Mackinac Island, Michigan

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Mackinac Island (pronounced /ˈmækɨnɔː/ MAK-in-aw) is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. At the 2000 census, the city had a permanent population of 523, although there are thousands more seasonal workers and tourists during the summer months. From 1818–1882, the city was the county seat of the former Michilimackinac County, which was later organized into Mackinac County with St. Ignace as the county seat. The city includes all of Mackinac Island and the unpopulated Round Island. The city also includes all of Mackinac Island State Park, although that park is governed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. The city is served by the Mackinac Island Public School.

A unique local ordinance prohibits the use of any motor vehicles on the island. The most common means of travel are foot, bicycle, or horseback. Certain enumerated exceptions include emergency vehicles, electric wheelchairs for those with disabilities, snowmobiles in winter, and golf carts for on-course use only. Mackinac Island is home to the famed Grand Hotel, where the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. That film presents a rare exception in which motorized vehicles were allowed on the island.



Mackinac Island is the destination of both the annual Chicago to Mackinac Sailboat Race, run by the Chicago Yacht Club, and the annual Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race, sponsored by the Bayview Yacht Club of Detroit, Michigan.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.5 km²), of which, 4.4 square miles (11.3 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²) of it (21.86%) is water. Interestingly, the City of Mackinac Island not only exists on the island of the same name, but also takes in the entirety of nearby Round Island, situated in the Straits of Mackinac immediately to the south. Round Island is currently uninhabited and is owned by the U.S. Forest Service in its entirety, and is managed as part of the Hiawatha National Forest.

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