St. Ignace is the county seat of Mackinac County in Michigan, on the northern side of the Straits of Mackinac. Sitting on the shores of Lake Huron at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge, the city serves as a gateway to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP). Here are some of the reasons why you’ll keep coming back to this charming city dubbed as “The Homeport to the Upper Peninsula,” especially during the summer season:
Music by the Bay
Held in the evenings of summer, Music by the Bay features local bands for free. Past acts include Catholic Girls Gone Bad, Conga Se Menne, South of Disorder, and Indigo Moon. Food and refreshments are also available during the nightly concerts. Come first weekend of August, you can also head to the Mighty Mack after a night of partying for the “MINI on the Mack,” a large parade of MINI Coopers from all over the country.
Historic downtown St. Ignace is thronged with shoppers during Thursdays of summer for the St. Ignace Community Farmers Market. Vendors offer a variety of products, including seasonal produce, baked goods, jams and marmalades, maple syrup, handicraft items, jewelry, and so much more. Market is open from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Parking is available.
Movies by the Bay
Families, friends, and couples gather at American Legion Park every Sunday evening of July through September as the place is transformed into an outdoor movie theater. There’s also a fireworks display the night before. Movies are free, but popcorn and other concessions are available for purchase to support the St. Ignace Moose Lodge.
Having been a navigation route of a number of vessels traversing the Great Lakes, the Straits of Mackinac is dotted with numerous lighthouses located strategically along its shores and island. These monuments were built to serve as beacons for ships during the height of the maritime trade. While many are in operation today, some stand as memorials to the straits’ glorious maritime past. For an up-close look at these buildings, you can either scale one of them or enjoy a lighthouse cruise. Or, better yet, do both!
St. Ignace offers different attractions depending on one’s interests. If you’re into nature and hiking, there’s Castle Rock and Souvenir Barn, Deer Ranch, and GarLyn Zoo. Take a look back on the city’s rich history by visiting Fort de Buade Museum, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, or the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. After a fun and exhausting ferry tour, try your luck at Kewadin Shores Casino & Hotel.