What Can I Find at the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center?

Ready or not the 2021 season is ready to start.

The Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center from Fort Mackinac.

  If you’ve visited Mackinac Island, you probably remember the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center. It’s the building with the red roof just past the Chippewa Hotel. Today, we would like to share with you what the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor Center on Mackinac Island is all about and what you can find there.

  It’s simple, really: at the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center you can find out about all things Mackinac Island State Park. Want to know what demonstrations are going on at Fort Mackinac, or are interested in buying a ticket? Wondering what all comes with your Fort Mackinac ticket? We can help! Wondering about special events like Movies in the Fort or Music in the Park? Talk to us! Curious about the juried art exhibition at The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, the Artist-in-Residence program, or the new exhibit at the Biddle House? We have the info. Want to know about the Botanical Trail, what’s at British Landing, or the status of M-185? That’s what we’re here for.

  There are some things we cannot help you with, though. Wondering who has the best fudge or how much a taxi ride is up to the Grand Hotel? You’re out of luck. If you’re interested in a Carriage Tour you’ll need to head down to the stand on Main Street. If you’re curious about hotels on the island, or dinner reservations, or who has the best night life, the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau is your best bet, and that building is just down the road.

A new Arch Rock t-shirt available for the 2021 season.

  Starting in 2021, the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center will also serve as the home to the official Mackinac Island State Park Store. We will have great new souvenirs and merchandise: Arch Rock t-shirts, M-185 mile marker stickers, ornaments, mugs, and magnets, just to name a few. We also have all the Mackinac State Historic Park publications pertaining to Mackinac Island and as well as a few about our Mackinaw City sites.

U.S. Coast Guard Life-Saving Station stamp.

  Did you know that the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor Center was originally the site of the Coast Guard Life-Saving Station?  It was built in 1915, the year the Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service were merged to form the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard closed the Mackinac Island Life-Saving Station in 1969, transferring operations to its new base in St. Ignace. In 1970 the Mackinac Island State Park Commission acquired the building, and the Visitor’s Center was born. We have a passport stamp available at the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center for the Mackinac Island U.S. Coast Guard Life-Saving Station if you would like to stop by and have your book stamped for a donation.

  The Mackinac Island State Park is also home to the Mackinac Island Artist-in-Residence Apartment, on the second floor, as well as the Station 256 Conference Room, also on the second floor. The conference room can be booked for small meetings and gatherings.

  The Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center and official State Park Store open May 7. We hope to see you this summer!

Island History Series: Fudge – Mackinac’s Sweet Souvenir

Mackinac Island and fudge. Both symbolize indulgence, fantasy and escape. But there’s more to fudge than sugar, butter, chocolate and cream. Join Phil Porter, Mackinac State Historic Parks Director and Chief Fudge Taster, as he explores the history of Mackinac’s most delicious souvenir. Presented at the Station 256 Conference Room. This is a free Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

Island History Series: Mackinac Island’s Influence on the Civil War

For this entry into our “Island History Series,” Mackinac State Historic Parks Registrar Brian Jaeschke will offer a look at the military post of Fort Mackinac and the officers at the fort prior to the civil war, the event of the fort becoming a prison for three confederate sympathizers, a profile of Sgt. William Marshall, the longest serving officer at Fort Mackinac, the lives of Mackinac Island residents who served in the war, and the post-war army and the Grand Army of the Republic on the island. This is a FREE Mackinac Parks: 125 event, presented by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation!

Virtual Artist-in-Residence Workshop with Artist Jane Kramer

Since 2013, Kramer has been working on a body of work titled Foreshadowing – Endangered & Threatened Plant Species. For this project, she has photographed the shadows of Michigan’s endangered and threatened plant species and, using an alcohol gel process, transfer the shadow images onto paper she makes from invasive plant species such as garlic mustard and phragmites.

Kramer has photographed the shadows of over fifty endangered and threatened plant species in Michigan and experimented with making paper from fourteen invasive plant species. Through her slideshow presentation, she will cover the process of:
1) responsibly collecting non-native, invasive plant species,
2) turning plant biomass into pulp and paper,
3) photographing the shadows of threatened and endangered plant species, and
4) transferring photographic images onto hand-made paper using an alcohol gel transfer.

She will also do a live demonstration of an alcohol gel transfer following the presentation.

This is a virtual presentation held via Zoom – see below for details. This is a free Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

Join by Zoom at the following link:
https://msu.zoom.us/j/92904425830

Meeting ID: 929 0442 5830

Island History Series: Moviemaking at Mackinac

Join Mackinac State Historic Parks Deputy Director Steve Brisson as he explores the movies made on Mackinac, like This Time For Keeps and Somewhere in Time. Presented at the Station 256 Conference Room above the historic Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center. This is a free Mackinac Parks: 125 event!

Island History Series: View from the Veranda – History and Architecture of Mackinac Island’s Summer Cottages

Join Mackinac State Historic Parks’ Director Phil Porter for an inside look at the grand cottages of this uniquely Victorian island. During this presentation Porter will contrast fascinating historic photos of the cottages with modern portraits to describe the development, architecture and daily like of the summer cottage communities on Mackinac Island. Presented in the Station 256 Conference Room above the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center. This is a free Mackinac Parks: 125 event!