2024 Michigan Family Vacation Day 3: Mackinaw City

 We started our day off with coffee and pastries in the park. 

State Street Coffee

After we'd finished, we set off for Mackinaw City. Our first stop was Mackinaw State Park. We parked at the fort and followed the sidewalk down, through the park, to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was nice. We toured the house itself, watched a movie about shipwrecks that happened on the great lakes, and then visited the shipwreck museum. Afterward, we attended a signal demo and then the guys walked up inside the lighthouse itself. Little Miss was too short so we hung out in the gift shop and made friends with the cashier.

Shipwreck museum

Inside the lighthouse

Demo outside the visitor's center

After the lighthouse tour, we went back to where we parked and toured Fort Michilimacinac.

Strawtick beds

Fort entrance


Officer's quarters and gardens.

Bridge view from the other side

Storage room

View from the ramparts

Visitor's Center

The fort was really well done. Everything was well preserved and there were docents on hand, in period costume, to answer questions. 

After the fort we were starving so we ate lunch and PIE!

Since we were already downtown, we walked around a bit. Not much was open and it was pretty overcast, but we did get to check out the interesting Starbucks everyone raves about. 

Big, lodge-esque Starbucks

Upper room view

There was still a lot of daylight left so we went back toward Cheboygan with a stop at Mill Creek. Mill Creek boasted an old sawmill - still operational. There was a school group there so the docents were all present and the stations were all manned. We really got to see the full tour. 


Welcome Center


After viewing the mill, we hiked one of the paths up the stream, over a bridge, and down the other side. The observation tower was the last thing we tackled and thankfully so. Our legs were jelly after the ascent. We'd foolishly tried to beat the school kids up to the top which just left us exhausted. We were no match for their pre-teen legs. 

View from observation tower

After a nap at our hotel, we decided there was enough time to drive all the way north, over the big bridge to the Iroquois Point Lighthouse. It was a long drive, but we'd be able to say that we've seen all 5 great lakes. So it was all about the bragging rights. 

We stopped right over the bridge in St. Ignace, to take the boardwalk out to the little lighthouse.

Afterwards, we ate dinner at a local pizza place. The cheese pizza was only just okay, but the chicken bacon alfredo and the dill pickle pizzas were delicious!

It was about 40 minutes from St. Ignace to Point Iroquois. The drive was beautiful. Very serene. The roads were tree-lined and very quiet. It felt like we were in a national park.

The lighthouse wasn't open, but we were able to stroll the grounds, walk the boardwalk, and spend time at the beach. 


Beautiful array of colors in the rocks. 

Lovely shoreline

I wish we'd been a bit more prepared with chairs and blankets. I'd have insisted we stay to watch the sunset. But it was getting late and we had an hour drive back South. Either way, it was well worth the time and it was a wonderful way to end the day.


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