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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
Travel along the Tunnel of Trees in Northern Michigan and you will pass through Good Hart and see historic Saint Ignatius Catholic Church.
The Harbor Springs History Museum offers a unique look at the history of the community, starting with the first Catholic missionaries.
The elegantly restored Cheboygan Opera House is an acoustically superb, Victorian theatre that presents entertainment of many genres.
Crooked Tree Arts Center is a place where artists from northern Michigan can display their talents and artwork to the public.
A visit to Northern Michigan is not complete without a walk along the Lake Michigan in search of Petoskey stones.
The many ski resorts in Northern Michigan have winter activities for the entire family including sledding, sleigh rides, tubing, and more.
The Andrew J. Blackbird Museum is named for a counselor who helped Native American veterans. Native American artifacts fill the museum space.
Little Traverse Conservancy protects land and scenic areas and provides opportunities for all of us to appreciate the environment.
Shop Northern Michigan antiques shops, art galleries, and furniture stores for home furnishings that are unique and affordable.
Get the sleds and the skates out, put on the cold weather clothes, and enjoy sledding and ice skating in Northern Michigan.
With miles of scenic trails terrain and local snowmobile clubs, Northern Michigan is the place to bring the snow sleds in the winter.
Harris Gardens at North Central Michigan College is a spectacular sculpture garden filled with 26 pieces of vibrant art.
The Harsha House and the Charlevoix Depot Museum, run by the Charlevoix Historical Society, preserve much of Charlevoix’s rich history.
The Oden State Fish Hatchery in Alanson produces three strains of brown trout and one strain of rainbow trout.
Mackinaw City’s Heritage Village lets visitors explore life in the Straits of Mackinac as it was during the era of 1880-1917.