Photo Gallery Friday: Mackinac Island

Photo Gallery Friday: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island VERTICAL Fort Mackinac

Mackinac Island is one of Michigan’s most visited tourist destinations during the summer, and it is also one of the country’s most unique destinations. Vehicle traffic is not allowed on this 3.8 square mile island, leaving visitors and residents to get around by walking, bicycling, horse-drawn carriage and other basic modes of transportation. The island is home to two forts from the War of 1812 (Fort Holmes and Fort Mackinac), some of the oldest residences and buildings in the entire state, historic Native American sites, natural formations like Sugar Loaf and Arch Rock, the stunning Grand Hotel and countless downtown shops selling Mackinac Island Fudge and souvenirs. While there may still be snow there now, it’s never to early to start looking ahead to spring and summer vacations at one of Michigan’s most romantic locations! Today we share some of our favorite photos from our visits to the island over the years.

Shepler's Ferry Mackinac Bridge

The island is reached by ferry boat (Star Line or Shepler’s) departing from either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace.┬áThe following list is 10 things we consider “must-see” stops when you visit the island.

Mackinac Island VERTICAL Arch Rock

Arch Rock – This natural limestone arch was formed during the Nipissing post-glacial period, and stands 146 feet above the shoreline. Views come from the road below or an observation deck off of Arch Rock Rd.

Sugar Loaf – This limestone breccia stack is 75 feet tall and was created by post-glacial erosion. Views come from Point Lookout or at the corner of Sugar Loaf Rd. and Crooked Tree Rd.

Marquette Park – This park features one of the most wide-open spaces on the island’s eastern side, great views of Fort Mackinac, a statue of Father Jacques Marquette, the Early Missionary Bark Chapel and more. This is one of the most popular picnic spots on the island.

Fort Mackinac – The British built this fort during the Revolutionary War, and it was later the site of two battles during the War of 1812. It is now open as a historical museum and offers costumed interpreters and re-enactments.

Fort Holmes – Recently remodeled to more accurately reflect its 1817 appearance, Fort Holmes is an earthen redoubt blockhouse fort located at the island’s highest point.

Mission Point Resort - One of the most popular places to stay while visiting the island, Mission Point Resort is also home to a museum, a theater, and a mini golf course. It is the host site for the three road races on the island and also a popular wedding location.

Downtown Shopping District – It’s hard to visit the island and not take home some of its famous fudge, and on Main St. near the ferry docks you’ll find fudge shops, bicycle rentals, gift shops, t-shirt stores, art galleries, and restaurants like the Pink Pony and the Yankee Rebel Tavern.

Grand Hotel – A grandiose hotel that features the world’s longest front porch, the Grand Hotel dates back to 1887 and remains one of the most popular romantic destinations in the Midwest. It was featured in the movie Somewhere in Time.

Market Street – Once a bustling center of activity during the fur trading days, Market Street is home to some of the island’s oldest buildings like Biddle House the American Fur Company Store, where Dr. William Beaufort did groundbreaking medical research on the stomach and digestive system.

Mackinac Island 8 Mile Race Michigan Run

Popular events on Mackinac Island include a trio of road races: Lilac Festival 10K, Mackinac Island 8 Mile, Great Turtle Half Marathon, the Lilac Festival, Music in the Park, Art Walk, and the annual Fudge Festival. History buffs will enjoy checking out our list of where to find Michigan Historical Markers on the island, and film buffs might want to check out our lists of sites used in the filming of Somewhere in Time, a 1980 movie starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve.