10 Reasons to Love Mackinac Straits

1. Lilac Festival: Celebrate summer on Mackinac Island with a whole week of festivities dedicated to this heavenly scented flower. June. mackinacislandlilacfestival.com.

2. Soo Locks: Take a boat tour of the largest traffic waterway system in the world, Sault Ste. Marie. 800-432-6301, soolocks.com.

3. Nun Doll Museum: More than 500 dolls are dressed in traditional habits representing orders of Catholic nuns. It’s the largest collection of this kind in the world. Located next to Indian River’s Cross in the Woods shrine – the second largest crucifix in the world. 231-238-8973, crossinthewoods.com.

4. Les Cheneaux Antique Wooden Boat Show: Set in the one-time fishing village of Cedarville in the Les Cheneaux islands the second Saturday in August, the show also includes a Festival of the Arts. 906-484-2821, lescheneaux.org.

5. Mackinac Island: There’s no shame in being a fudgie. Take a carriage tour, circle the island by bike and go ahead – buy a pound (or two) of Mackinac’s sweet stuff. 800-454-5227, mackinacisland.org.

6. Museum of Ojibwa Culture: Soak up St. Ignace’s rich Native American history with a tour through a life-sized Huron loghouse and a reconstructed wigwam, checking out arrowheads, pottery and other artifacts along the way. 906-643-9161.

7. Mill Creek: This 625-acre state park was the site of the Strait’s first industrial complex. In the 1700’s a sawmill here provided lumber to settlers on Mackinac Island. Sawmill demonstrations, history presentations, hiking trails and more. 231-436-4100, mackinacparks.com.

8. Lighthouse cruise: Ogle the North’s silent sentinels from a new perspective – by water. Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, 800-828-6157, sheplersferry.com.

9. U of M biological station: Sign up for a summertime mini-course on bird watching or nature art at this nearly 100-year-old bio station on Douglas Lake. 231-539-8408, lsa.umich.edu/umbs.

10. Somewhere in Time weekend: Tighten your corset, head to Grand Hotel, and get ready to relive the romance of this 1980 film set on Mackinac Island October 26-27. 800-33GRAND or grandhotel.com for dates.

Emily Bingham is assistant editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
This article was first published in June 2007, and was updated for the web February 2008.

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