Island has hosted many famous visitors, including the French explorers
Jean Nicolet and Rene Cavelier LaSalle; Father Jacques Marquette;
Dr. William Beaumont; Henry R. Schoolcraft; authors Constance Fenimore
Woolson, Everett Hale and Mark Twain; and actors Jimmy Durante, Esther
Williams, Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. President Gerald Ford
was one of the Boy Scouts serving on the island in the summer of 1929.
Father Jacques Marquette stands in the the park named after him. The
Quarters at Fort Mackinac in the background
date from 1780 and is the oldest building
in Michigan. The Tea Room on the lower level of the Quarters is a beautiful
to take a break or have lunch.
|Mackinac Island, Michigan is located in the Straits
of Mackinac approximately 7 miles east of the Mackinac Bridge. No automobiles
(except for government vehicles) are permitted on Mackinac Island. The
most common way to reach Mackinac Island is by ferry from Mackinaw City
or St. Ignace.
Native Americans have visited Mackinac Island for over
11,000 year. The first Europeans visited the island in the 1630s. During
the American Revolution, the British closed Fort Michilimackinac in present
day Mackinaw City and moved the Fort, now called Fort Mackinac, to the
Island. Following the Revolution, control of the Straits of Mackinac was
turned over to the Americans. The British retook Fort Mackinac for a brief
period during the War of 1812.
In 1875, Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) became the nation's
2nd National Park. 20 years later the park was turned over to the State
of Michigan. 85% of the Island are administered by the Mackinac Island
State Park Commission.
Although many of Island visitors never leave the community,
the majority of Mackinac Island is covered with lush forests and wildflowers
interspersed with natural limestone formations like Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf
and Skull Cave.
Most travel to Mackinac Island is by Ferry from Mackinaw
City or St. Ignace, though some people travel there by airplane, private
boats or across the ice in winter. Air taxi service is available year around
Mackinac Island in Winter
Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery
Stuart House City Museum
Mackinac Art Museum
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
Fort Mackinac in Winter
The beautiful swimming pool at the Grand Hotel was built
for Esther Williams' use in the 1946 film, This Time for Keeps.
In 1979 the Grand Hotel was the setting for Somewhere In Time,
a fantasy love story with a near cult following.
Admission to the Grand Hotel and its grounds is $10, but
includes a $10 credit toward a purchase at the Grand Hotel. My favorite
spot at the Grand Hotel is the Cupola Bar at the top. It has an amazing
view and is nearly vacant during the day time. Formal dress is required
Built of Michigan white pine in 1887, the Grand Hotel
is one of the world's great resort hotels. The 660' wide hotel has 385
guest rooms with no two decorated the same.
The Grand Hotel
Part of the Grand Hotel parking lot
Since the 1880s, Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City have
been famous for one more thing: FUDGE. So much fudge is sold in the Straits'
area that tourists in this part of the state are known universally as "fudgies."
There are dozens of candy shops. My personal favorite is Marshall's
Fudge. The Marshall's family has been producing fudge for nearly 80
years and today have a shop on Central Avenue in Mackinaw City.
Market Street is just a couple hundred feet from Mackinac Island's
main Street and may be relatively peaceful during even the busiest time
Carriages passing some of the hundreds of lilac bushes which fill the
Mackinac Island community. Many of the
lilacs date from the 1800s. Since 1949, Mackinac Island has had an
annual Lilac Festival in early to mid June.
The final event of the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is the Lilac
The Governor's Summer Residence is open for tours on Wednesday mornings
in the summer. At one time,
the Michigan state flag flew over the home when the governor was in
residence, but for security it now flies all the time.
Mackinac Island has many good restaurants, but little ethnic food.
Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn
has great Jamaican Food.
Feeding gulls along the shore of the Round Island Passage.
Although there is much less to do on Mackinac Island in the off season,
it is still beautiful (prints
of this photo)
Ste. Anne's Church on Mackinac Island (More
winter photos from Mackinac Island)
Mackinac Island in the winter
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
Copyright 1997-2020 by Keith
Stokes. These photos may not be reproduced without