Photo by Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum
With Lake Michigan on one side and Lake Huron on the other side, Mackinaw City is a true Great Lake’s spot. The area also boasts many historical attractions and family-friendly activites.
The Ice Breaker Maritime Museum was first the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw WAGB-83 and was built in Toledo, Ohio. She was launched in 1944 and served from Cheboygan, Michigan.
The museum offers tours of the engine room, captain’s quarters, ward room, bridge, and mess hall while explaining the history of the ship’s long career.
The Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park is the site of the early 1800’s mill that supplied lumber for much of the area’s buildings. Overlooking Lake Huron, the mill, and a grist mill, were used into the mid 1800’s. The park is a National Registered Historic Site and opened to the public as part of the Mackinac State Historic Parks in 1984.
Aside from the nature and historical aspects of the park, there is the Forest Forest Adventure Experience with fun like the Eagles Flight Zip Line.
McGulpin Rock, near Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan, has been used as a navigational tool since before the Pilgrims landed. In 1615, French explorers noted the huge rock near the Straits of Mackinaw. It’s nine feet tall and weighs in at 54 tons, and is located down the hillside from McGulpin Point Lighthouse, just outside Mackinaw City. The boulder can be reached by walking down the path behind the lighthouse or driving down the road just outside the entrance to the lighthouse.
Fur traders set up shop in the Northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac in the 1600’s and by the 1700’s, the area was a bustling trading center. Colonial Fort Michilimackinac was built by the French in the early 1700’s and it was occupied from 1714-1781 by the French and the British.
The reconstructed fort is a major tourist destination and historical site. Ongoing archaeological work has continued to uncover artifacts and offer insight into life at the Colonial setting.
The Charlevoix Circle of Arts is a vibrant, cultural center in downtown Charlevoix that presents six major visual exhibits annually.
Mackinaw City’s Heritage Village lets visitors explore life in the Straits of Mackinac as it was during the era of 1880-1917.
The Andrew J. Blackbird Museum is named for a counselor who helped Native American veterans. Native American artifacts fill the museum space.
Historic Mill Creek Discover Park has 625 acres along Lake Huron, 3.5 miles of hiking trails, a reconstructed saw mill, mill dam, and more.
In Northern Michigan, you’ll find lighthouses where lighthouse keepers once lived and worked that have been restored and are open to visitors.
Harris Gardens at North Central Michigan College is a spectacular sculpture garden filled with 26 pieces of vibrant art.
Beaver Island is located 32 miles offshore of Charlevoix, Michigan and is the largest island in Lake Michigan.
A visit to Northern Michigan is not complete without a walk along the Lake Michigan in search of Petoskey stones.
Just a short drive from Harbor Springs or Petoskey are more than a dozen Northern Michigan cross country ski trails in Emmet County.
The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods is a 55′ x 22′ redwood cross cut from one redwood tree and with a 28′ tall bronze crucifix.
The history of the fur trade in Northern Michigan is captured at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.
McGulpin Rock, near Mackinaw City, has been used as a navigational tool by explorers and mariners since before the Pilgrims landed.
Sailing is a special pastime that often brings friends together in Northern Michigan. And no wonder. The sailing here is wonderful.
Get the sleds and the skates out, put on the cold weather clothes, and enjoy sledding and ice skating in Northern Michigan.
Northern Michigan has many varied settings for kayaking- whether it by river, one of the inland lakes, or Lake Michigan,