Mackinac Island Attractions: What To Do and See on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Events: This week, take a cue from the Michigan Governors and head north of the Mackinac Bridge for a little R and R on Mackinac Island. Visit the island that combines history, timeless elegance, and Northern Michigan summertime fun in the middle of Lake Michigan.

Tour the Historical Buildings of Mackinac Island

Since 1943, Michigan governors and their families have been escaping to Mackinac Island for some Northern Michigan relaxation. The Governor's Summer Residence, a more than one hundred year old cottage built in 1902, is the epitome of classic summertime with elegant furnishings and an enviable view of Mackinac Island's harbor. Free tours of the cottage are available every Wednesday beginning June 6th and running until June 20th. For more information, call 906.847.3328, or visit

This weekend Mackinac Island's downtown historical buildings open for the summer season, bringing the Island's 19th century past to life. The Island's active fur trading industry was centered in today's surviving buildings, the Biddle House, American Fur Company Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum and the McGulpin House. Wander through the preserved neighborhood and take in a demonstration of blacksmithing or 19th century crafts, or attend a cooking class at the Biddle House. The buildings are open from June 11-August 20, and more information can be found by clicking here!

Stay at the Inn at Stonecliffe

This historical inn was originally built as a family summer home in 1904 and today the inn's doors are open to the public so everyone can have their own summer retreat! There are many different rooms to choose from in the Tudor-inspired mansion and the ambience will not disappoint! Walk the grounds, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, rent bikes and cruise around the island or just relax on the front porch. This inn embodies vacation. To make reservations or learn more about the Inn at Stonecliffe check out their website.

Enjoy Sunsets at Stonecliffe

Plan your evening around this event conveniently located practically outside your window! These free sunset concerts are going on almost every Tuesday through August at 9PM, check out the website for the schedule of upcoming artists!

Take a Hike and Grab a Bite!

As one of the few places in the country without auto traffic, Mackinac Island is the ideal place to stretch your legs and get to know the terrain on foot. Walk, run, bike or horseback ride the "Shore Line Trail," the eight paved miles of M-185 that stretch around the Mackinac Island's perimeter. Beautiful views of the Mackinac Straights and no admissions fees make the trail a perfect way to spend an afternoon on Mackinac Island.

Energize before a hike at The Chuck Wagon of Mackinac Island. Serving up south of the border comfort food at a Northern Michigan restaurant for almost sixty years, the Chuck Wagon is the place to mix with the locals at the old fashioned lunch counter. For breakfast, try the Mackinac Breakfast Burrito (a mountain of eggs, salsa, sour cream and veggies in a flour tortilla). Later in the day grab the "soon-to-be-famous" Bleu Cheese Burger, but don't bother asking about the Secret Sauce, the staff at the Chuck Wagon isn't talking!

The 63rd Annual Lilac Festival!

What began 63  years ago as an afternoon horse parade has blossomed into a 10-day celebration of Mackinac Island's early summer beauty. From June 8 thru 17, 2012, the Island will be thrown into a Lilac haze with a bevy of activities, some rooted in tradition, others just plain summertime fun. This weekend, take a ferry across the Mackinac Straights and join the biggest party north of the Mackinac Bridge.

Here are a few of the many events going on this weekend!

Run a 10K!
Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 9:30am

What better way to celebrate the Lilac Festival than to run a 10K? This Saturday lace up your running shoes to do something for yourself and to celebrate the 63rd Annual Lilac Festival. See a little bit of everything Mackinac Island has to offer on this paved course that takes you through downtown Mackinac as well as the wooded center part of the island and along the shore road, providing a beautiful view of the Straits of Mackinac. For more information or to register click here!

Hayride + BBQ at the Cannonball = Perfect evening
Friday June 8 and Saturday June 9 2012 at 6pm

Enjoy a relaxing hayride that will take you from downtown to the historical British Landing! Eat some delicious BBQ and sample a world famous deep fried pickle at the Cannonball restaurant, all the while taking in the view of water and the Straits of Mackinac. For more information and reservations call: 906.847.0932

Some of the Lilac Festival events run continuously through the 10 days. While there are many more on their website, here are two options for day and night!

Legends and Lore Trek

Explore Mackinac Island with expert Dr. Mary Patay. The hikes leave from the Murray Hotel twice a day, once in the morning and again later in the afternoon, and cover both the best walking trails and the most celebrated legends of Mackinac Island.

Participation is $10, and reservations can be made at 231.590.5731

Stu Stuart Stand Up Comedy Show

A stand-up comedian from Seattle where he teaches Beginning Stand-Up Comedy at the University of Washington, Stu Stuart spends summers  in Mackinac Island where he gets some of his best material! Enjoy his conversational-style and often improvised comedy at the Lilac Tree Hotel, downtown Mackinac Island.

Tickets are priced at $15, $12.50 for Seniors, Students & Military. For more information visit Stuart's website.

For a complete list of Lilac Festival goings-on, visit Mackinac Island Lilac Festival's online home!

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