Mackinaw Island

Mackinac Island in northern Michigan in an area called the Straits of Mackinac.

The correct spelling of Mackinaw Island is Mackinac Island. Spelling it with the “w” at the end is a common mistake. People misspell it because one of the most favorite communities to catch a ferry to the Island is Mackinaw City which is spelled with the “w” at the end rather than a “c.” So, people assume that the island is spelled the same way.

Another common mistake is the pronunciation of Mackinac. It really has the same pronunciation as Mackinaw. Many people say Mackinac with a hard “k” at the end making it sound like this: Mack-i-knack. If the locals hear you say it with a “knack” rather than a “naw” they definitely will know you aren’t from the Straits of Mackinac area.

People also misspell Mackinac Bridge by spelling it with the “w” at the end: Mackinaw Bridge when it should be using the “c” at the end of the word.

Mackinac Island history had French and British explorers with the French using the short “a” sound and the spelling being “aw” while the British used the silent “c” sound with the spelling being “ac.”

But whether you spell it Mackinaw Island or Mackinac Island you will be traveling to a magical place for your northern Michigan vacation.

Insider Tip: One of the many fun activities to do on Mackinac Island is to ride your bike around the Island. There are some great bike rental shops if you need to rent bikes for the day.


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