Mackinac Island, Michigan is located near where the upper and lower peninsulas join. This island has a quaint charm all its own with many historic buildings and quiet wooded outskirts. Automobiles are not permitted here so visitors may tour the island via horse-drawn carriage or bicycle. The island has 2 golf courses with 5 others located a few minutes away on the mainland. There are many other wonderful attractions for the whole family to enjoy as well.
Fort Mackinac is the only Michigan fort known to have been used in the Revolutionary War. It was last active around 1880 and now offers a step back in history for Mackinac visitors. It was inhabited in the 1700’s by British soldiers and later by American soldiers. Today, actors portray life at the fort during the peak activity of the late 19th century with battle reenactments, bugle music and Morse code. Take a walk through any of the fourteen original buildings and see medicine being made, period costumes, an interactive display for children and officer’s quarters with upright piano. Some of these historical documents on display include the original deed to Mackinac Island, and many vintage photographs and drawings. The Fort is open 7 days a week from May through August and offers several cannon firings and rifle demonstrations daily.
Take a step back in time and visit the 18th century working sawmill known as Mill Creek Discovery Park, which is powered by Mill Creek. The sawmill was originally built in 1790 to provide lumber for Mackinac Island and was fully-operational until the mid 1830’s. It remained abandoned more that one hundred forty years until it was rediscovered in the 1970’s. More than a decade of renovation allowed this sawmill to open once again in 1984. Today, in addition to touring the sawmill, guests may indulge in a host of other activities. These include riding a zip-line through primitive pine forests, taking a stroll on one of the nature trails, or visiting one of the interactive nature exhibits. Enjoy a breathtaking view of Mackinac Straits from an observation deck or get an idea of life in days gone by when visiting the Millwright’s cabin. The mill is open from May through August and features hand sawing demonstrations and sawmill demonstrations daily.
Mackinac Point Lighthouse is an immaculate white brick lighthouse. Built in 1892, it spans more than 4 stories tall with a large square tower. It features a newly refurbished fog signal station and barn. From this tower, you will have a tremendous view of the beach and Mackinac Bridge. Guests may tour the lighthouse daily during the months of May through August from 9am to 4pm. Parties of 6 or fewer only will be permitted. There are approximately fifty-one stairs and an eleven rung ladder to climb on your excursion to the top. You will enjoy listening to the victrola play in the sitting room and hearing of the lighthouse’s history. The entire lighthouse has an aura reminiscent of the early 20th century. The grounds are immaculately landscaped. There is a fog signal station at the entrance of the lighthouse which also serves as a museum and gift shop.
There are plenty of other activities on Mackinac Island that will be sure to delight all members of your family both young and old. A visit to this island will prove to be a relaxing trip with a touch of nostalgia added. Plan a visit to Mackinac Island and you will be sure to have a vacation that you will remember for many years to come.
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