Mackinac Island, MI
Sounds of Silence
Coming here on vacation? No need to worry about late-night drag races and car alarms keeping you awake. Cars are taboo on historic Mackinac Island.
Ferry Dock, copyright
Terry W. Phipps/
In the late 1800s, wealthy locals wanted to preserve the isle's peaceful mood, not to mention discourage visiting riffraff. Their strategy worked. Today, this six-square-mile haven in the Straits of Mackinac is happily stuck in the past. Horses pull carriages past Victorian cottages, while cannons boom out over the bluffs from a Revolutionary-era fort.
Upon arriving on Mackinac (pronounced MACK-i-naw) Island, the first thing you'll notice is the noise, or lack of it. No revving car motors or belching motorcyles. Just the sound of horses clomping and kids playing -- a pretty amazing feat considering that the island is just a 15-minute boat ride from mainland Michigan.
Getting to the island is simple. You can catch a ferry from either Mackinaw City, on the Lower Peninsula, or St. Ignace, on the Upper. Three boat lines make frequent runs to the island, and there's plenty of dockside parking.