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Mackinac Island Vacation: Photos of Things to See and Do

Updated on December 23, 2016
Horses & carriages seen on Mackinac Island
Horses & carriages seen on Mackinac Island | Source

Our good friends Lisa and Doug Hammel who vacationed on Mackinac Island this year came back with loads of photos and wonderful memories. They knew ahead of time that this was one location in which I was interested because of hearing so much about it from my grandparents who had been to the island as well as others who also had fond memories of visiting there. Upon their return, we have spent some time talking about their experiences, and they were willing to share the wonderful pictures that they had taken while on their recent vacation.

Thus this series of articles has come about because of their talking about things to see and things to do while on that most scenic of islands situated in Lake Huron just off of the coastline of Michigan.

I wrote an article already on historic Fort Mackinac and the place it has in history and the Grand Hotel, the movies made there while on location and the ambiance of that majestic place with the world's longest porch.

This article shows numerous photos of what the scenery looks like and has tidbits of other information regarding how people spend time on that unique island which allows no motorized vehicles.

Enjoy the photos and videos!

Horses and Carriages

Horses and carriages on Mackinac Island
Horses and carriages on Mackinac Island | Source

These are the common modes of transporting people around the late 19th century atmosphere of Mackinac Island because of the ban on motorized vehicles. Bicycling and walking are the other most common ways of getting around.

Pedestrians and the horses and carriages have the right of way so those who bicycle have to stay alert and obey these rules.

Photos of Mackinac Island Transportation

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Common mode of transportation on Mackinac IslandYes...even a hearse (funeral coach)
Common mode of transportation on Mackinac Island
Common mode of transportation on Mackinac Island | Source
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Yes...even a hearse (funeral coach)
Yes...even a hearse (funeral coach) | Source
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Ferries

Most people arrive on Mackinac Island by way of the ferries that run back and forth from the mainland. That is how our friends and other people we know were transported to and from the island.

There is a small airstrip on the island for those with private airplanes but no place to refuel. So they must have enough fuel to not only land but also take off again.

Arch Rock

This is one of the natural features on Mackinac Island that draws numerous visitors just because of its sheer beauty. Formed of limestone, Arch Rock frames views of the multi-hued Lake Huron and its rocky shoreline below.

The rock is fifty feet wide and is 146 feet above the water. Visitors can get close to this natural arch due to steps and railed pathways that have been constructed. Terrific vistas can be seen from that perspective.

Photos of Arch Rock

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Scenery of Mackinac Island as viewed from Arch Rock Photo of our friends Doug and Lisa at the rock Looking up at Arch Rock Rocky shoreline below Arch Rock
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Scenery of Mackinac Island as viewed from Arch Rock
Scenery of Mackinac Island as viewed from Arch Rock | Source
Photo of our friends Doug and Lisa at the rock
Photo of our friends Doug and Lisa at the rock | Source
Looking up at Arch Rock
Looking up at Arch Rock | Source
Rocky shoreline below Arch Rock
Rocky shoreline below Arch Rock | Source

View from Atop the Rock

Sugar Loaf Rock

This is another interesting natural rock feature on Mackinac Island. Sugar Loaf Rock stands 75 feet tall and is one of the largest limestone stacks in this part of the country.

It, along with the Arch Rock, are remnants of the Ice Age when glaciers covered this area and then receded when earth temperatures warmed.

Indian lore is connected with both of these places.

Sugar Loaf Rock
Sugar Loaf Rock | Source

Lighthouses

Round Island Lighthouse: A Virtual Tour

The iconic Round Island Lighthouse operated from 1895 to 1948 when it was replaced by a more modern lighthouse by the U.S. Coast Guard. People traveling to and from Mackinac Island all pass near the uninhabited round island where this old and historic lighthouse is currently undergoing preservation.

The Round Island Lighthouse is a landmark feature often photographed in the Straits of Mackinac. It was another site featured in the movie Somewhere in Time along with the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Round Island is primarily a forest preserve and consists of 378 acres (153 ha) of land.

Our friends ended up getting several photos of the lighthouse along with others of its more modern replacement called the Round Island Passage Lighthouse (also known as the Mackinac Island Lighthouse) which is only 600 meters apart from the older one.

It sits out further in the channel helping to protect the shipping lanes in the Straits of Mackinac which is the body of water connecting Lake Michigan with Lake Huron. The Round Island Passage Lighthouse has operated since 1948 and became automated in 1973.

Views of Original and Newer Round Island Lighthouse

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Round Island LighthouseFoggy viewView of both Round Island Lighthouse & Round Island Channel Lighthouse (just above treeline).Channel lighthouseView of both
Round Island Lighthouse
Round Island Lighthouse | Source
Foggy view
Foggy view | Source
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View of both Round Island Lighthouse & Round Island Channel Lighthouse (just above treeline).
View of both Round Island Lighthouse & Round Island Channel Lighthouse (just above treeline). | Source
Channel lighthouse
Channel lighthouse | Source
View of both
View of both | Source

Butterflies

Obviously in addition to all of the natural and historic features on Mackinac Island, these colorful butterflies featured below caught our friend's attention and are now frozen in time due to their photographic efforts.

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Downtown Historic Mackinac

Churches

Our friends captured three of the four churches in photos that are located on Mackinac Island.

The oldest church building in all of Michigan and one that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places was built in 1829 and is called the Historic Mission Church. It is pictured below.

It was a Congregational church and while it is now a part of the state park service and no longer operates as a church, with special arrangements marriages can be performed on site.

The other churches are the following:

  • Little Stone Church
  • St. Anne's Catholic Church
  • Trinity Episcopal Church

Mission Church

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Churches

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Little Stone Church Stained glass window inside the Little Stone Church St. Anne's Catholic ChurchSt. Anne CemeteryTrinity Episcopal Church
Little Stone Church
Little Stone Church | Source
Stained glass window inside the Little Stone Church
Stained glass window inside the Little Stone Church | Source
St. Anne's Catholic Church
St. Anne's Catholic Church | Source
St. Anne Cemetery
St. Anne Cemetery | Source
Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Episcopal Church | Source

Victorian Cottages

The styles of these wonderful houses (deemed cottages) by the wealthy people who originally had them built on Mackinac Island in the last century are primarily Victorian in nature.

Our friend Doug is an architect and he loves seeing the different patterns and materials utilized in construction. Lisa has worked in interior design and also appreciates form, function and artistry.

One thing that many of these residences have in common are the proud flying of the American flag.

Wondrous gardens also surround the majority of these Victorian cottages which add textures, colors and beauty to each place as can be viewed in the photos featured below.

Homes and Gardens of Mackinac Island

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Pure Michigan Mackinac Island Radio

Golfing

The Grand Hotel has two separate nine-hole golf courses which guests as well as non guests can play.

The Wawashkamo golf club has nine holes but 18 tees which can change the game dynamics depending upon which tee one uses.

There is also a "putt-putt" golf course that is fun for families with a full eighteen holes.

Golf clubs are available for rental so there is no need to bring them along on a trip to Mackinac Island. Just practice your swing and enjoy the views...and hopefully your score (if that even matters).

Golf

Doug visiting one site of golf
Doug visiting one site of golf | Source
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Fudge

Our friend Lisa loves her sweets and before she even left on this particular vacation to Mackinac Island she was delighted to know that the making of fudge is a specialty on the island. According to reports after she returned...she was not disappointed!

Apparently there are six different vendors selling their homemade versions of this sweet treat on the island.

Making Fudge

Dusk and Sunset

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Approaching sunset view from Mackinac Island
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Approaching sunset view from Mackinac Island
Approaching sunset view from Mackinac Island | Source
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"Pure Michigan:" Mackinac Island

It goes without saying that Mackinac Island has an abundance of water views. The shoreline is rocky and can be accessed from many different points while bicycling or walking around the island. Of course the aquatic scenery from being driven around by horse and carriage is also wonderful.

The range and saturation of colors in the water depends upon lighting and the time of day but suffice it to say...it is beautiful. Here are a few photos below that show some of the color hues and scenery.

Water Views

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Rocky shoreline on Mackinac IslandRocky shoreline on Mackinac IslandDoug with the gorgeous aqua, green and blue tinged water as a backdrop.Doug View of the bridge from the islandHarbor with ferries and yachtsPretty rainbow at Mackinac Island
Rocky shoreline on Mackinac Island
Rocky shoreline on Mackinac Island | Source
Rocky shoreline on Mackinac Island
Rocky shoreline on Mackinac Island | Source
Doug with the gorgeous aqua, green and blue tinged water as a backdrop.
Doug with the gorgeous aqua, green and blue tinged water as a backdrop. | Source
Doug
Doug | Source
View of the bridge from the island
View of the bridge from the island | Source
Harbor with ferries and yachts
Harbor with ferries and yachts | Source
Pretty rainbow at Mackinac Island
Pretty rainbow at Mackinac Island | Source

Time to Visit!

Whether coming for just a day or spending more time, a Mackinac Island vacation offers something for everyone. I'll end this article with a few additional photos.

Hopefully this will have given you, the reader, ideas of what there is to do and see while there.

Thanks Doug and Lisa for sharing all of these wonderful photos!

American flag blowing in the breeze on Mackinac Island
American flag blowing in the breeze on Mackinac Island | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Looking down upon a portion of the Grand Hotel.Grand Hotel as viewed from the water.Mackinac Island sceneryLisa and DougMackinac Island sceneryLisa, Doug and their host from the Market Street InnMarket Street Inn on Mackinac IslandMackinac Island Public LibraryMackinac Island sceneryMackinac Island sceneryLisa and Doug (and others) exploring Mackinac Island.
Looking down upon a portion of the Grand Hotel.
Looking down upon a portion of the Grand Hotel. | Source
Grand Hotel as viewed from the water.
Grand Hotel as viewed from the water. | Source
Mackinac Island scenery
Mackinac Island scenery | Source
Lisa and Doug
Lisa and Doug | Source
Mackinac Island scenery
Mackinac Island scenery | Source
Lisa, Doug and their host from the Market Street Inn
Lisa, Doug and their host from the Market Street Inn | Source
Market Street Inn on Mackinac Island
Market Street Inn on Mackinac Island | Source
Mackinac Island Public Library
Mackinac Island Public Library | Source
Mackinac Island scenery
Mackinac Island scenery | Source
Mackinac Island scenery
Mackinac Island scenery | Source
Lisa and Doug (and others) exploring Mackinac Island.
Lisa and Doug (and others) exploring Mackinac Island. | Source
A markerMackinac Island -
Mackinac Island, MI 49757, USA
get directions

Ahh...pure serenity!
Ahh...pure serenity! | Source

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello cam8510,

      Am sure those lights on the Mackinac Island Bridge are spectacular at night with the reflections in the water. Nice that you have gotten to visit the island on so many occasions. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi thumbi7,

      It certainly is a dreamland of sorts. Visiting Mackinac Island in some respects is like taking a step back in time. Glad you liked our friends photos which they graciously shared with me and allowed me to use.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi poetryman6969,

      I am not that fond of fudge so could easily skip that but I agree with you that the Arch Rock is a beauty on Mackinac Island and a not to be missed site of interest. Hope we both get there someday! :)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      You've written a very fine hub about Mackinac Island.

      My home is in Traverse City, Michigan, about a hundred miles south of Mackinac Island. I've been there many times, and it is a wonderful, magical place. I recommend finding a good bed and breakfast out of season as a fun way to get to know the island. And don't miss the lights of Mackinac Bridge at night.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello claptona,

      You probably have very special memories particularly because you worked there some 40 years ago. You would have spent more time there than many of the visitors to Mackinac Island. I know that our friends enjoyed that homemade fudge as well as all of the other sites.

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