Traffic: While there are no cars, there is plenty of traffic in the summer - bikes, horses, carriages and foot traffic. Caution is needed. If using a bike, wear a helmet and best to stay on Market Street rather than the main street. If walking, stay on the sidewalk. In any case, look before stepping into the street or crossing side streets.
Lilacs: If you can ever get there in June that's when the lilacs are in bloom on the island. Mid to late June is the peak. Many of the trees are hundreds of years old. The smell of all those lilac blooms is wonderful.
Carriage tour: A historic tour of the island, with the option of getting off at the Fort, leaves every ten minutes or so from downtown, approximately 2 hours in length. We haven't taken this tour in a few years, but it is a good orientation to the island. You have the option of getting off at the Fort. There are also private tours that start on the main street in front of the fort. If you have difficulty getting around, a tour is the way to do it. Much of Mackinac is up hill.
Forts: Admission to the Fort alone, or to both of the forts and Mill Creek. Each site should take 1-2 hours to go through. Check out the lower level exhibits in the Powder Magazine and Northwest Row house in the Fort in the city.
Butterfly house: Fairly new to the island, at the east end of town, behind St. Anne's church. Admission is $3.00. They sell items on nature, butterflies, wildflowers, etc. Warm days are better as the butterflies are more active. They may not be open until June or July.
Touring: Island maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to hit all the usual places like Arch Rock, the Fort,etc., but to get away from it, rent a bike or walk, take a picnic (Doud's Mercantile is a grocery store; some bike rental will pack you a picnic lunch) and follow the trails and roads, walk around the shore. Along the north shore towards the west is a nature trail. A good place to stop and picnic is Croughan's Pond along British Landing Road just in from the snack shop at British Landing. Any of the smaller paths are great. Best to walk and ride bikes up to the top of the island and ride down British Landing Road to the other side. British Landing Road is at a slight incline, so if you're not in good shape or haven't been on a bike in a long time, you don't want to start at the west side of the island and ride up to the Fort Holmes area.
Take Annex road and wander around those roads, Park Ave., etc. to see all the cottages. This area is know as Hubbard's Annex or the Annex. Another good view is from Huron Road. Pick this up in back of the Fort and take it east, you can then take some of the back trails to Sugar Loaf, Skull Cave. The shore road on the south side headed west will take along the trees featured in Somewhere in Time.
You can also park your bike near the tennis courts or at the golf area at Grand Hotel, and then walk near the tennis courts and follow the trail into the woods by the courts and it will lead you to the front lawn of Grand Hotel. There's no problem if you do this. If you try to get on to the porch they will charge you $5.00, which will also get you into the first two levels and grounds of the hotel.
To take bikes over on the ferry it costs about $3 to 4, to rent bikes it's about $4 to $5 per hour. Bike rental shops are starting to have helmets available. When biking, be very careful, there have been a number of accidents, some fatal, especially along Grand hill, best for everyone to wear a helmet.
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