About Mackinaw City

There's history in abundance here, from the restored 17th century fort to the historic lighthouse and the 150 year old working sawmill. But there's also the sky-high Mackinaw Bridge to cross, the rocky beach to explore and the island winery. Don't miss out by booking your Mackinaw City vacation rental with FlipKey.

About Mackinaw City, Michigan

Nestling at the northern headland of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, Mackinaw City is the state's most popular tourist location. And you can see why. There's a sense of history around every corner. Mackinac Island – just across the Straits – is a designated National Historic Landmark and State Park.

By the 17th century, the area was populated by three Algonquian groups – Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi. The Straits on which the city sits was an important fur trading route for both Montreal in Canada and Detroit further south. It's still an important port, but it's tourists heading to Mackinac Island, rather than furs, that the boats set sail for today.

The French occupied the area in 1715, then the British. The American Revolution resulted in independence of the colonies. The city was planned in the mid-19th century, with transport ferries operating during the 1890s.

What to do

Tuck into a picnic at WaWatam Park while watching the ferries come in from Mackinac Island. Afterwards, explore the rocky beach along the lake's shoreline.

Enjoy the views while driving across the Mackinac Bridge. This stretches from Mackinaw City across to the Upper Peninsula. For a different perspective take a ferry ride underneath it.

Sample the 'all-natural' fudge at Murdicks. An 1887 recipe, today there's 23 different flavors to choose from.

Climb the winding steps to the top of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse to encounter some amazing views. Thrillingly, your guide will be dressed in traditional 19th century costume.

Take a trip back in time at the historic Mill Creek Discovery Park to see the restored saw mill and how the loggers worked in the first part of the 19th century. You can try out the zip slide and trek around the 3.5 miles of nature trails.

Top Mackinaw City travel tips

Avoid the Mackinac Bridge if windy. The bridge is five miles long, around 150ft above water level and is a suspension construction so will swing!

The two ferry companies operating between mackinaw City and the Island is Shepler's Ferry and the Star Line. An intercity bus service, operated by Indian Trails, stops in Mackinaw City.

The nearest airports in the Lower Peninsula are Pellston Regional, Traverse City Cherry Capital and Alpena County. In the Upper Peninsula, it's Chippewa County International.

Temperature-wise, Mackinaw City has a 'humid continental climate', so it's hot (often humid) in summer and cold in winter.

Quaint and historic are the words which can be applied to Mackinaw City and the Island. It's a fascinating way to discover America's history, making it excellent for family vacations. Book your family in today by taking a look through some of FlipKey’s vacation rentals in the area.