Mackinac Island is a resort in the state of Michigan located in Lake Huron. Tourist attractions in Mackinac Island are mostly the beautiful natural sites of the coast and the national park. The Mackinac Island offers everything needed for the perfect holiday, outdoor activities, adventure and night time relaxation. Social events and nightlife attract groups and friends as a way to unwind after a day of exploring.
10. Rent a bike
There are many bicycle stores on Market street where bikes can be rented. A free self-guided tour map is included in the rental. The map shows the main attractions on the island and how to get to them. There is also an eight-mile loop which goes completely around Mackinac Island. Riders can go at their own pace and level of experience. Bikes are usually rented per hour or at half or full day rates. Trailers for kids and strollers are also available to rent. Prices start from $8 per hour for adult bikes.
9. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum
This cool art space centres on arts inspired by the island through the ages. There are historic oil paintings, sketches created during the fur trade era and Native American encampments. Hoping to inspire creativity to its visitors, there are interactive displays and hands on activities to get guests involved. A kid’s art studio also offers painting, drawing and window art activities for children. Admission is $5.50 for adults and $4 for children. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm during spring and autumn and until 530pm during summer. Free admission can be obtained with proof of stay on the Island.
8. Arch rock
A natural limestone rock formed into an arch on the shoreline standing 45 metres above the water. Native Americans saw the rock as a place of power and there are many stories including the arch. Now it is seen as a place of natural beauty and perfect to take a romantic stroll. The limestone rock formation has taken years of weathering from water and wind to become the structure that it is today. The views are spectacular and a great location for photographers and nature lovers. Find the arch at the southeast part of the island.
7. Grand hotel tour
The Grand hotel has hosted famous visitors including presidents John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton and is a favourite Hollywood film location. Even if you are not a guest at the hotel self-guided tours can be taken where all public areas can be accessed such as the Front Porch, Gardens and the Grand Hotel Stables where there are antique carriages. The tour usually takes three to four hours and is open between the hours of 8am to 6pm. A lunch buffet is also included when booking through some tour operators.
6. Liberty Lego display
The liberty Lego display is fun for kids and the whole family. There are over 750,000 pieces of logo with constructions of Star Wars, Pirate ships and a Medieval Cathedral. Kids can scavenger hunts for Lego mini figures and look through the 20-foot long city scape. There is also a complete model railroad scene with working cars and trains. The display is open from May to October. Opening hours are 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 10m to 7pm on Sundays. Individual tickets cost $7 and $24 for a family of four.
5. St Anne’s Catholic Church
A historical local church which still serves the community today. The church museum is located in the basement called the Images of Faith. The displays show the religious history of the area and records of marriage, death and baptism date back to 1695. This important information shows the different settlements and immigrant populations. Paintings, artefacts and sculptures are on show such as the church bell from the 1880s. The exhibits are open to the public during the months of Spring, Summer and Autumn. There’s also a gift shop where mementos of the visit can be purchased.
4. Butterfly house and Insect World
The butterfly house boasts 1800 square feet of tropical gardens filled with hundreds of butterflies from around the world. On entry visitors are given a free butterfly identification chart to identify the species spotted during the visit. Insect world is a relatively new addition to the house and displays the worlds heaviest bug, 16-inch walking sticks and many moor beetles and bugs to see. Regular daily opening hours are 10am to 7pm. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $3 for children over 3 years old, under 3’s enter for free.
3. Skull cave
A natural cave which is of historical interest, it is designated as a Michigan Historical site. Believed to have been used as a burial ground by Native Americans it is best known to have been used as the hiding place for Alexander Henry. The fur trader Henry fled and avoided capture during the Pontiacs war and recalls the bone strewn cave when writing his memoirs. Another great place for lovely photo opportunities and exploring nature in the area. Find this small shallow cave less than half a mile north of Fort Mackinac.
2. Fort Mackinac
A small earthen and wooden fort which was initially built by the British in 1814 and named Fort George. After it was reoccupied the fort was named Fort Holmes in honour of American Major Andrew Hunter Holmes who was killed in the battle. Originally there would have been a cannon and gunpowder house, however over time the buildings have eroded and now there is only a mound where the structures once stood. Today it is the highest point on the island and the climb rewards visitors with beautiful views of Lake Huron. One of the most popular places to visit in Mackinac Island.
1. Mackinac Island state park
The state park was established in 1895 being Michigan’s first state park. Over eighty percent of the island is part of the park. This place is perfect for walking the many nature trails containing over 70 miles of roads and trails. Some of them are shared with horses and bikes as well as walkers but some are for hikes only. The visitor centre provides information about tours of the island and is a place to purchase tickets for sites on the island. It is open from 9am to 4pm from May until October.
The best way to get to and enjoy all of the things to do in Mackinac Island is by ferry. Ferries are run by different transit companies and it is best to shop around to get the best deal. Some fast lines can take as little as 15 minutes or for more scenic views other take a leisurely 45 minutes. Many visitors take the trip for the weekend to Mackinac Island and leave the car behind in parking facilities often offered for free.