5 Reasons to Visit Mackinac Island

a large white building with a flag on the front

Mackinac Island (pronounced “Mackinaw”) is located in Lake Huron, between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. It is a popular vacation destination loaded with options for dining, interesting attractions, and historic sites.

It is often referred to as the Jewel of the Great Lakes, and it’s famous for the fact that cars are banned on the island, partly because cars can startle the island’s horses. Visitors can get a great view of the island as they ferry over, and they’ll also see the hundreds of bikes everyone uses to get around. Of course, you’re also free to walk or take a horse and carriage to your destination.

Either way, a trip to Mackinac is certain to be interesting and a great way to get some exercise. The following are just a few reasons to make Mackinac your next travel destination.

Lake Huron

Mackinac is a small island: You can make a full loop around it on a bike in just eight miles. Roads often wrap around the outer edge of the island, which means you’ll have near-constant access to the lake. The lake is popular for both swimming and fishing, which is why it is considered a great location for shore fishing and offers a variety of catches. Gorgeous sunset views draw people from all over the island, so be sure to capture this moment on video and through photos. Upload the snaps to your very own picture sharing website to save your memories on the cloud and share with friends and family who couldn’t join you on your trip. Photo sharing devices like Ibi make syncing, managing, and sharing photos a breeze, so be prepared to savor every moment with a photo you can cherish for years to come.


Mackinac offers no shortage of island vacation lodging, and there are no chain hotels to be found. Mackinac’s properties are unique, and many are family operated. Options range from small cottages to large hotels with lakeside views.

Of course, the most famous is the Grand Hotel, which has been in business since 1887 and has become one of the most famous hotels in the country. It has been owned by the Musser family for three generations and has a rich history.

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac is a former British and American outpost that was garrisoned from the late 18th to early 19th century. It is the oldest building in Michigan, and it once became the headquarters for the since abolished Mackinac National Park.

Tours and demonstrations are carried out for visitors at certain times of the year, and all fourteen buildings in the fort have been restored with period-accurate settings. Plus, they’re all open to the public. Exhibits explore medical practices at the time, contain multimedia presentations, and new galleries continue to be added.


As there are no cars on the island, you might expect many of the island activities to revolve around horses, and you wouldn’t be wrong. There are frequent carriage tours, and visitors can learn to ride on horseback at riding stables thanks to Mackinac’s own Horseman’s Association and Equestrian Center.

It would be difficult to list all of the activities available on Mackinac Island, but golfing is particularly popular at the Jewel Golf Course and The Greens of Mackinac. Boat tours are also popular, and there are multiple places for bike rentals. There are also clubs dedicated to most sports offered on the island. For those so inclined, particularly when visiting around Halloween, you may be encouraged to participate in the Haunts of Mackinac tour or visit the Haunted Theatre for artists’ depictions of historical events.

Food and culture

Of course, when discussing any travel destination, food has to be on the list of topics. The island has a huge variety of restaurants from Mexican grills to the Sushi Grand restaurant in the Grand Hotel. There are also plenty of options for coffee shops, and the island is particularly known for its fudge and ice cream shops. Those with a sweet tooth will have no problems here.

The island’s culture is a throwback to a simpler time. Residents are hospitable, and the quiet charm of the island is a huge draw for many visitors.