Located at the crest of the bluff, whitewashed Fort Mackinac (Huron Rd., 231/436-4100, 9am-4:30pm daily May 6-June 6, 9:30am-6pm daily June 7-Aug. 23, 9:30am-4:30pm daily Aug. 24-Oct. 12, $12 adults, $7 ages 5-17) is worth a visit for the views alone, presiding over—as forts often do—the downtown, the marina, and Lake Huron. But there’s also plenty to see at this military outpost, which the British and Americans haggled over for nearly 40 years.
Costumed guides lead all sorts of reenactments, including musket firing and cannon salutes.Along with peering over the parapets, you can wander in and out of 14 buildings that make up the fort. The barracks, officers’ quarters, post hospital, and other buildings are filled with interpretive displays and feature period decor. Costumed guides lead all sorts of reenactments, including musket firing and cannon salutes. A short audiovisual presentation, The Heritage of Mackinac, does a good job of presenting basic history.
Admission to the fort also includes admission to the Benjamin Blacksmith House and the Biddle House. If you’re planning to visit Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, or Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park on the mainland, the combination ticket is the best deal, giving you seven-day admission to all these venues for $15 adults, $9 ages 5-17.
For information, stop by the park visitors center across from Marquette Park on Huron Street.
Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.