Headlands International Dark Sky Park, Mackinaw City

One of only six such parks in the U.S.at the time of designation in 2011~one of only ten in the world! Enjoy Emmet County's dark wilderness at the Headlands anytime of day or night, all the year 'round. Located 2 miles west of Mackinaw City in Northwest Lower Michigan, at the top of Michigan's mitten on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
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Headlands International Dark Sky Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
202 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I found out about this one of the few in the world dark sky parks and had to visit. The only thing that got in the way of the star gazing were clouds. Although, they also made things more interesting....  more »
  • Beautiful night sky views in a gorgeous Northern Michigan setting. Worth the visit even though it is a little out of the way.  more »
  • The event center isn't always open and was not open the evening we went but 2 amature astronomers were there with their telescopes.So we got to see Saturn with her rings. We started to notice the auro...  more »
Google
  • Amazingly beautiful park. This was one of my favorite parks of everywhere I went on my trip. I highly recommend getting to this park if your ever in the area. I recommend getting their early so you can park close and not have to walk there in the dark. The frustrating part about the park are the people that use flashlights or don't know how to operate their camera and leave the flash on. For those trying to get a good picture of the sky/stars get ruined pictures by those who leave their flash on. I wish there was some way in which light population was enforced by those who work at the park, several ruined long exposures.
  • This place is very beautiful but greed has taken over this establishment. If your looking to rent the guest house be prepared to pay over double what previous renters have paid just last year. I was planning my very small wedding for here and had visited in October. We loved it but were told we weren't allowed to book it til March. I happened to glance at the site 2 weeks before Thanksgiving to find out they upped the price from $300 a day to $750. Outrageous. Also they added a charge of $10 a parking spot fee if you rent the event center. This has turned me off this place permanently, which is too bad because we were looking forward to visits here but not anymore.
  • Sublime experience of nature, paired with good presentation by knowledgeable staff made this site well worth the journey. Experienced the park at night, on two separate evenings. Missed out on the included 5 miles of trails, which are better during the day, but experienced a communion with nature and darkness that is nigh on unique to this park. Highly recommended.
  • This is an amazing place to see stars and other celestial bodies. I'd they are having an event, like the solstice one recently do not miss the opportunity to go. The staff is beyond knowledgeable and very friendly. Their big telescope isn't always open bit when it is it let's you peer deep into space. We saw the rings of Saturn with ease. Best of all, most events are free and very family friendly.
  • Really interesting place to visit to look at the stars. The park is free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. It's located about two miles west of downtown Mackinaw City.

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Where to stay in Mackinaw City

Accommodations in Mackinaw City cater primarily to those in transit--either tourists on their way to nearby Mackinac Island, or travelers going between the United States and Canada. Mid-range motels dominate, with the area around the ferry terminal along South Huron Avenue serving as the most popular place to stay. If you're looking for something with more character and pleasant views over the lake, go farther south to the suburb of Edgewater Beach. There, you can choose from a number of options along Route 23.
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