Take a step back in time with a visit to Mackinac Island, Michigan. This historic little gem is located in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. Although it is only four-square miles, it has no shortage of personality.
Native Americans were the first to inhabit Mackinac (pronounced “Mackinaw”) Island. In 1780 Fort Mackinac was erected; it was later the site of two major battles in the War of 1812. Eighty two percent of the island is parkland with 70 miles of trails, limestone bluffs, beautiful vistas, vibrant forests, and unique geological formations. When the government officially set aside this land in 1875, it became the nation’s second-ever national park (after Yellowstone). The park was turned over to the Sate of Michigan in 1895.
The entire island is car-free and has been so since 1898; only bicycles and horse are allowed. Guests journey to Mackinac Island via ferry or plane. The streets are line with Victorian era, fully restored, homes and shops.
There are many things to do on the island: hiking, biking, horseback riding, golf and all sorts of water activities. Carriage tours are available, a butterfly conservatory to explore, a dozen museums to browse, delightful shopping, soothing spas and incredible sunsets. History buffs will enjoy Fort Mackinac, now a fully resorted museum complete with battle reenactments. The island is well known for it’s fudge; Murdick’s Fudge is the original fudge shop, they began serving homemade fudge in 1887.
There are many dining venues on the island from the historic hotels and their world-renowned chefs, to the quaint little eateries that offer something quick and comforting like a slice of pizza or a juicy burger. It’s a safe bet you’ll find something to please your pallet.
Travelers looking for lodging on Mackinac Island should note that there is a nice variety of cozy inns, family-friendly resorts and bed & breakfasts scattered across the island. There are no chain hotels on the island.
Mackinac Island is definitely worth a trip to northern Michigan!