Spot lighthouses, visit an amazing island and experience the wild, wild north in this gateway to the Great Lakes
Located at the northern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, at the water's edge of the Straits of Mackinac, you'll find a Great Lakes seaport that will keep you busy for your entire vacation. There is plenty do for the entire family, or if you'd prefer, you can just sit back and watch the water dance in the sunlight. Take a lighthouse tour by boat, watch as ships traverse the Soo Locks or attend a lumberjack competition. You can find it all at Mackinaw City, Michigan.
Since Native Americans occupied the Mackinac Straits, the area has been important for trade and transportation. Around 1715, the French built Fort Michilimackinac on what is now Mackinac Island. Later, the British occupied it. Today, you can visit the fort as well as another reconstructed fort and fur outpost in Mackinaw City called Colonial Michilimackinac. At the forts, you'll see cannon-firing demonstrations, watch red coats fire muskets and see reenactors in period costumed living out the roles of colonial villagers.
Make sure you pack your lighthouse passport and get it stamped at the many lighthouses in and around Mackinaw City. Your first stop will be the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. Known as the Castle of the Straits, this light was built in 1899 to help ships navigate the treacherous waters around Mackinaw City. Today, you can go up in the tower and see what the lighthouse keeper saw, view the original Fresnel lens and check out the original buildings of this historic landmark.
If you still want to see more lighthouses, you're in luck. Of course there are a number of lights dotting the coast that you can drive to, but there are even more to take pictures of out in the waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
Where the Great Lakes Meet
Just across the strait from Mackinaw City is Sault St. Marie. Here, you'll find the Soo Locks. This series of locks carries ships across the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron and is the busiest lock system in the world. Watch the sun set on Lake Superior as you take a trip through the locks on a dinner cruise.
For More Information:
Michigan Economic Development Corporation