Mackinac Island is a popular summer destination known for its beautiful cottages, downtown boutiques, horse-drawn carriages, and, of course, the fudge. While things do slow down in the winter, there are a few hardy visitors who fly to Mackinac Island to explore the frozen landscape and enjoy the quiet, slower pace.
“We do get quite a few visitors in the winter, but of course nowhere near the one million visitors in the summer months,” says Alison Abraham, the assistant director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. “Winter is about one percent of that.”
Ferries are the main mode of transportation to the island, but due to ice, they may stop running periodically each winter (the exact dates vary depending on the weather). However, like the locals, you can still travel to and from the island by plane, which offers a different, and absolutely stunning, view of the island.
“Flying is quite easy,” Alison says. “It’s a very short trip. One thing for guests to keep in mind when flying is that the airport is located in the center of the island so you will want to reserve a horse drawn taxi to pick you up.” (Read about horses on Mackinac Island here.)
Check out flights to Mackinac Island below.
Photo by: Steven Blair, courtesy of Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau
The 3,500-foot paved and lit runway can accommodate private and charter aircraft. The airport is open daily from dawn to dusk, with reduced hours in winter. You can pay a daily fee if you’re just taking a quick trip over, or buy a monthly or annual permit. View landing fees here. A horse-drawn taxi service is available to take you from the airport to your hotel, downtown Mackinac, or elsewhere on the island by calling 906.847.3323.
This economical option offers passenger and freight charter service options from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island and the surrounding areas.
You can catch a flight during the winter season for as low as $32 per person from St. Ignace with a half-off discount for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are free (2 fare minimum). Passengers may bring a medium or large suitcase and one carry-on at no additional cost. Extra boxes cost $3 per piece. It’s free to bring sports equipment such as skis or snowshoes. The plane can carry a maximum of five people, or four adults with luggage depending on weight. The flight takes approximately 10 minutes.
Great Lakes Air also offers flights to meet commercial flights arriving in Pellston, Traverse City, Detroit, and Chicago. Flights are not scheduled but are available by reservation by calling 906.643.7165. View prices here.
You can fly from your hometown airport directly to Mackinac Island on one of North Country Aviation’s charter planes. For more information, including servicing airports and rates, contact North Country Aviation directly at 800.959.1829.
Travel from Charlevoix to Mackinac Island for a day trip or dinner on a local charter flight. Or take advantage of their charter service for flights throughout Northern Michigan. For more information and rates, call 231.237.9482.