Experience Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island, famous for its fudge and car-free streets full of horse-drawn carriages, is a picture-perfect historic island situated between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas in Lake Huron.

The crown jewel of The Great Lakes!


Hands down, most visitors will say a bike trip around the island is a must. Use your own bike or rent one from the many providers near the harbor and bike the 8.2-mile loop on M185, the only highway in Michigan that doesn’t allow motor vehicles. Along the way, riders can see Arch Rock and British Landing, two of the island’s popular attractions.

Worth a definite visit is Fort Mackinac, a holdover from the American Revolution. Now a museum, all fourteen buildings in the fort have been restored and boast exhibits offering a glimpse of military training, medical services and day-to-day life in the fort. History comes alive as period actors perform rifle and canon demonstrations for visitors, even allowing visitors to fire the cannon!

Walk down Main Street for a bit of shopping and to watch the confectioners make fudge, or to see beautifully preserved Victorian homes and churches, stroll along Market Street. For another unique experience, enjoy a visit to the Grand Hotel where guests can enjoy the vistas from their famous porch or sit down for an elegant afternoon tea.

The heart of the island boasts more elevation, so a narrated carriage tour is a great way to see other landmarks in the interior, like Fort Holmes and Skull Cave. Alternatively, you can hire a private carriage by the hour or even drive your own horse and buggy! Horseback riding is also offered with both guided and unguided tours around the island.


When hunger strikes, island favorite Patrick Doud’s Irish Pub, on Main Street, features Irish beers along with a large selection of Michigan craft beers. They specialize in hearty meals with an Irish flare with a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Not far off the beaten path, and where locals often get their meals, is the Chuck Wagon. Don’t let the small size fool you, this family-owned eatery packs a punch when it comes to home-cooked meals. Indulge in their award-winning burgers and breakfast offerings served with a side the genuine hospitality of the friendly staff.

If looking to get out of the crowds, consider taking a short carriage ride to the Woods Restaurant, a converted hunting lodge decorated in the Bavarian style with a large fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. The restaurant specializes in farm-to-table food and game, a perfect accompaniment to a beautiful natural environment.


For an island of only 3.8 square miles, there are a variety of hotels, resorts, B&Bs, condominiums and cottages to choose from. There are no chain hotels, only unique accommodation housed in buildings dating from the 1800s.

One such is the Inn at Stonecliffe, a Victorian mansion that sits high on a bluff. The inn is a secluded option but is still only minutes from Sunset Rock and some of the best sunset views on the island. Recently closed for property-wide renovations, Stonecliffe reopens in 2024 with fully renovated guestrooms with new bathrooms, family-oriented cottages, an event center, BBQ, onsite bike rental and a wellness center.

Recently revamped in 2023, Mission Point Resort features a newly transformed Round Island Kitchen, now a spacious dining area offering scenic lake views and additional outdoor seating. The resort’s lobby has also undergone redesign, showcasing a beautiful rustic interior that integrates rocks gathered from various parts of the island into the reception desk. The expansive lawn in front of the resort is adorned with chairs, inviting guests to relax and savor the picturesque view.

Close to downtown and with gorgeous water views, the Island House Hotel is an award-winning landmark on the island. The 94-room hotel offers casual and fine dining as well as indoor and outdoor hot tubs and an indoor pool. For convenience, bikes can be rented onsite. Have lunch in the garden or choose a rocking chair on the porch and relax your day away watching passersby.


Most visitors arrive at the island via commercial ferry. Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry and Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry typically operate from April through October with passage from either Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula and St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula.

A visitor can also get to the island by private boat and rent a berth from the Mackinac Island Public Marina that has 80 boat slips with electricity, water and pump-out service. Newly renovated amenities include restrooms and showers, picnic tables, grills and Wi-Fi.

The last option, and the only one available in winter, is to fly to the island. Charter a flight from anywhere in Michigan to Mackinac Island Airport, but the closest is St. Ignace and only a 4-minute flight to the island.

This timeless retreat guarantees a memorable visit from the moment you step onto the island. From the carless streets and fudge-filled shops to the island’s rich history and serene beauty, Mackinac Island is a unique vacation destination, one that will remain unforgettable for years to follow.

Travel Tip icon

Travel Tip
Dogs are welcome free of charge on both commercial ferries and most charter flights to Mackinac Island.

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