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Mackinac Island (pronounced /?mæk?n??/ MAK-in-aw) is an island and resort area covering 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) in land area, part of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The island was home to a Native American settlement before European exploration began in the 17th century. It served a strategic position amidst the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade. This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War. It was the scene of two battles during the War of 1812.

In the late 19th century, Mackinac Island became a popular tourist attraction and summer colony. Much of the island has undergone extensive historical preservation and restoration; as a result, the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is well known for its numerous cultural events; its wide variety of architectural styles, including the famous Victorian Grand Hotel; its fudge; and its ban on almost all motor vehicles. More than 80 percent of the island is preserved as Mackinac Island State Park.

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Sturgeon Point lighthouse is one of the most picturesque to be found in the area. The stark contrast of the bright white painted bricks with the deep red trim makes the building very photogenic. Sitting on the shore end of a long and shallow submerged finger of land that juts into Lake Huron, it is plain to see why a lighthouse was needed here in the days before radar and Loran.

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Located within city limits at the corner of U.S. 23 and Long Rapids Road, Duck Park and Island Park are located on a portion of the city's 600-acre wildlife sanctuary. Cross a bridge to get to Island Park, which features nature trails and fishing platforms. Duck Park offers fishing and a picnic area and provides a great vantage point for viewing a large variety of bird species in the sanctuary area.

 

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