MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – Michiganders know that Mackinaw Island is the state’s crown jewel destination and now, others across the world are starting to take notice.

Mackinac Island added another gem to its crown after being named the #5 Best Island Destination in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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The magazine enlisted a panel of 522 international travel experts to rank islands based on a specific set of criteria. The “best-rated” islands scored 77 or above.

Ranking above many other famous islands, and one of only two American islands in the top 10, Mackinac Island scored 80 and is noted as: “No cars (banned since 1898), no high-rises, and little development pressure earns praise for the iconic isle in Lake Huron. Overall the island is a gem.”

“Word is getting out that Michigan has some of the most spectacular vacation destinations in the world,” George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, said in a statement. “Mackinac Island is a perfect example of a Pure Michigan getaway.”

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Landing on the island’s shores is like taking a step back in time, with transportation limited to horse and buggy, bicycle or foot. Surrounded by clear, blue Great Lakes waters, the island is a tranquil escape from a fast-paced, harried world.

Visitors can explore historic Fort Mackinac, enjoy the charm of the picture-postcard downtown and try different varieties of famous homemade fudge. Arguably, the most recognized thing about the island is its regal Grand Hotel, featured in the film “Somewhere in Time” and famous for its immense front porch lined with white rocking chairs overlooking the scenic Straits of Mackinac.

Currently, many island businesses are working on updates, renovations and readying for the summer travel season. During the month of May, horses arrive and businesses open for the season. By Memorial Day, the island will be in full swing.

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For additional information or to start planning your vacation now, visit