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Mackinaw Island Michigan is unlike any other place in the country. In 1999, Conde Nast Traveler readers placed Mackinac Island in the “World’s Twenty Most Beautiful Islands,” for scenery and environment, and in 2001 the magazine ranked it 8th in the list of “temperate islands” in its’ “Top Twenty Islands in the World” list. Located between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsula’s, Mackinaw Island (also spelled Mackinac) is steeped in natural beauty and history. You reach the island by ferry from nearby Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. Three ferryboat companies offer reliable service and affordable fees. Once you step off the ferry onto Mackinaw Island, you enter a world of a bygone era. Tourists have been coming to this island resort since the mid 1800s. It is eighty percent state park, and nearly the whole island is actually a Victorian era theme park, with transportation limited to horse and buggy, bicycle or foot. Cars are allowed on the island only for emergencies. Taxis on the island are available by horse and carriage or sleighs in the winter. Mackinaw Island, in summertime, is a lively hustle and bustle of tourists, as they explore Main Street’s shops, galleries and restaurants. Grand hotels of yesteryear beckon visitors to relax and sit back and enjoy the views. Mackinaw Island was, in fact, the setting for the romantic, Victorian era movie “Somewhere in Time.” The sparkling blue waters of Lake Huron, beautiful beaches, mammoth rocks and waterfalls, and the quaint Victorian architecture make Mackinaw Island a photographer’s dream. Not just in summertime – but all year long. Fresh snow in winter brings it’s own special beauty to the island and creates unimaginable scenery. Cross-country skies and snowmobiles are the modes of transportation at that time of year.

Walking and carriage tours are available on Mackinaw Island, and are a good way to learn all about the island. Shopping and dining are also a part of the overall experience of Mackinaw Island. Enjoy everything from local pubs and taverns offering a warm atmosphere to world-class restaurants featuring an array of fine European dishes. It’s a four-season resort area, where summer temperatures are moderate and hiking, biking and horseback riding are some of the favorite activities. Autumn on Mackinac Island brings some of the best color displays in the country along with events such as Oktoberfest and Halloween parades. Winters are cold and ferry service depends on weather and ice conditions. Air service is available from the nearby St. Ignace airport, and if the weather turns cold enough, an ice bridge forms between St. Ignace and Mackinaw Island that can be used by visitors arriving on snowmobiles.

Mackinaw Island is less than an hour away from Canada, and the Mackinac Straits Area is also home to three National Historic Sites and an outdoor family waterpark. Mackinaw Island is a one-of-a-kind place and is a great romantic get-a-way for couples, as well as a unique family vacation destination.


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