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1575
Michigan

Mackinac Island: The Jewel of Michigan

Mackinac Island has been a fur trading post, Revolutionary War site, Victorian resort destination and much more. Join us as we explore the history of this small island with a big story.
Rating (4.9)
Program No. 1575RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,249
Michigan

Mackinac Island: The Jewel of Michigan

Mackinac Island has been a fur trading post, Revolutionary War site, Victorian resort destination and much more. Join us as we explore the history of this small island with a big story.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,249
Program No. 1575 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 8 - Aug 13, 2021
Starting at
1,499
Aug 29 - Sep 3, 2021
Starting at
1,599
Sep 5 - Sep 10, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,399
Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
Starting at
1,349
Oct 3 - Oct 8, 2021
Starting at
1,249
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 8 - Aug 13, 2021
Starting at
1,719
Aug 29 - Sep 3, 2021
Starting at
1,819
Sep 5 - Sep 10, 2021
Small group
Starting at
1,599
Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
Starting at
1,569
Oct 3 - Oct 8, 2021
Starting at
1,449

At a Glance

Explore the treasures of Mackinac Island as you delve into the island's glorious history, geology, natural beauty, architecture and modern life. Discover old-world traditions as you learn about the island's early economic and military importance as well as its development as a Victorian resort. Customs and cultures will come alive through lectures and field trips with local residents and area experts. A field trip to Fort Mackinac and a carriage ride around the island will enhance your visit.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking 1–2 miles per day. Paved and unpaved roads, some hilly terrain, stairs.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover the valuable roles horses play on the island during a narrated carriage ride.
  • On a walk with a naturalist, explore the island's beautiful natural spaces up close.
  • Learn why Mackinac’s Victorian homes are an important part of island history on a field trip with the Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. Transportation by foot, horse-drawn carriage, bike.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Steve Brisson
Steve Brisson is the Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. A Michigan native, he completed his graduate internship at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. Steve previously worked as a curator for the State Historical Society of Wisconsin before joining Mackinac State Historic Parks in 1996. He has written several articles and books on Mackinac Island's history. He works out of the Mackinac State Historic Parks Mackinaw City office in the winter and the Mackinac Island office at Fort Mackinac in the summer.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Steve Brisson
Steve Brisson View biography
Steve Brisson is the Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. A Michigan native, he completed his graduate internship at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. Steve previously worked as a curator for the State Historical Society of Wisconsin before joining Mackinac State Historic Parks in 1996. He has written several articles and books on Mackinac Island's history. He works out of the Mackinac State Historic Parks Mackinaw City office in the winter and the Mackinac Island office at Fort Mackinac in the summer.
Profile Image of Jeff Dykehouse
Jeff Dykehouse View biography
Jeff Dykehouse has worked for the Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP) since 1983 and is the Curator of Natural History for the MSHP. Trained as a biologist, he has worked as an interpretive naturalist, environmental educator, research biologist, and audiovisual specialist for a number of Michigan’s State and National Parks. Jeff has been a “birder” all his life and has had a master Federal Bird Banding permit for over 30 years. Jeff lives on the shore of Lake Huron near Cheboygan with his wife Laurie (a middle school science teacher) and their three children.
Profile Image of Tom Miles
Tom grew up in Lewistown, Illinois, and is a former faculty member at Central Michigan University (CMU). Tom taught mathematics at CMU, served in administrative positions, and advised actuarial students until his retirement in 2007. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University, where he also taught for two years, and earned a PhD from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Tom lives in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, except for the winters when he often migrates to Orange Beach, Alabama.
Profile Image of Jo Blunt
Jo Blunt retired in June of 2000 after working in education at the elementary and middle school levels as a special education teacher and student assistance specialist. Her degrees are in elementary education, psychology, and speech and education administration. A career in education has allowed Jo to pursue another love, traveling, in the summers. She has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. Jo also enjoys reading, being outdoors, interacting with people, and some volunteer work for the Angela Hospice.
Profile Image of Patricia Martin
Patricia Martin View biography
Patricia Martin has a master’s in field botany from Central Michigan University and wrote her thesis on Mackinac Island’s vascular plants. She has a bachelor’s in biology and chemistry and a certificate in secondary education. She worked as both a natural history interpreter and head historic house interpreter for the Mackinac State Historic Parks for 11 years and has run her family house, Bogan Lane Inn, as a bed and breakfast. She also writes the weekly “Nature Notes” column for the Mackinac Island Town Crier.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Legend of Mackinac Island
by Kathy-jo Wargin
Beautifully illustrated story incorporating Indian legends of Mackinac Island. Retells the story of the great turtle Makinauk that enlists the aid of other animals to help create the special place known as Mackinac Island, and their discovery of new lands and long-lasting friendship. llustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.
Mackinac Island Adventures
by Lynda Hepker and Steven Hepker
An introduction to island culture and adventures on beautiful Mackinac Island. Written by year round residents of the island, this booklet offers information that you should know before traveling to Mackinac Island. Plus, a little history, some fun facts, things to see and do off the beaten path, and a little humor about how residents live on the island through the fours seasons of Michigan.
Fudge: Mackinac's Sweet Souvenir
by Phil Porter
Mackinac Island and fudge. Both symbolize indulgence, fantasy and escape. But there's more to fudge than sugar, butter, chocolate and cream. In this book, historian Phil Porter stirs up the past to find the hard work and sometimes bitter controversy behind this sweet souvenir. In his hunger for truth and historical accuracy, Porter dug deep into the kitchens and cupboards of the fudge culture. No appetite for history, no taste for sweet truth will be satisfied without reading Fudge: Mackinac's Sweet Souvenir.
Mackinac Island: Three Hundred and Fifty Years of History
by Robert E. Benjamin
This guide to the history of Mackinac Island will increase any visitor's enjoyment of this beautiful and historic island. This chronological account of the significant events in the island's history is illustrated by fascinating photos both current and historical.
Mackinac Island (Images of America Series)
by Tom North
From historical richness to unparalleled natural beauty, Michigan's Mackinac Island is the crown jewel of the Great Lakes, unique in America. Native American visitors preceded French explorers and missionaries of the 17th century. Forts were established and battles fought between American and British soldiers. Commerce, including fur trading and fishing, later surpassed military importance, in turn yielding to the tourism industry that has dominated the past 150 years. Accessible by water, "ice bridge," or air, Mackinac Island encompasses a state park, harbor, city, and Victorian hotels and homes. A permanent automobile ban helps preserve the island's historic character, leaving land movement to foot, bicycle, and horse-drawn carriage. This book uses historical photographs to depict Mackinac Island heritage and culture. Rare images capture bygone days and lifestyles on this island where 19th century charm surprises and intrigues even today.
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation and Welcome
Mackinac Island
D
Harbour View Inn

Afternoon: Program registration and hotel check-in. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the meeting room to register with the program and get your welcome packet containing your nametag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: Dinner at 6:00pm. All meals served on-site in dining room, buffet style. Coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: Welcome program.

DAY
2
Carriage Tour and Fort Mackinac
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Breakfast: Breakfast on-site.

Morning: Enjoy a narrated carriage tour of Mackinac Island through the downtown and into the state park. Discover the valuable roles horses play on the island. Afterwards, visit historic Fort Mackinac and learn about the island's military importance (walk back to hotel from Fort on own, approximately 1/2 mile).

Lunch: Lunch on-site.

Afternoon: Discover the geological history of Mackinac Island and the Great Lakes region in a classroom session followed by a walking field trip with a prominent local naturalist (includes 1 mile walk on paved and gravel roads and sidewalk).

Dinner: Dinner on-site.

Evening: Learn about the daily challenges, unique dilemmas, and unexpected pleasures residents face living on Mackinac Island.

DAY
3
History of Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Breakfast: Breakfast on-site.

Morning: Discuss the unusual combination of Mackinac Island history (Native, French, English, and American) and learn how each culture played a role in the island's development. Discover the island’s role in past wars, as a home for early fur traders, explorers, and mapmakers, and its development as a popular tourist destination (includes 1/2 mile walk on paved road/sidewalk).

Lunch: Lunch on-site

Afternoon: Attend a classroom session to study the unique flora and plant life on the island followed by a walking field trip to experience the island's natural beauty up close (1 – 1.5 hour leisurely walk on paved road).

Dinner: Dinner on-site.

Evening: Learn about one of Mackinac Island’s most important resources – the horses. Discuss their many roles, their care, and why they are so essential to island life today.

DAY
4
Mackinac Island Birding
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Breakfast: Breakfast on-site.

Morning: Learn about the indigenous birds on Mackinac Island through a fun and charming lecture with an experienced birder. Take a walk to discover their habitats and nesting areas (1 mile walk on paved and gravel roads and sidewalk).

Lunch: Lunch on-site.

Afternoon: Attend a classroom session to study the unique flora and plant life on the island followed by a walking field trip to experience the island's natural beauty up close (1 – 1.5 hour leisurely walk on paved road).

Dinner: Dinner on-site.

Evening: Find out more about the island’s birds and raptors. Learn about behavior and flying patterns.

DAY
5
Victorian Architecture, Free Time
Mackinac Island
B,L,D
Harbour View Inn

Activity note: Approximately 75-80 stairs to climb as part of the walking field trip in the morning session.

Breakfast: Breakfast on-site.

Morning: Learn why the Victorian homes on Mackinac Island are an important part of the island's history and their status today as renowned works of art. Revel in their beauty and design on a walking field trip with the Deputy Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks (includes 1 mile walk on paved road).

Lunch: Lunch on-site.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Mackinac Island on your own.

Dinner: Dinner on-site.

Evening: Program wrap up.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Mackinac Island
B,L

Breakfast: Breakfast on-site.

Morning: Discover the traditional foods of Northern Michigan, including their historical and cultural influences.

Lunch: Box lunch. Program ends at 11:30.






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If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.