for herself sharing glimpses of her life on Mackinac Island. From a day of shopping at local stores and posing for a caricature artist to a night spent dancing under the stars on an evening Sip n’ Sail cruise, she has a knack for capturing the essence of this special place.

A Night to Remember

The momentous events that occurred when the supposedly unsinkable ship Titanic struck an iceberg and plunged to the depths of the Atlantic on April 14, 1912, are the subject of this unforgettable and riveting drama. In his masterful adaptation of Walter Lord’s best-selling book, British director Roy Ward Baker delivers a detailed account of the disaster with sensitivity, awe and a fine sense of tragedy. The film’s meticulous re-creation of the fateful night, the ingenuity of the sets and the stellar performances make this 1950’s Brit blockbuster one of cinema’s finest depictions of an iconic twentieth century catastrophe.

The quote from the film, “It was the long, low, raucous wail of doomed men who realized that they were already as good as dead,” captures the overwhelming feelings of despair and resignation that must have overwhelmed passengers as they slowly came to grips with the fact that their lives were slipping away from them. It illustrates the sense of helplessness and vulnerability that they must have felt as they watched their beloved ship sinking before them.

The semicentennial anniversary of this tragic event brings an onslaught of television specials, films and books recounting the historic moment. A Night to Remember is a welcome addition to the list, providing a dramatic and poignant glimpse of that moonlit night as seen through the eyes of those aboard the ill-fated ship.

A Memoir

Memoir is any nonfiction narrative writing based on the author’s personal experiences. It’s a genre that has been around as long as people have put words to paper, and it still draws readers today. Whether it’s about surviving addiction, struggling with body image or illness, finding renewal in community, or exploring food, memoir has the power to connect with readers across generations.

The key to a successful memoir is understanding takeaway, or what you want your reader to gain from the experience. It can be an insight or lesson learned, or it can be something as simple as a reminder to live life to the fullest. The takeaway should be something universal, relatable, and true. Think of your own life as a pie, and your memoir as a teeny-tiny slice of it.

When the temperature outside starts to drop, there’s no better way to warm up than with a cozy meal accented by a crackling fire. From luxe lounges to historic taverns, Westchester and Rockland offer a range of fireside restaurants where you can enjoy delicious fare in a quaint setting. Jeanne Muchnick, a LoHud Food reporter, traversed both counties to bring you this ultimate list of fireplace restaurants.