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Mackinac Island ( MAK-in-aw) is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. In the 2010 census, the city had a permanent population of 492. The summer population numbers in the thousands due to an influx of summer visitors and hundreds of seasonal workers. Established as an important fur trading center in the eighteenth century, with a predominately French-speaking population of French Canadians and Métis, after the War of 1812 the city gained more Anglo-American residents. The US put restrictions on Canadians for fur trading. From 1818 until 1882 the city served as the county seat of the former Michilimackinac County, which was later organized as Mackinac County, with St. Ignace designated as the county seat. The city includes all of Mackinac Island and it also originally included nearby Round Island which is unpopulated and now federally owned and part of the Hiawatha National Forest. The state park and the national forest make up most of the island. A unique local ordinance passed in 1898 prohibits the use of any motor vehicles on the island. Today the most common means of travel are foot, bicycle, or horseback. The only exceptions to this are emergency vehicles (ambulance, police cars, and fire trucks), along with snowmobiles in winter. Mackinac Island is home to the Grand Hotel, built during the nineteenth century when the island was a summer destination. When the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time was filmed here, the city made an exception to allow the production company to use motorized vehicles on the island. Mackinac Island is noted for its many fudge shops, a tourist attraction. The island has a large craft industry devoted to making fudge in a traditional manner, creating portions on cold marble slabs. The many varieties are a tourist draw and frequently given as gifts throughout Michigan.
Beaver Island is an island in Lake Michigan in the U.S. state of Michigan. At 55.8 sq mi (145 km2), it is the largest island in Lake Michigan and the third largest island in Michigan after Isle Royale and Drummond Island. The island is located approximately 32 miles (51 km) from the city of Charlevoix. Beaver Island had a total population of 657 at the 2010 census. In 1856, it was home to a unique American religious colony, a theocratic monarchy ruled by the self-appointed "King Strang", who was the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, colloquially known as Strangites to distinguish them from the much larger The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Irish American immigrants later settled in the island, and it has remained a popular vacation and tourist destination. Portions of the island and surrounding archipelago are protected as part of the Beaver Islands State Wildlife Research Area.
Grayling ( GRAY-LEENG) is the only city and county seat of Crawford County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,884 at the 2010 census. The city is surrounded by Grayling Charter Township, but the two are administered autonomously. The city is located in the middle of the Northern Michigan region at the junctions of Interstate 75, U.S. Route 127, M-72, and M-93. Grayling is well known for hosting the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon in July of every year since 1947. The city is named after the Grayling species of fish once abundant in the Au Sable River, although the species has long since been extinct in the area. There have been many attempts to bring Grayling back to the area but none have been successful.
Traverse City ( 'TRA-vurs-SI-tee' or locally 'TRA-vur-si-tee') is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, although a small portion extends into Leelanau County. It is the largest city in the 21-county Northern Michigan region. The population was 15,678 at the 2020 census, with 153,448 in the Traverse City micropolitan area. The Traverse City area is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States, as of 2010. Near the time of cherry harvest, the city hosts the annual week-long National Cherry Festival in the first full week of July, attracting approximately 500,000 visitors annually. The surrounding countryside also produces grapes, and is one of the centers of wine production in the Midwest. Tourism, both summer and winter, is another key industry. The Traverse City area features varied natural attractions, including freshwater beaches, vineyards, a National Lakeshore, downhill skiing areas, and numerous forests. In 2009, TripAdvisor named Traverse City the number two small town travel destination in the United States. In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the country by U.S. News & World Report.