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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 (5)
Program No. 1575RJ
6 days
Starts at

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.
6 days
Starts at
Program No. 1575 RJ

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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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.

Important registration tip:
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.