Mackinaw City is a resort city in Mackinac County located at the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Situated along the shores of the Straits of Mackinac, the city is blessed with scenic views of Lake Huron. Mackinaw City welcomes over 1.2 million visitors annually, who goes there to enjoy its several attractions: retail shops, great restaurants, historic sites, natural parks, and other scenic spots. From exploring the city’s history to sailing the waters of the Great Lakes, Mackinaw City offers five exciting things that will make you come back or stay longer:
Mackinaw City, together with the Thumb, has an important place in Michigan’s history since it used to be the home of several early Native American tribes and the place of early European settlement three centuries ago. To step back in time and experience the city’s rich history, you can visit some of the sites run by Mackinac State Historic Parks. The Colonial Michilimackinac features reenactments of life during the fur trade frontier in the late 18th century. The Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, meanwhile, houses the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum and a restored keeper’s quarters. The Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park offers sawmill demonstrations and other outdoor adventures. If you want to stay overnight in a historic icebreaker ship, you can check out the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum.
Mackinaw City’s (and Mackinac Island’s) gastronomic culture is steeped in history and tradition. Whether you are looking for a swanky dinner or an unpretentious family feast, the city has something for everyone. The rustic atmosphere of Dixie Saloon is perfect for a casual lunch of burgers and steaks, while the cozy interiors of Scalawags Whitefish & Chips is just right for an afternoon snack of fish and chips and other seafood delights. Pasty, one of Mackinac Island’s trademark food, can be enjoyed at Hunt’s Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. or at Darrow’s Family Restaurant. And of course, don’t forget the island’s famed fudge, which you can sample at Murdick’s, Ryba’s , or Joann’s.
Straddled between Lakes Huron and Michigan, Mackinaw City is the best place to sail the waters of the Great Lakes or get a fresh catch of the lakes’ bounty. Wilderness State Park, located eight miles west of the city, is a great place to spend the day fishing and trekking its many acres of shoreline. Bass, pike, walleye, and panfish, meanwhile, are abundant in Lake Paradise, just five miles south of Mackinaw City. the inland lake is a great place to bring your children. If you’re brave enough, head to Bois Blanc Island and battle Lake Huron’s turbulent waves. You might even catch a handful of salmon or whitefish as a reward.
Dubbed as Northern Michigan’s golf playground, Mackinaw City has some of the finest golf facilities in the region. What’s more, you can use the facilities at an affordable price while having an opportunity to hit a tee shot in the beautiful countryside. Cheboygan Golf & Country Club has been offering quality playing conditions for golfers in the region and is open to the public since 1922. The Mackinaw Club, on the other hand, is located south of the city, near Carp Lake, that offers another superior golfing experience. The 6,807 yard-long club has been consistently well-rated and regarded by Golf Week as one of the best courses to play.
Great Lakes means great parks and great hiking adventures! Mackinaw City’s state parks offer some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan and the Midwest. Whether for fitness or fun, hiking is one of the outdoor activities that a lot of adventurous tourists look forward to. Some of the best places for hiking can be seen south of Mackinac Bridge like the Indian Pathways Park. For those with a thirst for the extreme, you can fly through the treetops along the zipline at the Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park.