Memorial Day has come and gone. The annual Lilac Festival is underway. Another beautiful summer on Mackinac Island is here.
And the views are as incredible as ever!
Each season brings a unique personality to Mackinac. A forest of colors erupts in the fall, snowmobiles speed through the streets in winter and the island awakens with new blooms in spring. But in summertime…well, there’s nothing quite like it.
See for yourself!
It takes a little bit of hiking to reach this spot on Mackinac’s Tranquil Bluff trail, but as you can see the reward is worth the effort. The trail that runs along the island’s bluffs high above Lake Huron is one of many paths that crisscross Mackinac. The island has more than 70 miles of trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding.
Many trails run through the interior of Mackinac. The most popular route follows the outer rim of the island. Many Mackinac visitors ride bikes 8.2 miles all the way around the island on M-185, which is the only state highway in the country that prohibits motor vehicles. It takes about an hour or so at a leisurely pace – a bit longer if you take a few moments to pull off the road and soak in views like this.
There’s great recreation in the water around the island, too! You can rent a kayak or paddleboard, go sailing or charter a boat for some Great Lakes fishing and see the island’s sights from down below. You can even take a cruise ship to Mackinac! (Fun fact: 29 cruise ships are making stops on the island in 2019.)
There are three golf courses on Mackinac Island: The Jewel is a plush resort course at Grand Hotel; Wawashkamo is the oldest continually-operating course in Michigan, dating to the 1800s; the Greens of Mackinac is an 18-hole natural grass putting course with stunning views right on the water at Mission Point Resort.
Lilacs aren’t the only flowers on Mackinac. You can see many beautiful native flowers and plants on the island, including the new Mackinac Island Botanical Trail that opened this year in Mackinac Island State Park. Even the wings of a hummingbird seem to be still in the relaxing beauty of Mackinac.
The architecture on Mackinac is a distinctive and photogenic part of the island’s history and charm. Still today, with automobiles banned and horses walking the streets, the island has an 1800s look and feel to it – even as the places to stay offer modern amenities that travelers want.
Speaking of history, the British supposedly built Fort Mackinac because the island offered a well-protected bluff above the Straits of Mackinac. Really, the soldiers probably just liked the view from up there. And they didn’t even have the Mackinac Bridge to marvel at in the distance.
Here’s another look from Fort Mackinac, overlooking Marquette Park. Readers’ Digest named this area the Best Picnic Spot in Michigan!
British Landing is located about halfway around the island from downtown. It’s where British troops landed more than 200 years ago when they wrested control of Fort Mackinac from the Americans during the War of 1812. Today, the beach at British Landing is a popular site for weddings, and many visitors who ride bikes around the island will stop here to take pictures by the water and grab a bite to eat at the Cannonball Drive Inn.
There are no chain hotels on Mackinac, so each and every place to stay is unique. Ditto for bars and restaurants. They’re all one-of-a-kind experiences! Of course, many of them – like the Tea Room at Fort Mackinac here – do share the same lake breeze and gorgeous views.
Then again, no lake view is quite the same…
…just like every Mackinac sunset is special.
Which sights will you see on Mackinac this summer?