Headed to Mackinac Island? Don’t leave your best friend behind! These hotels, tours and yes, even fudge shops, are dog friendly. 

Sleep Pet-Friendly and Posh

Mission Point Resort offers 38 pet-friendly rooms in its Straits Lodge, all newly remodeled. Book the “Pooch at the Point” package for the best value and to get the cool gift of a personal pet bowl. The Mackinac Island resort even has a signature bedtime read about pets—the story of Nick the resort dog. Note: Those luxe Carhartt beds may be just for the dogs, but you get the jacuzzi.

Doggy Paddle

Here, that phrase doesn’t refer to a swimming style. It means that when you go for a paddle you take your dog along. Book a guided sunrise trip with Great Turtle Kayak Tours to glide along the ferry docks or the sunset trip to see the sun sink behind the Mackinac Bridge. Just note on your online registration form that you’ll be bringing the pooch (and his or her life jacket).

Ferry Together

Dogs are free on ferries if they ride on your lap or a kid’s fare if they need their own seat. Just remember the island’s leash law starts on the boat (to avoid dog overboard!) and continues on busy Main Street to avoid collisions with horses. “We get a lot of dogs that come up and spend the day with their owners to swim and hike around the island,” says Chris Shepler, Vice President of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry.

Looking for more dog-friendly vacations, hikes, restaurants? Head to Dog-Friendly Northern Michigan.

A Trailer of Their Own

Some dogs are basket-sized, perfect for riding up front when you rent a bike from one of the many island outfitters. For dogs who need to spread out a bit, rent a trailer to pull behind as you cruise the trails.

Dogs Crave Fudge Too

Some 10,000 pounds of Mackinac Island fudge is made daily during peak tourist season—a throwback to the days when Victorian vacationers got hooked on sweets (first maple syrup harvested by the island’s Native Americans—later, fudge). Ryba’s dips dog treats in a dog-friendly favorite: peanut butter fudge.

Fort Field Trip

Your dog will be the best educated in obedience class after a trip through historic Fort Mackinac where pets are welcome and water bowls are liberally scattered throughout the grounds. You need only worry if your pup is skittish around loud noises—interpreters regularly do cannon and rifle demonstrations. If so, walk to the more remote Fort Holmes located at the island’s highest point (the views are amazing).

Kim Schneider is a long-time travel writer specializing in Michigan adventures, food and wine. The Midwest Travel Journalist Association has named her Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year, and she’s the author of the recently-published book, “100 Things to Do in Traverse City Before You Die.”

Photo(s) by Mission Point Resort