Mackinac Island Trip Guide | Midwest Living
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Mackinac Island Trip Guide

Islands with peaceful parks and preserved history create a soul-reviving escape.
Downtown Mackinac Island.
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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. (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. (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. (906) 643-8487; bessiesoriginalhomemadepasties.com

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

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

Where to stay

Fairview Beachfront Inn In Mackinaw City, the hotel’s 1,200-foot private beach, indoor water park, great location and affordable rates make it popular with families. (800) 822-8314; mackinaw-city.com

Chippewa Hotel Waterfront This refurbished 1902 hotel in downtown Mackinac Island overlooks the harbor. Grab a casual bite on the Pink Pony patio. (800) 241-3341; chippewahotel.com

Grand Hotel For an unforgettable experience, stay at this glorious Victorian-Era landmark, with its purportedly world’s-longest 660-foot front porch overlooking the straits. (800) 334-7263; grandhotel.com

Hotel Iroquois Surveying the water from the edge of town, this luxurious Queen Anne-style hotel on Mackinac Island feels like an oasis. (906) 847-3321; iroquoishotel.com

Metivier Inn Want some character but not too much? Consider this charming (and air-conditioned) B&B on the island. (866) 847-6234; metivierinn.com

Mission Point Resort Outside of town on Mackinac Island, visitors rent bikes, visit the spa and dine at on-site restaurants. (906) 847-3312; missionpoint.com 

For information: Les Cheneaux Islands Area Tourist Association (888) 364-7526; lescheneaux.org

Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau (800) 454-5227; mackinacisland.org

Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau (800) 750-0160; mackinawcity.com

St. Ignace Visitors Bureau (800) 338-6660; stignace.com

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