Mackinac Island Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Mackinac Island Trip Guide

Islands with peaceful parks and preserved history create a soul-reviving escape.

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For great views, visit the Grand Hotel’s 660 foot porch.
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The Mackinac Bridge
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What to do

Carriage tours A classic horse-drawn carriage ride gives a good overview of the island’s southern end. Hire a horse-drawn taxi or sign on with Jack’s Livery Stable; you can drive a rented horse and buggy outside the downtown area. (906) 847-3391; jacksliverystable.com. Other business offering carriage rides include Grand Hotel (grandhotel.com) and Mackinac Island Carriage Tours (mict.com).

Ferries Three lines shuttle visitors to the island. To avoid waits, order tickets online: Arnold Transit Company (arnoldline.com), Shepler’s (sheplersferry.com) and Star Line (mackinacferry.com).

Mackinac State Historic Parks The best family deal is a $75 season-long membership, which includes admission for two adults and any of their children or grandchildren to these top-notch sites: Colonial Michilimackinac, a reconstructed 1770s fort and fur-trading village, and the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City; Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, a reconstructed 1800s sawmill and nature park south of Mackinaw City; and Fort Mackinac and six nearby sites on Mackinac Island. Plan to spend at least a half day at each fort and a couple of hours at Mill Creek. See reviews and ratings. (231) 436-4100; mackinacparks.com 

Mackinaw Crossings In Mackinaw City, a complex of more than 50 shops and eateries makes a good rainy-day or evening stop. Stick around for free nightly laser light shows. (231) 436-5030; mackinawcrossings.com

Shepler’s Lighthouse Cruises Three- to five-hour cruises are available June through mid-September; reservations recommended. See reviews and ratings. (231) 436-5023; sheplersferry.com

Woods and Water Ecotours Beginners are welcome on hiking, biking and kayaking trips. In Hessel. (906) 484-4157; woodswaterecotours.com

Where to eat

Bessie’s Original Homemade Pasties The St. Ignace cafe claims a loyal following for its hearty traditional meat pies. Sandwiches and ice cream are also available. See reviews and ratings. (906) 643-8487; bessiesoriginalhomemadepasties.com

Joann's Fudge This is just one place where you'll find the quintessential Mackinac treat. See reviews and ratings. (906) 847-6357; joannsfudge.com

Woods Run by the Grand Hotel, this Bavarian-style lodge serves dinner. (906) 847-3331; grandhotel.com/woods.html

Click ahead for where to stay.

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