Many go to it as a cease on their journey to the island, however Mackinaw City is rather more than a gateway to an island journey. There’s lots to discover in Mackinaw City, from its downtown outlets to its attractive parks, historic fort and a handful of vacationer sights distinctive to the town.
Learn on to be taught extra, and for our record of the 31 high issues to do and locations to eat in Mackinaw City. You may scroll to the underside for an interactive map of the place to seek out all of those must-see spots!
About Mackinaw City
The village of Mackinaw City is a busy place with rather a lot occurring. Not solely is it the stepping-off level for each Mackinac Island and Michigan’s Higher Peninsula, the realm additionally swells with its personal vacationers in the summertime and fall seasons. Labor Day additionally brings an enormous inflow of vacationers for the annual Mackinac Bridge Stroll.
There’s extra to Mackinaw City, although. It’s situated near lovely seashores on each Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which offer countless alternative for outside actions. It’s a really kid-friendly spot, too, with many lovely parks and sights to maintain households entertained.
30 Prime Things to Do in Mackinaw City Michigan
See Fort Michilimackinac
106 W Straits Ave, Mackinaw City MI
Historical past buffs will love Fort Michilimackinac, situated proper close to Mackinac Bridge. When it was constructed by the French in 1715, it was the nice fur commerce middle of the colonial northwest till it was relocated to Mackinac Island in 1781.
In 1960, Colonial Michilimackinac turned a Nationwide Historic Landmark which suggests at this time guests can discover the fort. It’s enjoyable to step into the previous to see employees and interpreters, wearing 18th century clothes, transferring in regards to the fort’s reconstructed buildings.
The Fort is about in Michilimackinac State Park and has gorgeous views of Mackinac Island, the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. Fort Michilimackinac is a part of the Mackinac State Historic Parks. Different historic parks within the space embrace Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.
Take a Ferry to Mackinac Island
Guests to Mackinaw City usually use ferry providers to journey to Mackinac Island, Michigan’s high vacationer vacation spot. Be certain and have you ever digital camera prepared. You’ll cross some very picturesque spots, together with Spherical Island which you’ll acknowledge from the enduring lighthouse.
Shepler’s Ferry and the Star Line Ferry carry passengers to and from Mackinac Island from each St. Ignace and Mackinaw City. The nice journey throughout the water takes about quarter-hour. Guests usually discover favor with both of the 2 ferry Companies for various causes.
556 E Central Ave, Mackinaw City MI
For those who’re in search of a quick journey to the island with a Mackinaw mainstay, look no additional than Shepler’s. With docks in each Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, ferrying guests to Mackinac Island could also be their predominant objective, however prospects may take pleasure in Shepler’s lighthouse cruises, evening sky cruises, and Fourth of July cruise, provided by the corporate.
Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry/Mackinac Island Ferry Firm
801 S Huron Ave, Mackinaw City MI
From both St. Ignace or Mackinaw city, you may take the Star Line Mackinac Island ferry, the one Hydro-Jet ferry service to Mackinac Island aboard the Star Line, now generally known as Mackinac Island Ferry Firm. Utilizing this ferry service, you’ll expertise fast and reasonably priced transport to Mackinac Island, together with different providers, together with tall ship and pirate cruises.
There’s even a tour which takes prospects out of St. Ignace beneath the Mighty Mac on the way in which to the island.
Attempt Some Mackinaw Fudge
Mackinac Island is known for its fudge, however you don’t have to hop on the ferry to attempt some top-quality fudge. Each fudge-lover has their most well-liked fudge store, and Mackinaw city is house to fairly just a few extremely acclaimed fudge outlets. Listed below are a few of our favorites.
- Joann’s Fudge of Mackinac Island
- 303 E Central Ave, Mackinaw city MI
- 226 E Central Ave, Mackinaw cityMI
- Authentic Murdick’s Fudge
- 190 S Huron, Mackinaw City MI
- Devon’s Mackinac Island Fudge Firm
- 304 E Central Ave, Mackinaw CityMI
Uncover the Mackinac Bridge Museum
231 E Central Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Everybody who has seen the Mackinac Bridge, is aware of that it’s an engineering feat not like some other. Also referred to as the “Gateway to the Higher Peninsula, the bridge is a Michigan marvel. Study all about why it’s known as the “Mighty Mac” on the Mackinaw Bridge Museum, an extremely distinctive Michigan museum situated above Mama Mia’s Pizzeria in downtown Mackinaw City.
The Mackinaw Bridge Museum was constructed by J.C. Stilwel, an ironworker who participated within the bridge’s building. All through time, the museum has collected quite a few of the artifacts used within the bridge’s building from fellow ironworkers who participated within the construct.
See the Mackinaw City Lighthouses
Michigan has over 120 lighthouses and lightweight station areas, making it the state with essentially the most lighthouses in the entire United States. Many of those lighthouses are historic landmarks that inform the story of Michigan’s lengthy maritime historical past. In Mackinaw City, two lighthouses stand out as favored vacationer stops, Outdated Mackinac Level Lighthouse, and McGulpin Level Lighthouse.
McGulpin Level Lighthouse & Historic Website
500 Headlands Rd, Mackinaw City MI
There’s a wealthy historical past surrounding McGulpin Level and its function in navigation. The lighthouse at McGulpin Level is even older than the one at Outdated Mackinac Level, having opened in 1869 and you’ll even keep in a single day on the lighthouse grounds on the McGulpin Level Cottage.
The lighthouse just isn’t the one well-known historic navigational instrument discovered right here, although; The Large Rock at McGulpin Level is estimated to have been found by French explorers in 1615, and served as a navigational help to sailors earlier than the development of the lighthouse.
Outdated Mackinac Level Lighthouse
526 N Huron Ave, Mackinaw City MI
Since 1889, Outdated Mackinac Level has been a guiding gentle for sailors passing by means of the Straits of Mackinac. Go to Outdated Mackinac Level Lighthouse and be transported again to 1910 with restored quarters and displays.
Discover the Keeper’s Quarters, have interaction with hands-on shows and authentic artifacts, and listen to the story of Keeper George Marshall, his spouse, and their prolonged household. Don’t neglect to cease by the Mackinac Shipwreck Museum or tour the lighthouse tower itself to spherical out your go to to the “Citadel of the Straits.”
Go Again in Time at Mackinaw Space Historic Society Heritage Village, 1425 W Central Ave, Mackinaw MI
Expertise historical past firsthand on the Mackinaw Space Historic Society Heritage Village. Right here, you may witness moments of nice change all through historical past, from the introduction of electrical energy to the fast evolution of transportation.
Turn into immersed within the sights, smells, and sounds from centuries in the past and be taught one thing new about Michigan’s historical past. With month-to-month packages match for all ages, there’s no higher option to spend a enjoyable and academic time out with the entire household in Mackinaw City.
Discover Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park
9001 W US-23, Mackinaw City MI
For these in search of an outside exercise to interact the entire household, take time to discover a number of the northern Michigan forests that sustained the state’s important lumber business at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Cheboygan, close to Mackinaw City.
Odor the sawdust generated by the skilled sawyers who display the normal pit noticed technique of chopping lumber and really feel the ability of the creek used to chop timber contained in the previous reconstructed sawmill.
Discover the forest from new heights with the Journey Tour guided treetop nature path, in addition to the five-story Treetop Discovery Tower, Forest Cover Bridge, and Eagle’s Flight Zip Line. Partaking packages showcasing the North Woods will educate and delight guests of any age.
Take within the Stars at Headlands Worldwide Darkish Sky Park
15675 Headlands Rd, Mackinaw City MI
See the evening sky like by no means earlier than at Headlands Worldwide Darkish Sky Parok. Michigan has solely six state-designated darkish sky parks, however Headlands is the one one which holes worldwide darkish sky standing. The objective of a darkish sky protect is to limit synthetic gentle air pollution with a view to present an unobstructed view of the evening sky. Whereas that is completed to advertise astronomy, you don’t have to be an astronomer to understand the wonders of an evening sky stuffed with stars.
Store at Mackinaw Crossings
S Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
It’s one of the distinctive buying space in northern Michigan: a Victorian-inspired buying space that includes enjoyable outlets, eating places, and reside leisure. You’ll additionally discover comfy benches to calm down and take within the surroundings or take pleasure in an ice-cream cone.
Go to the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum Inc.
131 S Huron Ave, Mackinaw City MI
The USCGC Mackinaw WAGB-83, also referred to as the “Queen of the Nice Lakes” and “The Largest Icebreaker on the Nice Lakes,” measures out at a whopping 290 ft. The ship was constructed as a part of the warfare efforts of World Struggle II to satisfy the ever growing demand for warfare supplies to be transported throughout winter, however was decommissioned in 2006.
As we speak she rests in her namesake house of Mackinaw City the place guests can tour the ship, guide in a single day encampments, and even group occasions. Study all in regards to the Mackinaw’s 62-year profession of breaking ice on the Nice Lakes whereas visiting the ship’s many necessary areas, together with the Captain’s Quarters, Bridge, Engine Room, and extra.
Get pleasure from Wawatam Park
300 N Huron Ave, Mackinaw City MI
Among the finest methods to take pleasure in Mackinaw City is to spend time outdoor stress-free close to the waterfront. At Wawatam you are able to do simply that, with loads of picnic tables, benches, and grills to supply the right picnic on the shore, with a view of Mackinac Island within the distance. Stroll alongside the seaside or paddle alongside the waterfront to see a mix of historic websites and delightful inexperienced parks, simply watch out of boat visitors and robust currents by means of the Straits of Mackinac.
Experience the Mackinac Outdated Time Trolley
One greatway to see most of those spot is by taking a trip on the Mackinac Outdated Time Trolley. You’ll get a narrated, historic tour explaning all of Mackinaw’s timeless historic websites, together with the Mackinac Bridge,Colonial Michilimackinac, Outdated Mackinac Level Lighthouse, & the Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw.
Extra Wonderful Issues to Do in Mackinaw City Michigan
- Parasail over the Straits of Mackinac at Mackinaw Parasailing and Jet Boat Adventures
- Absorb A Summer time Live performance at Conkling Heritage Park
- Go bowling at Pharaohs Household Enjoyable Heart, an Egyptian-themed household arcade
- Kayak underneath the Mackinac Bridge with Nice Turtle Kayak Excursions
- Catch some fish on the Fishing and Statement Pier close to the Ferry Docks
- Have a Picnic at Williams Park and take within the Mackinac Island views
- Cease by the Michigan Welcome Heart to get the lay of the land
- Hike the paths at Wilderness State Park
- Watch some old-fasioned log-rolling on the Jack Pines Lumberjack present
The place to Eat in Mackinaw City
There’s no shortage of eating places and locations to eat in Mackinaw City. You’ll discover the entire fast-food chains, and there’s many tried-and-true favorites. Right here are a few of them price testing:
- Audies Restaurant
314 N Nicolet St, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
- Dixie Saloon
401 E Central Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
- Harbor Lights Grill in Carp Lake
6492 Paradise Path, Carp Lake, MI 49718
- Scalawags Fish and Chips
226 E Central Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Enjoyable Mackinaw City Occasions
Annual Mackinaw City Motorbike Rally
The second annual Mackinaw City motorbike in June is rapidly gaining in recognition. Drawing motorbike fans from throughout the nation, the occasion contains reside leisure, a Blessing of the Bikes and a few pure Michigan Enjoyable.
Mackinaw City Fireworks
Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce the fireworks are a number of the greatest in northern Michigan. Billed as the biggest fireworks show in Northern Michigan, the Mackinaw City Independence Day celebration kicks off at nightfall with a efficiency of the Straits Space Live performance Band at Conkling Heritage Park.
The place to Keep in Mackinaw City: Mackinaw City Inns
In search of a Mackinaw City resort? Examine our information to the most effective locations to remain in Mackinaw City. Plan forward and make your resort reservations, the summer time season kicks into excessive gear after Memorial Day with the appearance of the Lilac Pageant on Mackinac Island.