Mackinac Island Tops with Visitors
Michigan Travel News ( Press Release )
Mackinac Island named to America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations List
Mackinac Island, Michigan, USA: Summer 2003: The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named
Mackinac Island to its 2003 list of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The nonprofit
preservation organization compiles the list to recognize unique and lovingly preserved
communities in the United States.
Mackinac Island was identified for having the historic Grand Hotel. The Trust also noted the
island historic demonstrations at Fort Mackinac, built by the British in 1780, where cannon and
rifle fire firing demonstrations and mock court-marshals are held.
The 2003 list of Dozen Distinctive Destinations recognizes Americans' increasing commitment
to historic preservation. This year's communities have protected their heritage, and, as a result,
created great places to visit and live.
These spots are not simply museums. They offer a distinctive mix of striking architecture and
beautiful surroundings, of exciting activities and relaxing moments. They can provide romatic
getaways or family vacations, weekend breaks or longer explorations.
Though each destination is different, all have one thing in common: They are exciting
alternatives to more homogenized vacation spots. In each destination, residents have taken
forceful, concrete actions to protect their town's character, to preserving their historic landmarks
and revitalizing their downtowns. As a result, they're more than just great places to visit: they are
models for communities across America who want to make preserving their past a vital part of
Like many other good things in life, Mackinac Island is not easy to reach - but its stunning beauty
and rich history make the effort worthwhile.
Accessible only by ferry, 8-mile-long Mackinac Island is a car-free paradise. Families clip-clop
around the island in horse-drawn carriages, and hopeless romantics hop tandem bikes as they
take in the breathtaking scenery and intricately detailed architecture.
Striking natural wonders, including limestone formations such as Arch Rock, Skull Cave and
Devil's Kitchen, help to explain the island's appeal as a scenic summer resort for wealthy
Midwesterners -- but the town also boasts a rich history that shouldn't be overlooked. Fort
Mackinac, built by the British in 1780, is now a National Historic Landmark boasting 14 original
buildings. Children will enjoy the cannon- and rifle-firing demonstrations, mock courtmartials
and Victorian games presented by costumed interpreters.
The downtown area offers a number of buildings that testify to the island's role as an early 19th-
century fur-trading center. The centerpiece of the island is the world-famous Grand Hotel, built
in 1887 and now a member of the National Trust's Historic Hotels of America. The hotel claims
the world's longest porch, the perfect place to unwind at the end of a great Mackinac day.
For more information about Mackinac Island, log on to www.mackinacisland.org or call 800-4-