Mackinac Island
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Sooner or later time takes toll on everything and very few things remain unchanged with time. There are of course rare places, people and things that remain virtually unchanged, unaffected by the passing years. They provide a link between the past and the fast changing present. Mackinac Island is one such place that has not changed over the years. Thanks to the efforts by the local islanders as well as the Federal and Michigan state Government, the island retains its Old World charm or better to say the Victorian charm.

Honored by the National Geographic as one of the ten finest tourist destinations in America, Mackinac Island attracts thousands of tourists everyday. Mackinac Island is a small island of about 4.4 square miles in area and is situated in Michigan, USA. The island is located in Lake Huron and is separated by Straits of Mackinac from the mainland of Michigan.

The natural beauty of the island, historical sites and unique character of the place appeals to many travelers. Pronounced as Mack-in-awe, this island has the unique tradition of not allowing the use of automobiles for transportation. Instead, horse driven carriages are used preserving the Victorian tradition. The clip clopping of the horse hooves, long stretches of natural trails, attractions like Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, Devilís Kitchen and Skull cave as well as carnivals like the Lilac festival give the island its identity as a idyllic location buzzing with activity.

Mackinac Island has a landscape that comprises of coastline, boreal forests, caves, fields, meadows, marshes, swamps, springs and bogs. There are lime stone formations, big and small, all over the island. Some of the limestone formations are as old as 15,000 years and some are legendary like the Arch Rock and the Devilís Kitchen.

mackinac island

Reaching Mackinac Island is easy. Car, boat or plane, the choice is yours. Those who are traveling by car, ferry services have to be availed from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace to Mackinac Island, as there is no land connection to this island. There are plenty of parking spaces on the island though cars are not allowed inside the island. A complete marina in the island caters to those who bring their boats. Regular ferry services from Mackinaw City and St. Ignace is scheduled every half hour. In addition, from the island to Mackinaw City and St. Ignace you can catch a ferry every one hour. Arnold Transit Company, Sheplerís and Starline Ferry are the companies that offer ferry service to the island.

If you are traveling by air, you may consider flying with Northwest Airlines, United, Midway or Great Lakes Air, depending on the city from where you are starting. While Northwest Airlines, Midway and United leave you at Pellstone, a $85 flight away from Mackinac, Great Lakes Air flies you to the island from Pellstone, St Ignace and Traverse city. St. Ignace to Mackinac costs $30 each way. Mackinac Island has its own 3500-foot light runway capable of handling lighter charter and private aircraft. Upon arriving at the airport you will be driven to your place of accommodation by horse driven taxi.

The best part of traveling to this island is that you can bring along your horse and buggy to roam and explore. You can take along your pet dog too to give you company.

There are attractions and activities galore in the island so that you will regret your vacation ending so soon, no matter how long your stay is. Simply traveling around the island in a horse driven carriage has its own charm. Unpolluted and away from the hustle bustle of typical city life, the thrill experienced in the lap of nature is unbound. Horse riding and biking are the other options to explore the landscape of the island. Alternatively, simply walk along the trails to capture images that would stay with you throughout your life. If you love water sports, there a number of options there, as well. Breeze sail boating, para sailing, scuba diving, jet skiing and wave riding the choice is almost endless if you are interested in water sports.

There are events lined up for the delight of the travelers. The most famous among them is the annual Lilac festival thatís complete with gourmet food, concerts, wine tasting, beauty contests, book sales, comedy shows, marathon runs, dances and finally a grand parade of horses and horse driven carriages. This happens in the month of June when the fragrance of fully bloomed lilacs waft in the air.

While exploring the Mackinac Island State Park, there are places to be seen like the downtown, Fort Mackinac, Biddle House, Old Lighthouse and the Stuart house museum.

The reenactment of the 19th century warfare at the Fort Mackinac, people living in Victorian style cottages and the horses take you back in time.

Biking, golfing, hiking, trekking (stay safe and follow safety rules), or enjoying water sports Ė the choices of enjoyment are many in Mackinac Island, where time seems to fly. The friendly people of the island and affordable yet comfortable accommodations makes a trip to the island a joy that you are going to relish for a long time.

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