Fun Things to Do in Mackinac starting this May

Heather Raulerson
Mackinac BridgeHeather Raulerson

It’s time to start planning your up north vacation in Michigan. If you are looking for fun, nature, and history, you have to explore Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. Most of the important historic sites are starting to open up on May 1st for the summer season and are waiting for you to come and explore them.

Fort Mackinac, Opening Day 5/1 - Mackinac Island

The iconic Fort Mackinac opens for the 2021 season on May 1. The fort is the highlight of any island visit and the oldest building in Michigan. Enjoy new and updated daily tours highlighting important women in Mackinac's history and what happened to the fort after the army left, and visit the Officers' Quarters for a brand new experience in the Kids' Quarters. Plus, you can experience cannon and rifle firing demonstrations, a tour exploring the army of the 1880s, and you can get a detailed look at Mackinac during its time as a national park.

Colonial Michilimackinac, Opening Day 5/5 - Mackinaw City

Colonial Michilimackinac opens for the season on May 5th. Step back in time to 1778, when rumors of war were being whispered around Michilimackinac. This 18th-century fort and fur trading village has actors representing voyageurs, British soldiers, and French-Canadian merchant families stationed throughout the fort. You will be able to see and hear how soldiers, civilians, and Native people responded to threats real and imagined and live as fur traders. While you are here, enjoy stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge, the Straits of Mackinac, and the Upper Peninsula. And if you are interested in learning about and firing all four of the black powder weapons used at Michilimackinac – the Short Land Musket, Wall Gun, Coehorn Mortar, and the cannon, you can purchase for $150. This incredible experience is available for one person every day at fort closing, June 5 – October 7.

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, Opening Day 5/7 - Mackinaw City

The Historic Mill Creek’s opening day is May 7th. You will be able to see the raw power of the creek harnessed to cut timber into lumber and smell the sawdust at one of the oldest industrial sites on the Upper Great Lakes. Sign up for the Adventure Tour, a guided experience that takes you into, above, and through the northern Michigan forest. Scale the five-story Treetop Discovery Tower, brave the Forest Canopy Bridge, and then fly like an eagle down the 425′ Eagle’s Flight Zip Line. You can also go on a guided hike of the forest or take time to explore Mill Creek State Park’s natural beauty and the more than three miles of pristine hiking trails.

Biddle House - Native American Museum, Opening Day 5/1 - Mackinac Island

During the 1830s, Agatha, an Anishnaabek woman, and other indigenous people witnessed their culture subjected to immense changes globally, even in the Upper Peninsula. That decade transformed the Anishnaabek, linking old ways with Michigan’s modern indigenous culture. This new exhibit of Agatha and Edward Biddle’s home, possibly the oldest house on Mackinac Island, was created in conjunction with tribal partners and explores the complete Anishnaabek story and how it still resonates on Mackinac Island and throughout northern Michigan. You will be able to see cooking demonstrations that take place throughout the day and enjoy the art galleries within the house.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Opening Day 5/6 - Mackinaw City
Old Mackinac Point LighthouseHeather Raulerson

Since 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse has helped passing ships navigate through the treacherous waters of the Straits of Mackinac. You will be able to see the Keepers’ Quarters that have been restored to their 1910 appearance, a gallery exhibit featuring hands-on displays and marine artifacts, plus a new exhibit devoted to optics and lenses as well as sound and fog signals. Make sure to visit the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum to hear the stories of the numerous shipwrecks that have happened in the area. And don’t miss the demonstration of the Fog Signal Whistle that occurs during the day.

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Freelance travel writer and photographer who loves sharing her adventures from around the world. It is never too late to pursue your dream!

Rochester Hills, MI

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