RVing

4 Reasons You Have to Visit Mackinac Island

This is the harbor at Mackinac Island in Michigan during the summer.

Visiting Mackinac Island in Michigan is like being transported to another time. A time before cars ruled the roads and horses were the only horsepower around. This quaint town is accessible only by ferry, which turns any visit into an adventure. It’s the perfect destination for your next RV road trip.

But wait… if it’s an island, what do you do with the RV? Park the RV at a nearby campground in Mackinaw City, of course! Take your bikes over to the island for a fun day trip, or stay a few days at a hotel or bed and breakfast on the island. There is always plenty to explore. Here are four reasons you have to visit Mackinac Island.

Carriage Rides and Horseback Riding

Carriage Rides at Mackinac Island
Photography by Christy Henry

Since cars are not allowed on the island, horses are one of the main methods of transportation. One of the must-do activities on Mackinac Island is to take a carriage ride, which is a horse-drawn carriage tour around the island. You’ll learn all about the local history and see some of the top sites.

Need a ride while you’re on the island? You can grab your very own horse-drawn taxi to take you anywhere you want to go.

Another fun activity is to go horseback riding. You can ride through town or ride through the trails. With so many horses around wherever you go on the island, keep in mind to watch where you step.

Bicycling

Bicycling on Mackinac Island
Photography by Christy Henry

The other main way to explore the island is by bicycle! You can either bring your bike to the island on the ferry or rent one by the hour.

It’s very convenient to bike from place to place and the highlight is biking the 8-mile loop around the island, which is a beautiful scenic ride. After this achievement, you can celebrate by buying yourself a fancy bicycle-themed souvenir at one of the many gift shops!

The Grand Hotel and Local History

Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island
Photography by Christy Henry

No visit to Mackinac Island would be complete without a visit to the Grand Hotel, the film location of the movie Somewhere in Time. Stroll through the gardens and sit in the iconic rocking chairs on the world’s longest porch.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can even participate in afternoon tea in the parlor with champagne, treats, and, of course, your very own pot of tea. Keep in mind that there is a small fee to enter the hotel if you are not a guest, and there is a formal dress code in the evening.

If you’re interested in watching Somewhere in Time while on the island (highly recommended!), stop in at the visitor’s center and ask about the showtimes for the week. You can watch it for free at various places around the island, such as the Mission Point Theater at the Mission Point Resort, which is also a film location from the movie!

While you’re out in the town, be sure to stop by Fort Mackinac to explore the history of the island and dine at the fort tea room.

Mackinac Culture

Pink Pony on Mackinac Island
Photo by Kelsey Henry

Another must-experience part of Mackinac is the local culture, including the delicious restaurants, such as the famous Pink Pony restaurant, and the desert of choice, fudge!

There are countless fudge shops around the main street. In fact, there are so many that tourists on the island are called “fudgies.”

After you grab some fudge, take a walk down by the boats and enjoy the view or have a fudge picnic on the lawn below Fort Mackinac. Be sure to stop by the visitor’s center to find out about local activities.

There is something fun for everyone at Mackinac Island, such as browsing the adorable shops, getting coffee and coloring at the Watercolor Cafe, or hiking the trails. Then, walk through the neighborhoods and marvel at the beautiful houses before heading back to the Michigan mainland on the next ferry.


Have you visited Mackinac Island? What was your favorite thing to do? Comment below!

4 reasons you have to visit mackinac island

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