Mackinac Island Things to Do

  • Lilacs in June
    Lilacs in June
    by ciaobellamici
  • History Surrounds You
    History Surrounds You
    by ciaobellamici
  • View of soldier barracks
    View of soldier barracks
    by BruceDunning

Most Recent Things to Do in Mackinac Island

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    Butterfly Houses

    by Gypsygirl05 Written May 22, 2009

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    There are two different butterfly "houses" on the island, where exotic butterflies from all over the world are brought in and kept in enclosed gardens. It seems a little out-of-the-blue, but if you've never been to one of these it's quite an experience. More often than not these beautiful insects will land on your clothing, mistaking you for a flower or perch, and they're fascinating organisms. This is a great activity for those days when the weather takes a turn for the worse (which happens quite often on the island) or when you just need a general break from the crowds or all the walking around.

    [Personally, I have only been to the Original, but I would assume they are both about equal to each other]

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Zoo
    • Family Travel

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  • An Island Full of Possibilities

    by TravelTheories Written May 3, 2009

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    A short ferry ride from Mackinaw City will take you to a land that appears to be stuck in the early 1800’s. Mackinaw Island is vehicle-free, and as such, transportation is limited to bicycles, horses or simply walking. We like to walk because it allows you the opportunity to take things slowly and stop to investigate anything that peaks your interest. Fort Mackinac is likely the most famous of attractions, as it should be. Touring this historic fort is an eye opening and educational look into the hard life faced by Michigan’s early settlers. Over 80% of Mackinaw Island is consumed by Mackinac Island State Park. You can tour this park by foot or pay a small fee to join a tour group and ride on a horse drawn carriage (similar to a typical hay ride). The island can become very busy during the peak summer months, and it should be noted that long lines do develop during meal times. If at all possible, plan activities around these times so that you spend less time waiting and more time exploring this treasure of an island. Particular points of interest include “Arch Rock,” War of 1812 Battlefield, and various caves and cemeteries.

    For more information on Mackinaw City and Mackinaw Island including hundreds of pictures, please visit http://www.traveltheories.com

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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  • Autumn Mackinac Island Sales

    by stonedeborah Written Nov 7, 2008

    I was on Mackinac Island the week of October 6th, 2008. The stores were beginning to close down for the tourist season and the sales were unbelievable! If you aren't worried about attending a special festival or being there at the height of the summer tourist season, plan a peaceful fall trip - weather was great, tours had little or no wait time (as did restaurants). It was windy as heck, as it normally is, but just sweatshirt weather. Island full of fall color and morning walks in the woods were incredible! Sales everywhere - and we're talking 50 - 70% off really great items - not just goofy souvenir stuff! Same over at the ferry docks at the great Mackinaw City shops. Check the calendar to be sure you get there before the carriages, restaurants and stores shut down. Flowers were still blooming strong. I'd go again in Autumn without thinking twice! Drive was gorgeous through upper michigan to get to the island - fall foliage out in full color! For "Somewhere in Time" buffs, check with the concierge at the Grand Hotel to find out where the special markings are - rooms, gazebo, memorial rock, movie memorabilia, etc. They're all there, but not "in your face." Movie memorabilia goes on sale downtown as well - you'll find more movie souvenirs there than at the hotel itself.

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  • ciaobellamici's Profile Photo

    Hike the Island

    by ciaobellamici Written Oct 4, 2008

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    I love this place! There are miles of trails and wonders to explore. There are historical monuments and your imagination can run wild. Take the time to wander the interior of the island. I choose early morning.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Bike Around the Island

    by ciaobellamici Written Oct 4, 2008

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    One of the first things I do after arriving on Mackinac Island is to climb on a bike and ride the 8 mile circumference of the island. It's like taking a refreshing deep breath. I become reaquainted with the mood of the island and observe the changes caused by nature or man since my last visit. Additional trips around the island will follw, as well as trips up the middle. I usually turn around and trace my stepos to see it again through different lenses.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Cycling

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    Biking Mackinac Island

    by GuitarStan Written Aug 6, 2008

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    On Our Ride Around The Island
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    We really enjoyed biking this island, of course it was a perfect day. The views from the perimeter road are beautiful and the biking is not difficult, even with my 5 year old grand daughter on the bike.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Missionary Chapel

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Missionary Chapel

    A birch bark chapel that has been reconstructed sits in Marquette Park - you'll pass it as you head up Fort Street to Fort Mackinac. Inside, you'll find what a 1670s Jesuit Chapel might look like. It won't take you too far out of your way to see it, and it is free to anyone to pop in.

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    Skull Cave

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Skull Cave

    Another of the more famous landmarks on the island. This site has some sordid tales tied to it. It is believed to have once been a burial site for Native Americans during the 1700s. It also was a hiding place for a fur trader as he was being pursued by Native Americans - he ended up spending a night hidden in the cave among the skulls and bones.

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    Post Cemetery

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Post Cemetery

    Graves in the cemetery date to the 1820s and is located about a half mile north of Fort Mackinac. The setting is quite pretty with the forest surrounding the grave sites. There are over 100 folks buried in the cemetery including soldiers and their family members. The cemetery is easily spotted from the road. We didn't actually go inside to view the cemetery - we just saw it from the road.

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    Fort Holmes

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Fort Holmes

    Another site that you'll want to review your map on - because there's a road, or there's a long staircase to get you to the top! The fort is a reconstruction of the original Fort Holmes. You will have the opportunity to walk around and into it. There is a view of Fort Mackinac down below as well as a few nice panaromic views. The fort itself really isn't much more than a large grassy hill with a door, so because it's a little off the beaten path, it's debatable whether or not it is worth the side trip.

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    Arch Rock

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Arch Rock

    Probably the most famous natural landmark on the island, this natural arch frames the deep blue lake surrounding the island beautifully. If you're biking around the island, be sure to get a good quality map, because the arch itself is way up on the bluffs, and there is a road that circles the entire island - if you take a wrong turn, you will end up several hundred feet and a painful staircase below it!

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    Fly a Kite

    by tarced Written Feb 3, 2008

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    Mackinac Island's location makes it a perfect place to fly a kite. Not only are the winds perfect, but there are sprawling lawns all over the island on which to fly a kite. These lawns are also perfect for relaxing or a picnic lunch.

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    American Fur Company Store

    by yooperprof Written Sep 15, 2007

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    frontier Walmart?

    (from the historical marker):

    "On June 6, 1822, Alexis St. Martin (1804-1880), a French-Canadian voyageur, was accidentally shot in the American Fur Company Store on this site. Dr. William Beaumont (1786-1853), the Fort Mackinac post surgeon, nursed St. Martin back to health. St. Martin's wound healed, leaving a permanent opening into his stomach. Through this opening, Beaumont compared the digestibility of foods, recorded the temperature of the stomach under different conditions, and extracted and analyzed gastric juice. Beaumont conducted the first of 250 experiments with St. Martin in 1825 in the Officers' Stone Quarters at Fort Mackinac. Eight years later, he published a groundbreaking book on his discovery of the digestive process."

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Ghosts and Legends Make For A Great Guide Book

    by Haunts Written Jul 10, 2007

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    The book "Haunts of Mackinac" is about local, true life, ghost stories and tragic events from a historical point of veiw. Many of the Island's legends are also included as well as maps to help the tourist find each location. The layout of the book is no unlike a self-guided tour and the downtown section starts near Grand Hotel and ends just past the Mission Point area. I highly reccomend this book to anyone visiting the Island and hope you enjoy it.

    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Mystery Spot

    by AVG2319 Written May 26, 2007

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    This is one of those tourist activities that we were sucked into looking at. It is interesting though and not too expensive. It is a spot which seems to defy the laws of gravity. The Mystery Spot was found by "accident" by 3 surveyors who came to explore the Upper Peninsula. They stumbled across an area of land where their surveying equipment didn’t seem to work properly. The equipment didn't work in a small area 300 feet in diameter, this is what is now called the "Mystery Spot"

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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Mackinac Island Things to Do

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