Mackinac Island is just over 3.5 square miles. It is located around the Mackinac Bridge, that connects the lower and upper peninsula of Michigan. More then 80% of the island is a protected national park and the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Which means there are some amazingly breathtaking views from this world-renowned island.
Even more interesting and unique is the fact that all motor vehicles are banned from the island. Which makes riding around the island on a bike or horse and carriage even more fun!
Growing up we would regularly visit the Island, it was a place we always looked forward to visiting as a family. Now that we have children, we love taking our kids to visit this beautiful island.
Despite going to the island so many years there is always something new and exciting to do on the island, making it lots of fun. There are great things for younger kids as well as older kids and even for adults.
If you haven’t visited the island before, I highly suggest doing it. The last time we visited we took the family to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and stayed in Traverse City for a couple nights. Then drove to Mackinac City the next day, stopping in Petoskey searching for the ever popular and beautiful Petoskey stones.
It is pretty expensive to stay on the island especially as a big family of 8. Instead, we always get a hotel in Mackinac City and take the ferry over to the island in the morning.
To extend the trip we took a day to drive up to Tahquamenon Falls and stopped to visit the lighthouse and lake shore of Lake Superior. It was a really fun and memorable family vacation!
What To Do On Mackinac Island
1.Fudge – You have never tasted fudge until you have had it while on the island it is amazingly delicious. Not only can you eat this delicious fudge, but you can watch them make it as well, which is so much fun.
2. Arch Rock – Taking a hike from the ferry dock to Arch rock will keep you busy for a few hours for the day. The view is simply stunning too.
3. American Fur Company Store and Dr. Beaumount Museum –
4. Cindy’s Riding Stable – They offer both guided and unguided tours of the island on horseback. Great for beginners and novice riders.
5. Fort Mackinac – Not only will you get an amazing view of the straights from the fort, but you will also get a chance to view war time reenactments, watch cannon salutes, and get a chance to tour the buildings.
6. Grand Hotel Porch – Enjoy a peaceful break on the porch of the hotel while sitting in a rocking chair enjoying the beautiful view of the Mackinac bridge and straights. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. This gives you admission to the porch and to explore the grounds of the hotel. The cost is also applied to a luncheon meal at the hotel if you choose to eat there.
7. Rent Bikes Ride Around Island – Rent some bikes and ride around the island. There are over 70 miles of bike trails that are perfect for taking a peaceful bike ride on a new adventure.
8. Haunted Theater – Here you will not see a movie, but it is a museum full of 3-d creatures and monsters.
9. Spa – There are multiple different spas on the island. Take a day or just a couple hours to just get pampered and relax
10. Maze Of Mirrors – Try and find your way out of this fun maze of mirrors.
11. Sip N’ Sail Mackinac – Go on a 90-minute cruise under the Mackinac bridge and around the area for a beautiful view and chance to take photos. During the
12. Surrey Hills Carriage Museum – Learn more about carriages and even watch a blacksmith. There is also a picnic area here to enjoy a picnic lunch or dinner.
13. Butterfly House and Insect World – Watch butterflies dance around this 1800sq foot garden. This is the 3rd oldest live butterfly garden in the United States.
14. Explore the Island by horse and carriage – There are a
15. Go on a Fishing Charter – Head out to the beautiful waters of the straights where you can fish for over 25 different species of fish.
16. Parasailing – Enjoy parasailing around the straights of Mackinac for a fun and memorable vacation.
17. E.U.P Fishing and Charters – Choose a half or full day fishing charter and fish for salmon and more. While fishing you will also experience some amazing views!
18. Benjamin Blacksmith Shop – In operation since 1885 you will be able to view a blacksmithy and museum here.
19. Fort Holmes – A secondary fort that was built to protect troops during the war of 1812.
20. Take A Kayak Tours / Kayak Around The Island – Take a kayak around the island. If you are able to visit the East Bluffs you will even be able to see the famous Arch Rock from a whole new perspective.
21. Candy Shop – Visit one of the candy shops to enjoy some homemade candy and even watch how some candies are made.
22. The Greens Of Mackinac at Mission Point Resort – Spend the afternoon enjoying a round of putting golf on the island. You can even visit after dark for glow and golf.
23. Windermere Point – Head over to Windermere point and skip rocks into the water or fly a kite.
24. Selfie Spots – There is an amazing amount of perfect spots on the island to take a selfie.
25. Crack In The Island – Hike on some of the trails around the island and view the unique crack in the island.