Photo by Todd and Brad Reed Photography
Get off the ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace to Mackinac Island and it is like stepping back in time. The first sounds are those of horses clip clopping down the street. Horse-drawn taxis await ferry passengers.
Mackinac Island has a downtown district like no other in Michigan and perhaps the Midwest or U.S. There are no cars, only bikes and horses. No cookie cutter stores. No enclosed mall shopping. Just unique shops, one after the other, lining Main Street and Market Street, in a gorgeous and historic setting on Lake Huron in the Straits of Mackinac.
Once a bustling fur trading center and nearly half a century long- downtown Mackinac Island is a National Historic Landmark, Historic Downtown accredited by the American Association of Museums. Shopping, dining, and lodging blend with five historic buildings including the Dr. Beaumont Museum/1820 American Fur Company Store, Biddle House, the Blacksmith Shop, McGulpin House, and Mission Church that were part of the early 19th century fur trade on Mackinac Island.
What can you find on Mackinac Island? Spa items, clothing, jewelry, t-shirts, scrimshaw, books, art, glass, flowers, and garden supplies just to name a few. And, of course, fudge! Downtown Mackinac Island is also a place to rent a bike, hop on a carriage tour, hail a horse-drawn taxi, or just walk.
Downtown Mackinac Island is a Northern Michigan gem filled with great places to eat from tiny bistros to fine dining. Grab a cup of coffee or pack a lunch from the grocery store. It’s here and more.
And don’t worry about carrying your purchases around Mackinac Island or back across on the ferry: Mackinac Island shopkeepers will ship your purchases directly to your home.
So start your day on Mackinac Island downtown and then head around the Island on a bike, or take a carriage tour, or catch a taxi to your hotel, or rent a horse for a leisurely ride on beautiful wooded trails.
Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau
7274 Main St., Mackinac Island, MI, 49757
Advertisement – Please scroll below for more information.
Wilderness State Park’s 2,582 acres of natural area and 4,492 acres of wilderness area make this a great place to explore all year ’round.
The North Country Trail is the longest trail in the U.S. and stretches from North Dakota to New York, passing through Northern Michigan.
Get the sleds and the skates out, put on the cold weather clothes, and enjoy sledding and ice skating in Northern Michigan.
Sailing is a special pastime that often brings friends together in Northern Michigan. And no wonder. The sailing here is wonderful.
With miles of scenic trails terrain and local snowmobile clubs, Northern Michigan is the place to bring the snow sleds in the winter.
The Harbor Springs History Museum offers a unique look at the history of the community, starting with the first Catholic missionaries.
The Oden State Fish Hatchery in Alanson produces three strains of brown trout and one strain of rainbow trout.
Northern Michigan is home to several different museums for people of all ages which highlight the area’s businesses, history, and culture!
Just a short drive from Harbor Springs or Petoskey are more than a dozen Northern Michigan cross country ski trails in Emmet County.
The history of the fur trade in Northern Michigan is captured at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.