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Above: Bikes and horses travel Main Street on Mackinac Island
image credit: familyvacationcritic.com
For a Michigan vacation getaway that's truly unique, this place is for you. It is a lost-in-time little island town located in Lake Huron.
Mackinac (always pronounced MACK-in-aw), is an island town of about four square miles, where motor vehicles have been prohibited since 1898. The only exceptions are snowmobiles during winter, emergency vehicles, and service vehicles. Check out the UPS "truck" pictured above.
The town has a year-round population of only about five hundred people. But during peak season, local residents see as many as fifteen thousand tourists in a single day!
You cannot get there by car, bus or train. Mackinac Island is accessible only by private boat, by ferry, by small aircraft, or by snowmobile during winter months.
Visitors and residents of the area enjoy navigating the town in horse-drawn buggies, or pedaling the streets on bicycles, or roller skating their way around, or just taking nice long walks.
Carriages, saddle horses, bikes, and roller blades can all be rented in town, where everything is within walking distance of everything else.
Mackinac is well known for its wide variety of architectural styles. More than eighty percent of the island is historically preserved as Mackinac State Park.
Much of the island has undergone extensive restoration. In fact, the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and most of the lovingly restored buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The downtown is known for its many retail shops, candy stores, and restaurants. The most popular item sold at the local candy shops is called "Mackinac Fudge."
While you are there, make a point to stop at the Cannonball Drive-In, a hot-dog stand best known for its delicious fried pickles. Also, don't miss the winding front porch of the Grand Hotel, said to be the longest front porch in the world.
For rates, packages, accommodations and more information, visit MackinacIsland.org.
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