Join us in downtown Mackinaw City every Friday during the summer season to watch fireworks decorate the sky in a colorful celebration of the season!
Mackinaw City Expected To Have Warm Summer Season
Mackinaw City is a favorite Northern Michigan vacation destination, with visitors traveling from all over the world to stay in the quaint village. This history-laden haven is home to dozens of hotels and chalet colonies, a downtown full of sweet shops and taverns and small streets filled with happy tourists and smiling cyclists. But, beyond the hustle and bustle of the Village's Main Street, Mackinaw City is home to many hidden treasures waiting to be rediscovered by wide-eyed visitors. Read on to discover travel ideas, attractions and activities to make your Mackinac vacation great.
Mackinaw City Beaches
An unusually expected warm Spring will cause the temperature of Lake Huron's water near Mackinaw City's favorite beaches to rise to temperatures not usually seen until the middle of July. The warm lake waters will attract swimmers in the bay just south of Mackinaw City's State Dock, featuring Mackinaw City's largest sandy beach.
Historic Trading Village
In 1761 the French relinquished Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City to the British who had assumed control of Canada as a result of their victory in the French and Indian War. Under the British, the fort continued to serve as a major fur trade facility in Mackinaw City. The Ottawa and Chippewa in the Straits area, however, found British policies harsh compared to those of the French and they resented the British takeover in the Mackinac Island In 1763 as part of Pontiac's Rebellion, a group of Chippewa staged a ball game outside the stockade to create a diversion and gain entrance to the post and then attacked and killed most of the British occupants. See live reenactments of this event over Memorial Day Weekend in Mackinaw City. Admission is free. The use of Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City came to an end in 1781 when the British abandoned the post and moved to Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.
Today, it features re-enactments from British 1770s occupation and the American Revolution era. A National Historic Landmark, Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Getting to Mackinac Island
Ferries depart from Mackinaw City for Mackinac Island on a regular schedule during the summer season, The five-mile ride across the Straits of Mackinac takes around 15-20 minutes.
As a crossroads between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, the Straits of Mackinac was once of great strategic importance for the French, British and American forces that fought in the Midwest during the 18th and 19th centuries. Fort Mackinac, located on Mackinac Island, was a stronghold for both the British and Americans, while Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City was first a French trading post, and then a British fort. Both forts are now operated as museums open to the public. A third fort, Fort Holmes, was built by the British during the War of 1812 at the highest point on the island (just one mile north of Main Street). Fort Holmes was recently renovated and is now open to the public.
Enjoy the Fudge!
Fudge is the fuel of Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. The sweet smell of cocoa and butter wafts through Main Street, and no Mackinac Island vacation is complete without a stop inside one of the island’s many candy stores.
Biking Mackinac Island
Aside from the smell of fudge and the clopping of horses, one of the first things you’ll notice about Mackinac Island upon your arrival is the multitude of bikes streaming along Main Street. Biking is the most popular and convenient means of navigating the island—not only the streets of downtown but also the miles of trails that lie in the interior of the island in Mackinac Island State Park, which covers about 75 percent of the island’s land mass.
Celebrations & Festivals
There’s a lot to celebrate about the Mackinac lifestyle, and there’s a festival for three of the most prominent features of the island: horses, fudge and lilacs. Beyond the annual festivals, boat races, special events and island-circling runs fill the summer weekends.
Mackinac Island is powered by a 500 horsepower engine—that is, the 500 horses that call the island home in the summer. Since the late 19th century, horses have been an integral part of Mackinac Island. A word of caution to visitors: watch your step...