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Overview

The rhythmic clip-clop of horses' hooves echoes over the early morning streets. A bicycle deliveryman pedals by, the basket over his handlebars heaped with tiny packages. Soon, the island ferries will begin arriving with their loads of visitors — people looking for a bygone era when time seemed to move a little slower. On Mackinac Island, the pace definitely goes at a slower pace, where the clock is turned back to more than a century ago when the first "horseless carriage" arrived from the mainland in 1898. The contraption so traumatized the local horses that island officials banned the newfangled machines. With the exception of a few ...

The rhythmic clip-clop of horses' hooves echoes over the early morning streets. A bicycle deliveryman pedals by, the basket over his handlebars heaped with tiny packages. Soon, the island ferries will begin arriving with their loads of visitors — people looking for a bygone era when time seemed to move a little slower. On Mackinac Island, the pace definitely goes at a slower pace, where the clock is turned back to more than a century ago when the first "horseless carriage" arrived from the mainland in 1898. The contraption so traumatized the local horses that island officials banned the newfangled machines. With the exception of a few emergency vehicles, the Michigan island is still car free. Here, horses and bikes are the main modes of transportation. Bicycles may be brought over on the ferry or rented on the island. Mackinac Island's state highway, M-185, has the honor of never having had an automobile accident. Three miles long, two miles wide, and nine miles around at the shore, Mackinac Island is home to the world famous 1887 Grand Hotel, where the 1980 movie “Somewhere in Time” with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve was filmed. Historic Fort Mackinac stands guard on a bluff overlooking the harbor.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Mid-June when the lilacs bloom