Mackinac Island is located about 7 miles east of the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the upper and lower peninsula. Mackinac Island is actually only about 8 miles around. The total area is 3.8 miles, which may not seem like much - but it is when you’re on a hike or bike ride around the island. Did you know that since 1898, motorized vehicles have been banned from Mackinac Island? So if you’re planning on taking a leisurely bus tour around the island, think again. Introduction to Mackinac Island
Tourism <ul><li>The first thing you see as you step onto the busy Main Street is the broad sweep of the many stores and shops. There are stores selling everything from t-shirts and plastic rifles to ice-cream and candy. But the best treat on Mackinac Island is the authentic Mackinac island fudge. There are shops selling all different kinds- strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, butter pecan, you name it. </li></ul>
Main Street - Shops and Stores There are many different boat companies that you can hire to take you to Mackinac Island, like the boat to the left. You can also take horse-drawn carriage rides around the island. Fudge shops are everywhere, so if you would like a fresh treat, just stop by the nearest store and order up. Main street, Mackinac Island is almost always a busy, bustling place full of shoppers and tourists alike. So get out your money and head on down to Main Street.
Butterfly House <ul><li>The Mackinac Island butterfly House is home to hundreds of live native and exotic butterflies from around the world. Many visitors come every day to see the fantastic garden created just for the butterflies. There is an ancient Indian lore that says, “ To make a wish come true, whisper it to a butterfly. Upon these wings it will be carried to heaven and granted. For they are the messengers of the Great Spirit.” Oh, and this Butterfly House is the ORIGINAL Mackinac Island butterfly house. So bring your family and stop in to see some neat things that are otherwise hard to find. </li></ul>
Tours <ul><li>The Mackinac Island butterfly House is home to hundreds of live native and exotic butterflies from around the world. Many visitors come every day to see the fantastic garden created just for the butterflies. There is an ancient Indian lore that says, “ To make a wish come true, whisper it to a butterfly. Upon these wings it will be carried to heaven and granted. For they are the messengers of the Great Spirit.” Oh, and this Butterfly House is the ORIGINAL Mackinac Island butterfly house. So bring your family and stop in to see some neat things that are otherwise hard to find. </li></ul>
Arch Rock <ul><li>Some of the tours will take you to scenic Arch Rock, a natural limestone formation with a 50 foot span. It towers 149 feet above the water of the Straits of Mackinac. In one Indian legend, Arch Rock was supposedly the gateway to the great and good spirit, Chief of all Indians - Gitchie Manitow. Arch rock is a very big tourist attraction. Tourists and locals alike often stop by to snap some pictures of the amazing Arch Rock. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The biggest and best of all hotels on the island is most definitely the Grand hotel. The Grand Hotel was opened in 1887, and since then has had people flocking there for fun and entertainment. Did you know that the Grand Hotel’s Front Porch is the longest in the world, measuring 660 feet in length? The hotel also has 385 rooms – and here’s another thing – no two are decorated alike. There are also several Named rooms, for Presidents and people like that. </li></ul>The Grand Hotel
The History of Mackinac Island Mackinac Island was discovered in 1634 by a French explorer. He established missions for the Native Americans there and spent the winter there with them. Forts were built on Mackinac island to protect the people there from Indian attacks and from invading soldiers. There were several countries that occupied mackinac Island over the years, but in the end it was returned to the Americans. The history of Mackinac island is pretty interesting.
Discovery of Mackinac Isalnd <ul><li>Mackinac island was discovered in 1634 by a French explorer named Jean Nicolet. He also sailed through the Straits of Mackinac that same year. There was a tablet made in 1915 that commemorates his passage and describes him as “the first white man to enter Michigan and the old Northwest. Nicolet also spent some time with Native Americans in other areas. Nicolet died on November 1 st , 1642. </li></ul>
In 1715, Fort St. Philippe de Michilimackinac was built by French soldiers. The fort became the great fur trade center of the Northwest, until it was relocated to nearby Mackinac Island in 1781. above is a map of the fort in 1765. It was made by Lt. Perkins Magra. The North is to the Bottom of the map. The Fort
Fudge Festival The Mackinac Island Fudge Festival is a great excuse to try all the different types of fudge the island offers. This year, the 4 th annual Fudge Festival is from August 22-23, 2008. About 10,000 pounds of the common ‘slab fudge’ are made daily each season. Did you know that there are 17 fudge shops on the island? It’s true, so come on up and try some!
This might sound weird, but since the year 1898, motorized vehicles have been banned from the island. Many people walk around the island. Some jog or run around the shoreline. Many others take horse – drawn carriage rides. So no long rumbling bus rides ! No Motors!
The annual Lilac Festival is being held June 15-18 this year. People come from all around to see the sights and smell the sounds. There are ten days of fun. Bands come and play throughout the festival also. Also, representatives form the ILS (international lilac Society) will be there also. lilac festival
It turns out that even with all of the many people that visit Mackinac island every year, there are only about 500 permanent residents. The home owners work hard to keep their Victorian age homes in perfect condition. There are some homes that you can take a tour of, if you were wondering what the inside looked like. The people are friendly, the weather is nice and there is tons of stuff to do. Mackinac Island really is one of the nation’s best places to stay. The End