There’s nothing like a getaway to this idyllic island where the streets are lined with Victorian cottages, cars are banned, horses are loved and the blue waters of the Mackinac Straits wink at every turn. Put these 8 things on your Mackinac Island to-do list.
This article was featured in the 2021 Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. Download your free digital issue today to experience the full guide for yourself.
1. Book a Carriage Ride with Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
See the best of the island in the most authentic way possible—from behind a team of horses. Bonus: The guides are true experts on all things Mackinac and they offer narrated tours of landmarks and historical points of interest.
2. Help Light the Cannon on Fort Mackinac
Reserve a spot to clean, load and fire the cannon at Fort Mackinac.
Cost $50 | 906.847.3328
3. Order a Bloody Mary at the Pink Pony
The spicy Bloody Mary mix is homemade—and top secret. Tito’s Handmade Vodka and a skewer of spicy garnishes top it off.
Bonus Must-Do on Mackinac Island: Tour the Governor’s Summer House! Michigan’s Governor and other state dignitaries get to use this Victorian mansion in the summer. The public is invited to tour it, free, on Wednesdays throughout the summer.
4. Stop and Smell the Lilacs
Lilacs were first brought to the island in the 1800s. Today, they grow as big as trees and add to the island’s romantic ambiance. There’s even a festival dedicated to them: The 2021 Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is from June 4 to 13.
5. Buy Mackinac Island Fudge
Double-dare you to stop and nibble at all 13 fudge shops on Mackinac Island! Trust us, you won’t need directions. Just follow your nose. Confectioners here have been whipping up this sweet treat since the late 1800s when they found that the island breezes made their fudge set perfectly. Most of today’s vendors still use the time-honored, labor-intensive technique of “paddling” the warm, liquid fudge on marble slabs until it cools.
6. Visit the Grand Hotel Gardens
See more than 150 varieties of flowers during a single visit, including century-old lilacs.
7. Bike Around the Island
It’ll be the most beautiful 8.2 miles you’ve ever biked. Explore the landmarks and drink up fabulous views of the sparkling Straits. If you’re feeling adventurous, bike inland through the lush forest. Bike rentals can be found at the waterfront.
8. Take an Instagram Shot at Arch Rock
This dramatic limestone formation rises 146 feet above the water—you bet the views are amazing up there! According to Native American tradition, Arch Rock is where the Great Creator blew the breath of life into the newly formed earth.
Find more Mackinac Island restaurants, history, outdoor fun, where to stay and more!
Ready to head to Mackinac Island? Plan the rest of your getaway!
Find this article and more in the 2021 issue of the Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. If you’re not subscribed to Traverse Magazine, you can download the Vacation Guide for free.