Michiganders know Mackinac Island is one of the best spots for an unforgettable, car-free summer vacation. Now, so does the nation thanks to USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards Contest.

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Just in time for the island’s April 28th opening day, Mackinac Island has been named the Best Summer Travel Destination in the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award Contest. Those who have spent time on Mackinac Island know how special this place really is and how it has remained a treasured destination that keeps visitors coming back time and time again.

As a mainly May through October destination, the island relies on a steady stream of tourism, and after a few tough summers of travel, 2023 may just be the best yet.

View the full winners list and why Mackinac Island was voted No. 1, then start planning your trip below.

Downtown Mackinac Island from a Drone

Photo by Mackinac Island Tourism

Plan Your Trip To Mackinac Island

Looking to plan the ultimate Mackinac Island adventure? We’ve got you covered! From how to get to Mackinac Island (hint: the ferry is a must!) to new things to explore this summer on the island (shops, restaurants, hotel renovations, events!), you’ll find all the resources you need on MyNorth.com.

Here are some of our favorite articles to help you plan your trip. Simply save or bookmark them, and get planning!

Official Press Release from Mackinac Island Tourism

This is the official press release brought to you by Mackinac Island Tourism, USA Today and MyNorth Media.

Mackinac Island Named Best Summer Travel Destination by USA TODAY 10Best
National Historic Landmark and Idyllic Vacation Spot Earns Top Spot in 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – April 28, 2023 – Mackinac Island, the cherished “Jewel of the Great Lakes” that has beckoned travelers for centuries, announced today it has been named the Best Summer Travel Destination in the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest.

“Mackinac Island is a remarkable place and our community works so hard to make it the special place it is today,” said Mackinac Island Mayor Margaret Doud. “We are honored to be recognized for an accolade of this stature and look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy this treasured island for years to come.”

Measuring less than five square miles, Mackinac Island is an incredible vacation destination filled with unique attractions, unforgettable experiences, unparalleled views of the Great Lakes, and of course trademark Mackinac Island fudge. Today, visitors can experience the island’s rich history by visiting centuries-old forts, taking in views of the Victorian architecture and riding a horse-drawn carriage down streets that have been car-free for more than 100 years.

“We are thrilled to be named the Best Summer Travel Destination by the USA TODAY 10Best heading into the 2023 season,” said Tim Hygh, Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau Executive Director. “Those who have visited Mackinac Island know how special this place is and it truly is one of those destinations that sticks with you even after you’ve left. The island’s atmosphere, scenery, and people encapsulate a truly magical vacation experience, and this award reflects that.”

“Mackinac Island holds a special place in Michigan’s history and has long been a cherished destination appealing to travelers far and wide,” said Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We’re proud to receive this meaningful recognition for our state and encourage everyone to make the time to visit Mackinac Island to truly experience what this unique island has to offer every type of traveler.”

As the 2023 season on Mackinac Island gets underway, the community is looking forward to celebrating monumental anniversaries including the 125th anniversaries for both the motorized vehicle ban and the historic Wawashkamo Golf Club, as well as 75th anniversaries for the signature Lilac Festival and iconic Pink Pony restaurant. Visitors can also look forward to new dining options and reimagined properties that will enhance the island’s nostalgic charm. For more season opening dates, see here.

Tom Nemacheck, Executive Director, Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation added, “Mackinac Island is one of the Upper Peninsula’s Crown Jewels. The experience there is so incredibly special and has brought visitors to our region from all around the country and even from around the world.”

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest – part of the multi-platform news and information media company USA TODAY – aims to share expert travel content spanning attractions, things to do and see, restaurants, and more. Categories and nominees are selected by a panel of experts including a combination of 10Best.com and USA TODAY editors, relevant expert contributors, and sources from other Gannett properties. New categories with 20 nominees are launched every Monday and open to public voting for four weeks; the public is allowed to vote online for one nominee per category, per day.

In addition to this latest 10Best Readers’ Choice achievement, Mackinac Island has recently garnered an impressive collection of accolades including being named the Best Island in the Continental U.S. by Travel + Leisure and one of the Best Places to Visit by TripAdvisor.

Sunrise view on Mackinac Island

Photo by Mackinac Island Tourism

Photo(s) by Mackinac Island Tourism