Six Different Ways to View the Mighty Mackinac Bridge
The Mackinac Bridge may very well be the most recognizable landmark in the entire state of Michigan. It’s two white towers rise 552 feet out of the water, and at 5 miles long it is the 16th-longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere. Millions of people photograph this bridge each year, from a variety of vantage points. The beauty of the bridge is that there is no bad place to photograph it from, so we put together a list of six of our favorite ways to get photographic memories of “Mighty Mac.”
Old Mackinac Lighthouse Historical Complex, Mackinaw City – this is one of the most popular spots to view the bridge, with its wide-open views just a few hundred feet from the historic Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is open and the view from the tower is impressive. Many picnic tables and benches can be found here, and many visitors take in the view for an extended amount of time.
Father Marquette National Memorial/Straits State Park, St. Ignace – Straits State Park features more than a few places to view the bridge, whether it is from shoreline campgrounds or an observation deck at higher altitude. Great views can also be had from the park-run Marquette Memorial, on the west side of I-75.
McGulpin Rock/McGulpin Point, Mackinaw City – The lighthouse at McGulpin Point isn’t visited nearly as often as the one to its east at Mackinac Point, but it provides another great spot to view the bridge from. Views from the tower of the lighthouse are spectacular, but the best views come from the large rock at the shoreline – so if you’re looking for a different view of the bridge from the west side, head over to McGulpin Point.
Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry – In the summer, Shepler’s makes daily trips to Mackinac Island that make the extra trip under the bridge on the way there. The Western Lighthouse Cruise also passes under the bridge on the way to St. Helena Island, White Shoal Light and Waugoshance Shoal.
Mackinac Island – the bridge is easily viewed from a distance from most of the south/southwest shore of the island. Those walking, bicycling or running around the island have enjoyed this view for years, and the shore on this side of the island is a great place for a picnic.
Driving Over It – If you’re headed to the Upper Peninsula, you have to cross the Mighty Mac to get there. Not everyone enjoys this five-mile trip over the Straits, but some absolutely love it and others will be staring out the window from the passenger seat. On clear days it is easy to see Mackinac Island and Round Island to the east and St. Helena Island to the west. Crossing the bridge while a freighter passes underneath is an added treat.