Destination Idea: Mackinac Island

by GO GlobeHopper

Mackinac Island is the gem of the Great Lakes, and a captivating destination that transports visitors to a bygone era. With its car-free streets, historic charm, and breathtaking natural beauty, this island offers a unique experience for travelers seeking a delightful escape. Let’s explore what makes Mackinac Island, located in northern Michigan, so special and how you can make the most of your visit.


Best Time to Visit

Mackinac Island’s peak season runs from late spring to early fall. The island comes alive with vibrant blooms, warm temperatures, and a bustling atmosphere. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons:

Spring (May to June): Witness the island’s awakening as flowers bloom, and the lilac festival fills the air with their sweet fragrance.

Summer (July to August): Enjoy sunny days, horse-drawn carriages, and lively events. This is when the island truly shines.

Fall (September to October): Experience the magic of autumn foliage, crisp air, and fewer crowds.


Getting There and Costs

To reach Mackinac Island, take a ferry from either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The ferry ride itself is an adventure, offering stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge and the island’s rugged coastline. Be sure to check the ferry schedules and book tickets in advance.

As for costs, ferry prices vary based on the departure point and whether you’re traveling as a day visitor or planning an extended stay. Expect to pay around $25 to $30 per person for a round-trip ticket.


What to Pack

– Comfortable Walking Shoes: You’ll explore the island on foot, so pack comfortable shoes.

– Layers: The weather can change quickly. Bring layers to adapt to varying temperatures.

– Sunscreen and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

– Cash: While some places accept cards, having cash on hand is convenient.


Things to See and Do

  1. Bike Around the Island: Rent a bike and pedal along the scenic 8-mile loop. Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Huron, limestone bluffs, and charming cottages.
  2. Visit Fort Mackinac: Explore this well-preserved military outpost with captivating exhibits and cannon firings.
  3. Sample Fudge: Mackinac Island is famous for its mouthwatering fudge. Visit one of the many fudge shops and indulge in this sweet treat.
  4. Take a Carriage Tour: Let a horse-drawn carriage guide you through historic streets, past Victorian homes, and lush gardens.
  5. Hike to Arch Rock: Witness the natural wonder of Arch Rock, a limestone formation overlooking the turquoise waters below.


Where to Stay and Dine

Grand Hotel: A true icon, the Grand Hotel offers elegant rooms, stunning views, and the world’s longest porch.
Mission Point Resort: Perfect for families, this resort boasts lakefront views, a heated pool, and cozy accommodations.
Pink Pony: Enjoy waterfront dining at this lively restaurant known for its fresh seafood and cocktails.


What Makes Mackinac Island Unique?

  1. No Cars Allowed: Mackinac Island bans motor vehicles, creating a tranquil atmosphere where bicycles, horses, and pedestrians rule the roads.
  2. Historic Charm: The island’s architecture, including Victorian-era buildings and horse-drawn carriages, evokes a sense of nostalgia.
  3. Timeless Beauty: From the rugged cliffs to the blooming lilacs, Mackinac Island’s natural beauty remains untouched.


Whether you’re planning a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a longer vacation, Mackinac Island promises an enchanting escape. Come discover its timeless allure and create memories that will last a lifetime!

For more information, check out the official Mackinac Island Visitor’s Guide and start planning your adventure!



Photo courtesy of Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

You may also like