The Mackinac Area is the northernmost part of Northern Michigan, just south of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula.

Cities

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Map of Mackinac Area

Other destinations

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  • 1 Beaver Island is a fairly small island with several hotels, restaurants, and opportunities for a vacation.
  • 2 Mackinac Island is between Lakes Michigan and Huron.

Understand

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The region has a bit of a problem with consistency in spelling and pronunciation. The Straits, Bridge, and Island are all spelled "Mackinac" but pronounced "Mackinaw"; with the final "c" left silent. The Village of Mackinaw City and the Coast Guard cutter named after it are pronounced the same way, but are also spelled that way. (The "Mich" is pronounced "Mish", just like in the name of the state; at least that's consistent.)

The regional names are consistent, considering the local Indians (various tribes) had their way of pronouncing and area, and the French and English had their way of spelling what they heard from the Indian pronunciations. Michigan remains very historic in this sense. It has kept the spellings and pronunciations as were originally given by Indian, French and English.

Get in

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Get around

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Don’t worry about vehicles. You’ll be accompanied by horses and bicycles instead! Highway M-185, also known as Lake Shore Boulevard, is the only highway in the nation where vehicles are prohibited, except for emergencies.

On foot

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If you decide to make your way around the coast of Mackinac Island, walking will take approximately 2.5-4 hours without stopping.

By bike

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You can also bring your own bicycle or rent one from one of the many local bicycle shops. It will take you approximately 1 hour to bike without stopping.

  • Mackinac Bridge Walk. This event takes place every year on Labor Day (the first Monday in September). Two of the four lanes on the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge are closed to vehicles, and people are allowed to cross on foot (which is normally not permitted). Participation in this event typically numbers between 50,000 and 65,000. Pedestrians cross from north to south only. There is no fee for the walk itself; a small fee is charged for south-to-north transportation across the bridge on school buses. Not recommended for those uncomfortable with heights.

Sleep

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Drink

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Go next

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This region travel guide to Mackinac Area is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!