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FAQs About Mackinaw City

Frequently Asked Questions about Mackinaw City

Is it Mackinac or Mackinaw?
The name Mackinac or Mackinaw is always pronounced as “aw”. The area was originally called Michinnimakinong by the Ojibwa Indians. The word is translated as follows:

Mish: Great
Inni: Connecting Sound
Maki: Fault
Nong: Land or Place

The Island has a large crevice or crack and the term was used by the early Indians as an identifying description to fellow travelers. The world MICHINNIMAKINONG was later shortened to Mackinac by the French. The British wrote it as it was pronounced, thus MACKINAW CITY.

Where does Lake Michigan end and Lake Huron begin?
The Mackinac Bridge makes the division. The water between the Upper and Lower Peninsula is called the “Straits of Mackinac.”

What is fudge made of and why does the taste vary?
Fudge is made of sugar, corn syrup, chocolate and fresh dairy cream. For other flavors, ingredients like cherries, peanut butter and nuts may be added. The taste varies because of the recipe and the candy maker’s technique.

How big is Mackinaw City?
Mackinaw City’s land area measures 3.8 square miles. We are the only municipality with boundaries in the Great Lakes (due to utility cables). This area would total 8 square miles. Mackinaw City is not a city but a village. This village is important historically and nautically because it overlooks the Straits of Mackinac.

What does “tourism” as an industry mean?
Mackinaw City is a popular vacation destination. The main season is May-October. It is estimated that over 2 million guests come to Mackinaw City. Over 3 million visitors come to this region which would include our surrounding towns, Mackinac Island, and the Upper Peninsula attractions.

How long is the Mackinac Bridge?
The overall length of the Bridge is 5 miles and it has 4 lanes of traffic. The center span is 3800 feet long and is between two, 565 feet high towers.

Does the Mackinac Bridge go to Mackinac Island?
No. The Mackinac Bridge starts in Mackinaw City then ends in St. Ignace. The only way to get to the Island is by ferry boat or take a 5 minute flight from the St. Ignace airport.

How many cars cross the Mackinac Bridge each year?
4.2 million cars crossed the Mackinac Bridge in 2004.

How many steel bolts and rivets are in the Bridge?
There are over 5 million steel bolts and rivets in the Mackinac Bridge.

How deep are the Bridge towers under the water?
The depth of the deepest pier (the south tower) from the water surface to where the pier is bounded on bedrock is about 200 feet.

Chamber Office

707 N. Huron Avenue
Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701


(231) 436-5574

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