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Mackinaw Island Michigan is a summer resort area unlike any other. The first attraction is the island itself, because as soon as you set foot on Mackinaw Island, you feel as if you’ve gone back in time. The original Victorian architecture has been preserved in the historic downtown area, and horse drawn buggies or bicycles are the only modes of transportation. Take your time and explore the main street’s boutiques and galleries and candy stores. Mackinaw Island is known for their fudge, and in fact, tourists are called “fudgies” because no one leaves without purchasing some. Other things to do include private carriage tours, sailing cruises, fishing charters, and hayrides in the fall. Mackinaw Island’s natural beauty is unspoiled, and includes stunning natural rock bridges and waterfalls, and the Tunnel of Trees scenic drive. Many recreational activities are available on Mackinaw Island, such as hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and golf. Be sure to visit the butterfly house and conservatory, where you can walk through lush gardens as you watch hundreds of butterflies from around the world in flight. For history buffs, there’s Fort Mackinac, the original restored fort built by British soldiers during the American Revolution.

Many time-honored traditions continue today on Mackinaw Island – such as riding bicycles. Not only are they one of the preferred modes of transportation on the island, but one of the best ways to explore it. You can ride along scenic highway M-185 (the only highway in Michigan where cars are not allowed) or on trails through Mackinaw Island’s Boreal Forest, or if you’re up for the challenge, ride up Cadotte Avenues’ Grand Hill. Bikes are easy to rent on Mackinaw Island, or you can bring your own. Cooling off in the waters of the Straits of Mackinac is great way to spend the dog days of summer, but there are no lifeguards on the island, so caution is advised. The East Side of the island is shallow and the best area for children. Charters are available for fishing excursions and sunset tours. The boardwalk west of the downtown area is also great for viewing the sunsets. Picnic tables are located along the shore road; many local restaurants offer take-out meals for those who wish to dine beside the water.

Historical attractions on Mackinaw Island besides the fort include the Mackinac Island Historic Park and the battlefields of the War of 1812. Other interesting sights include Arch Rock and The Haunted Theater and Wax Museum. Each season is unique on Mackinaw Island. Springtime fills the air with fragrant lilacs and ushers in a new season after the ice breaks in early April. Autumn is gorgeous as the trees change color and October brings hayrides and family fun during Oktoberfest and Halloween. In wintertime, the trails in Mackinac Island State park are kept well-groomed for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing, and nothing beats a horse-drawn sleigh ride, snuggling under a heavy blanket as you listen to the clip-clop of the horses and the jingle of sleigh bells. Come see for yourself why Mackinaw Island State Park has been named as one of the ten best parks in America.


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