• Menu
  • Menu
Der Leuchtturm auf Mackinac Island, Bild: Michael Deemer / shutterstock

Mackinac Island – Recreation in Michigang’s natural island panorama

Covering about 11 square kilometers between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a car-free island that is one of Michigan’s most popular travel destinations. If you are looking for relaxation in the US nature not far from the border with Canada, you can spend a decelerated holiday on Mackinac Island. Highlights such as the Grand Hotel and Fort Mackinac are suitable for sightseeing, while the island’s special nature unfolds in Mackinac State Park. The fascinating island has long been a popular local recreation destination for Michigan’s residents. Travelers can discover a fascinating insider tip in the northern US state.

Mackinac – A Place of American History

View of Mackinac Island, Michigan
View of Mackinac Island, Image: mivod / shutterstock

Mackinac was already inhabited in prehistoric times, and later the native Anishinaabe people lived here until European settlers took over the area in the 17th century. Mackinac did not play a subordinate role in the history of the USA : the local fort played an elementary strategic role both in the War of Independence and during the American Civil War. But Mackinac is not only historically significant, the island plays a special geographical role: Centrally located between the two large peninsulas of Michigan, Mackinac unfolds at the transition between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. From an important fortress position to a modern holiday resort, Mackinac has undergone a multifaceted evolution in its history. Today, the home of only about 500 inhabitants is not only considered a relaxing highlight for locals, but also a tourist insider tip in the heart of Michigan by international visitors.

Coast and National Park – The Nature of Mackinac

About 80 percent of Mackinac’s island landscape is occupied by Mackinac Island State Park , which covers 7.3 square kilometers. Its nature unfolds mainly in the north of the island and extends to the urban area of Mackinac. Originally, the park was founded in 1875 as Mackinac National Park. At that time, it was only the second national park in the USA after the famous Yellowstone National Park. Many of the island’s historic buildings as well as the special natural formations unfold in the park area today. A kind of natural landmark is Arch Rock, which forms a natural arch of limestone at an altitude of 45 meters above sea level. The photo motif, immortalized on historical postcards as early as the end of the 19th century, is just as much a part of the park area as the cave formations of Skull Cave and Devil’s Kitchen. The 23-metre-high Sugar Loaf rock can also be seen from afar. There are some beautiful hiking routes through the island, and cycling tours on the car-free island are also popular. As an alternative to walking and cycling tours, carriages are one of the most popular means of transport on Mackinac, especially among tourists.

See also  Minneapolis - Art, Water, and Green Oases

Grand Hotel and Fort Mackinac – Sights on Michigan’s Holiday Island

In addition to nature, the island has some remarkable buildings. One of the most famous is the island’s Grand Hotel, whose architectural roots date back to the 19th century. The fact that several US presidents as well as Thomas Edison and Mark Twain stayed here underlines the importance of the place. Another special feature of the building: The veranda of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is considered the largest veranda in the world. Fort Mackinac, which was built in the 18th century and now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year as a museum, is also of historical interest. The fort played a key role in the Anglo-American War of Independence of 1812, among other things.

Today, the church of St. Anna or Sainte Anne Church on the shore of Mackinac is also a landmark of the island. The impressive Roman Catholic building was built in 1874 and still shapes the face of the island today. If you want to shop or stroll in the heart of the island on your holiday tour, you can visit the historic centre of the town: The island’s Main and Market Streets are home to some interesting shops and restaurants to stop by. Between nature, sightseeing and culinary relaxation, the island has such a multifaceted opportunity to relax.

Animal inhabitants – Mackinac as an island of butterflies

View of Lake Huron through Arch Rock
View of Lake Huron through Arch Rock, Image: gg5795/shutterstock

However, one special feature of Mackinac has not yet been mentioned: two butterfly houses make the island a refuge for the colorful butterflies. For good reasons, Mackinac can therefore be considered an island of butterflies. There’s the Butterfly House & Insect World in the island’s Mission District. It is considered the oldest butterfly house of its kind in Michigan and the third oldest in the United States. Hundreds of butterflies from four continents move here within hundreds of square meters, making the Butterfly House & Insect World a popular destination on the island. At the same time, Surrey Hill on the island is also home to the Wings of Mackinac, which is home to tropical and native butterflies. The aim of the fascinating butterfly houses is also to educate visitors about the special features and ways of life of butterflies.

See also  San Francisco is always worth a trip

Not far from the port of Mackinac rests the small island of Round Island, where popular ferry tours of the lake pass. Special feature of the island: The old lighthouse Round Island Light, which is a popular photo motif of the region. The nature and historic buildings of Mackinac Island have always attracted the attention of cameras. So it is hardly surprising that various films were made in the tranquil island region with Esther Williams, Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, among others. With its fascinating holiday flair, the island now knows how to captivate not only Michigan residents, but also visitors from all over the world.