Located at the crest of the bluff, whitewashed Fort Mackinac (231/436-4100, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily mid-May–mid-Oct., $10 adults, $6.25 children 6–17) is worth a visit for the views alone, presiding over—as forts do—the downtown, the marina, and Lake Huron. But there’s also plenty to see at this military outpost, which the British and Americans haggled over for nearly 40 years.
Along with peering over the parapets, you can wander in and out of 14 buildings within the fort. The barracks, officers’ quarters, post hospital, and others are filled with interpretive displays and decorated in period decor. Costumed guides lead all sorts of reenactments, including musket firings and cannon salutes. A short audiovisual presentation, “The Heritage of Mackinac,” does a good job of presenting basic history.