"Mackinac Island: The Great Turtle" Top 5 Page for this destination Mackinac Island by Gypsygirl05

Mackinac Island Travel Guide: 187 reviews and 379 photos

Mackinac: My Paradise

Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places in the entire world. It has something for everyone, despite its small size, and it's just secluded enough from the rest of the world to be totally seductive. Young, old, single, married, history buff or nature enthusiast, Mackinac will captivate you from the moment you step onto the dock.

Frozen in Time

One of the best things about the island is that it maintains so much of its identity. Cars have been banned here almost from the moment cars became mainstream commodities (with a couple exceptions, of course-'Somewhere in Time' and a VW Bug that used to hang out in a Main Street shop), so the main modes of transport are horses, bicycles and good ol' fashioned walking. As a result, life is much slower here. People can take the time to stroll around, drinking in the majestic Victorian houses that have stood for hundreds of years. In essence, Mackinac is a snapshot from the 1800s with a modern spin thrown in.

And then, of course, the lilacs.

Going hand-in-hand with the no-car idea, nature has consequently been allowed to thrive. Gardens and wild forests are abundant, with the Grand Hotel clearly in the lead when it comes to flower arrangement. The main claim to fame though, is the lilacs. Sometime in June, the island explodes into purple, blue, white, yellow and pink blossoms. An entire week is set aside in honor of these age-old lilac trees, some of which are over a hundred years old. Back in the day, it was a custom for the residents of the island to present a newcomer with a sprig of lilac for their front yards. The result is that the entire downtown is covered with fragrance for weeks during the summer, and lilac-flavored everything can be bought on the island. There is also a fantastic Lilac Festival held each year in June.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Secluded, gorgeous, and an overall fantastic place
  • Cons:Quite popular in summer, so there are a lot of tourists
  • In a nutshell:An island frozen in time
  • Last visit to Mackinac Island: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Jan 10, 2011
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