5 Things You Might Not Know About Mackinac Island

The history, geography, and activities on Mackinac Island attract nearly a million tourists every year! The quirks of the island continue to mesmerize guests and maintain its infamous charm. Here are our favorite lesser-known facts about this little piece of paradise, Mackinac Island:

  1. Mackinac Island – The Place of the Great Turtle  The Anishinaabek people named the island Michilimackinac, which means place of the great turtle. Referring to the limestone bluff and geography of the Mackinac Island, the Anishinaabek people said that the island appeared to rise out of the water like a turtle. This imagery influences many aspects of the island’s development, from local parks to the products in the shops in town. 
  2. Mackinac Island Has Nearly 500 Year-Round Residents Although Mackinac Island truly sparkles during the months May-October, there are about 500 people who get to enjoy the island’s magic all year long. There is a public school, a few restaurants that stay open, and many community events to keep locals entertained in the off-season. And, to get around Mackinac Island in the winter, residents use snowmobiles!
  3. The First State Park in Michigan Over 82% of Mackinac Island makes up Michigan’s first State Park. Including the trails, bluffs, and other stunning geological formations, this state park is definitely our favorite. 
  4. No Vehicles Beginning during the end of the 19th century, motorized vehicles have been banned on Mackinac Island. Horses, bicycles, and walking are the only ways to get around the island during the snow-free months. In fact, the island houses over 1,400 bikes that are ready for visitors to rent.
  5. Fabulous Fudge To date, there are 14 fudge shops on Mackinac Island. To keep these shops supplied, nearly 10 tons of butter are brought up to the island each year.