Travel Guide to Mackinac Island and Its Top Attractions

Grand hotels, pastel colored houses, bikes and beaches are all sprawled on Mackinac Island.

Hopper Editors - Oct. 26, 2017

People often visit the historic, scenic and action-packed Mackinac Island, Michigan, as a multi-day trip to spend some quality time enjoying the island’s relaxed, resort atmosphere. One of the island’s fudge shops, Joann’s Fudge, is so popular that many people know the island for its fudge. But that’s not all travelers will find here, as there’s also plenty of historical and outdoor attractions to discover.

History buffs are in for a treat at Fort Mackinac, where there are live re-enactments of the old war days. Nature lovers can hike, bike or carriage ride through Mackinac Island State Park. To get to Mackinac Island, fly into Mackinac Island Airport, or take the ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace from May through October. Cars are not allowed on the island, and travel on Mackinac Island is only by walking, bicycle or horse and carriage. Thankfully, there are plenty of bicycle rental shops that cater to travelers coming in by ferry.

History comes alive at Fort Mackinac

Photo by Katie Esch via Flickr.

Fort Mackinac is the oldest building in Michigan and it has stone walls, cannons and more to prove it. History quite literally comes alive for visitors at the fort as trained professionals reenact military training and battles, as well as depict family life for those who would have lived in the fort in its heyday.

The Mackinac Island State Park is another great stop

Photo by Brandon Bartoszek via Flickr.

Mackinac Island is a great place to go hiking. Walking through its state park visitors can see high limestone bluffs, vistas of water, forests, historical monuments and geological formations. People don’t only come to hike, they also bike, ride horses or go by carriage. The old tribes who used to live in the park claim it’s where life began.

The Chuckwagon of Mackinac Island is a local favorite

Photo by White Pine Photo via Flickr.

Open for both breakfast and lunch, this local favorite has been around for a number of decades. The folks at Chuckwagon are all about using only the freshest ingredients and incorporating their very own personal touch. Diners can choose to sit either at the counter or at a table in the dining room space.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Joann's Fudge

Photo by creed_400 via Flickr.

As the name suggests, this place sells fudge, and lots of it. They have an impressive 29 flavors of fudge, which are made daily on the premises using fresh cream and butter, and no artificial ingredients or preservatives – it’s all natural here. Along with the selection of toffee, there’s also a selection of candy, taffy, and peanut and cashew brittle.

Sleep well in the historic Grand Hotel

Photo by Mary via Flickr.

The Grand Hotel has been welcoming visitors to Mackinac Island since 1887 and it shows no signs of slowing up any time soon. Name an accolade, and it’s likely that the Grand Hotel has received it. Travel + Leisure called them one of the world’s 500 best hotels, and Conde Nast Traveler said they were one of the top 5 resorts in the Midwest, to name a few. But "Midwestern resort" doesn’t really seem like the most accurate way to describe Grand Hotel, which is definitely more New England – luxurious and steeped in old world charm.

Try staying at the candy-colored Main Street Inn and Suites

Photo by Mary via Flickr.

In a great location on Mackinac Island, this inn is full of quaint charm and offers its guests a real homey experience. Guest rooms are comfortable and elegant, while having all the modern conveniences. The inn’s amenities are nothing to be scoffed at either, which include a pool table, cable television and games. Some rooms even have jacuzzi tubs in them.

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