A Morning in Mackinaw City
The view of the Mackinaw Bridge and the constantly rushing ferries in the Straits of Mackinac never gets too old to be fascinating. Start your day by watching the sunrise above the Lake Huron from one of the beaches in Mackinaw. Most of the campgrounds and RV parks here provide access to these beaches. You can grab a delicious breakfast at Dixie's Saloon here which lies along the North Huron Avenue. Dixie's Saloon serves delicious roadside grub food with its rustic setting adding to the classic vibe of the city. The Mackinac City Arena lies at a distance of just a few meters from Dixie's, and you can stop here for a mesmerizing view of Lake Huron which seems to be touching the Horizon from here.
The Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse is another classic building in Mackinaw. Take the stairs to the top of the lighthouse and you can enjoy the panoramic view of Lake Huron. The bright blue waterfront of Mackinaw looks even more exotic when seen from here. This point marks the meeting point of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In the very same neighborhood lies the Colonial Michilimackinac Park. The lush green forest cover here is a fascinating sight. There is an enactment of this place's history every evening here which is attended by a crowd of people on a daily basis. The archaeological tours cum walks organized here for the tourists are a must attend. The fun part about these plays is the description of the archaeological digs for artifacts that were conducted here. If you particularly enjoy indulging into historical details, this is an event you should not miss out!
Shepler's Ferry lies along the same line and just a few meters Dixie's eatery. They have ferries leaving for Mackinac Island every few minutes and campers can carry their bikes across the strait by just paying a minimal fee of $10. The place is in close proximity to most of the major campgrounds in Mackinaw with some of them even providing a complimentary dropping service to their guests.
Historical places on Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island is a place that demands you to see every corner of it. There is something special and unique at every turn, making it best explored by bike. You can rent a bike anywhere in the isle for just a few bucks. In fact, there are bikes for rent as soon as you get off of the dock. Ride around all day basking in the glorious beauty of this island and then hand the bike over before you board a ferry back to Mackinaw. You can go for a ride on a horse-driven carriage, though they don't give you the kind of elation and freedom that bike rides do. Across the road from the ferry dock is the horse-carriage office that will let you tour for two hours around the island on a carriage.
Fort Mackinac is the unanimous first choice of destination when visiting the Mackinac Island. This British army outpost is one of the many historical sites you will come across on this island. The sudden nostalgia and deja vu that you experience in this fort is a typical reaction of many tourists and you ought to not get disturbed by it. Just like the Mackinac Point Lighthouse, demonstrations are held here too. The only difference is that they take place every half and hour and unlike the joyful costume drama, the events here involve rifle and cannon firing. Therefore, caution is advised to maintain a safe distance.
A great way to unearth the historical secrets of Mackinac Island is by exploring the downtown Mackinac. There are places like the McGulpin House, where you can learn all about the great William McGulpin. The Beaumont Museum here which takes you through the conquests of Sir Alex Martin, an explorer from Canada. The Biddle House is another popular tourist attraction in Mackinaw. At the Biddle House you can experience the life of the common folks in historical times. The Downtown houses some of the best eateries in Mackinac. You can bid goodbye to your eventful day with a sumptuous supper here. Seafood is worth giving a try in the restaurants of Mackinac since the fish are all freshly caught and have a local flavor to them. However, to experience the real joy of camping you must indulge in some open space cooking and not rely on the restaurants for food. The campgrounds offer fire pits for campers to cook their own little meal.
Major Tourist Attractions
As blessed as this place is with natural beauty, there are some exotic creatures found here too. You can witness that for yourself at the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly Houses (yes, there are two of them). The butterfly houses are lush tropical gardens which cover almost 1800 square feet of area and showcase some of the rarest and most beautiful butterflies from around the world. There is an education room within the butterfly house where you can get all the information about these butterflies and the industry that promotes them. The place has soothing music, blooming flowers and the entire set up feels like a paradise. There is also a section for insects here though it isn't as welcoming as the section for the butterflies.
Another heavenly tourist spot on the Mackinac Island is Arch Rock. Lying along the eastern coastline of the island, this rock is like a halo on the sandy beach. Arch Rock is a naturally formed rock formation that has a fifty-foot span at the widest point. It has taken years for the air and water currents to work on the limestone rock, leaving this halo-like an arch of rock. There is a bicycle trail leading to the 146 meter high top of the rock. Going by the human tradition of considering every beautiful thing to be a myth, even the Arch Rock is deemed to have divine powers. However, the only thing divine about it is the beauty of this place. None of the pictures you have seen do justice to the magnificence of the Arch Rock.
When on Mackinac Island, you can indulge in some fishing and get a few lessons at fishing with various charter services that take tourists on fishing trips around the island. It won't be long before you catch a variety of fish that are found here like different types of Trout and Salmon. The clear water in the Straits of Mackinac is a home to various such species. When you leave the fishing boat, you will be a wiser person with a bagful of knowledge about fishing.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a view is worth a thousand pictures. The view from Mission Point Resort here will make you drool over its heavenly beauty. You can stop by at this place to grab a bite to eat since the bike ride ought to drain your energy. The tapas-inspired menu here is surely a treat for your tastebuds. Moreover, there is an 18 hole putting course here where you can enjoy a round of golf.
Another adventure worth investing your time in is a kayak tour along the Mackinac Island coastline. There could be no better way to explore this place than gently gliding on the waves on a kayak or paddleboard as you enjoy the view of the lighthouses, the seagulls, and turtles. The tour sends along a certified guide for safety. These tours are held on the Haldimand Bay as well. You can go for sunrise and sunset tours for a better experience. Have a moment of peace as you sail on the warm waters in the middle of the bay and let your soul feed on the joy that this experience gives you.
Owing to the enormous crowd of campers and adventurers that Mackinaw attracts here, the environment is quite friendly, and you get everything you need quite easily. Though not very advanced when it comes to having cars and highways, there is a charm in the ruggedness and the casual way of life that Mackinaw has to offer. The locals here are extremely relaxed and friendly. While most of the world is rushing towards advanced ways and modern techniques, places like Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island stand out of the race. It pretty much clarifies the fact that heavenly sometimes just means having a lake to take a dip in and a beautiful view to stare at until you doze off.
The city of Mackinaw and the Mackinac Island are like jewels in the crown of Lake Huron. For someone from the city surrounded by towering buildings and small workspaces, the evergreen forests and the calm lakes in this region are an eye soothing sight. The fact that most of the area here is either a park or a waterfront makes it even more amazing. There are plenty of historical buildings as well as geographical beauty to explore here which is the reason why Mackinaw is said to have the purest form of Michigan's culture. What's more, the best way to discover the charm of Mackinaw is by biking, walking, or taking a horse-driven carriage that never lose their romantic allure.