Mackinac Island, MI

Cars are a no-no on this peaceful 19th-century isle in the upper peninsula.
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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/
Mackinac Island

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.

Continued on page 2:  Ghosts and Gore

 

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