SIMPLIFYING LIFE, HOME, 

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BASED IN DETROIT, MI

est. 2016

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Mackinac Island Travel Guide

Mackinac Island is one of the jewels of the Midwest, and one of our favorite places to visit. So, today I’m sharing my must-do Mackinac Island guide, from where to stay, where to eat, and what to do on the island…it’s all here!

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When I was little, our family would travel up to Mackinac City every summer to visit the fort and the downtown shopping are and frolic in the park beneath the might Mackinac Bridge. We could see Mackinac Island across Lake Huron and watch the ferries coming to and fro but never actually made it over until I was in college. Once I stepped foot on this historic island, I fell in love…so much so, I was married on the island years later.

Here is my ultimate list of where to stay, what to do, and what to eat on my favorite island in the world to help you plan your trip to Mackinac Island and get the most out of your stay there.

How To Get There

Mackinac Island is only accessible by ferry boat or plane. Many people think that the Mackinac Bridge will take you there, but it only connects the Upper and Lower Peninsula’s of Michigan. The island is set in Lake Huron between the Upper and Lower Peninsula’s. Ferries can come from both Mackinac City (located in the lower peninsula) and St. Ignace (in the upper), whichever is easiest and most convenient for you and your family.

There are several ferry companies that shuttle visitors to the island throughout the year, and if you plan to stay on the island and purchase a hotel package your ferry tickets may be included. If they are not or you just want to visit the island for the day, I’d recommend Shepler’s Ferry Line located in downtown Mackinac City. We’ve also loved Arnold Ferry Line and Star Ferry Line.

A view of the Mackinac Bridge from Lake Huron

Typically we park and leave our car on the mainland in our chosen ferry company’s car lot, and board our ferry. Tickets are available for purchase same day at their ticket booth, or available online. Once you pull up to your ferry dock, their attendants will assist you with your luggage, tag it with the hotel you plan to stay at on the island, and load it for you. Island life starts right at the dock.

We prefer the ferries to take us to island. It’s usually only a 15-20 minute ride that takes us past lighthouses and the Mackinac Bridge. But, if you’d like a birds eye view of the island, check out these privately chartered plane rides. Yes, even though Mackinac Island is only 8 miles around, it has an small airport right in the center of the island giving visitors and residents access to the mainland in the frozen winter months when the ferries can’t break through the ice on the Great Lakes.

Where To Stay

There are plenty of places to stay once you get to Mackinac Island. There are the two largest hotels, The Grand Hotel and Mission Point Resort, as well as hotels and bed and breakfasts dotting the shoreline along Main Street or tucked farther off the beaten path. Here are our top picks…

The Grand Hotel

I can’t write a travel guide about Mackinac Island without mentioning The Grand Hotel. It is the iconic “America’s Summer Place” that boasts the longest front porch in the world and is visible from the shores of Mackinac City on the mainland. The decor is bright, bold, and historic. It was featured in the movie, Somewhere In Time, and the red velvet stairs leading to it’s larger than life porch is simply not to be missed.

The price tag at The Grand Hotel can be quite steep, but also includes some meals which I hear are delicious. If you’re not able to stay at The Grand Hotel, I’d highly recommend dining in one of their many restaurants, enjoying a Grand Hotel pecan ball, and paying the $10 to tour the lobby and sit on this iconic porch. Their grounds are simply gorgeous…stay tuned and I’ll show you where to find their secret garden!

Mission Point Resort

Our favorite place to stay while on the island is Mission Point Resort. It has everything your family will need while you’re vacationing including several dining options, a cozy lobby for reading by the fire, a coffee shop for warming up after a chilly bike ride and more. In the summertime enjoy the afternoon swimming in their pool or relaxing on the great lawn watching kites fly overhead and listening to the water lap along the shoreline.

You may even want to spend an afternoon at their brand new spa, play a round of putt putt at their own putting green, or rent one of their specialty designed bicycles to explore the island. In the evening, don’t miss a lovely dinner inside their fancier restaurant, Chianti, and catch a movie in their haunted theatre where the iconic theater scene in Somewhere In Time was filmed. (Look for Christopher Reeve’s seat while you’re in there dodging the ghosts.) And, don’t forget to stand in awe on their great lawn at one of National Geographic’s best places to stargaze. You’ve never felt so close to the stars before…trust me!

For a complete tour of Mission Point Resort and their newly renovated rooms, click here!

The Mackinac House

If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s closer to downtown near the ferry docks, I’d suggest Mackinac Island House. It’s a brand new for 2020 boutique hotel with cozy, vintage bed and breakfast vibes with breathtaking views. Mackinac Island House is located on Market Street which is just behind Main Street, so it’s a little bit quieter and less busy. We can’t wait to check out this boutique destination hotel next time we’re on the island.

The Island House

We also love The Island House, one of the oldest hotels on the island. It is located on Main Street, past Marquette Park and Fort Mackinac near the church steeples and yacht club. The Island House a stately white mansion that you simply can’t miss. Their restaurant, Grille Room 1852 is a must when on the island and boasts live piano music and views of Main Street, the docks, and lighthouses. We always finish our meal with s’mores on their front lawn during sunset for a truly romantic dinner on the island. It would be a wonderful place to stay while visiting as well.

Bicycle Street Inn, Lilac Tree Hotel, & the Iroquois Hotel

If you’d like to stay right in the action of downtown Main Street, check out Bicycle Street Inn which is a newer hotel or the Lilac Tree Hotel. You’ll be near the ferry docks and close to fudge shops, boutiques, carriage tours, and restaurants. Plus, their rooms boast beautiful views from their available balcony’s overlooking the lake and the bustling Main Street.

Bed & Breakfasts

If you’re looking for a truly personal stay on the island, then check out the many bed and breakfasts available. Our favorites from testimonials of friends and family are the Metivier Inn and the Bay View Bed & Breakfast.

The Stonecliffe Inn

And, if you are wanting to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and serenity of the island, check out The Stonecliffe Inn. It is a good 30 minute carriage ride from the downtown area on their hotel carriages which will pick you up right at your dock and take you back to the downtown area when you’d like to shop, explore, or try some fudge. The Stonecliffe Inn offers magnificent views of the Mackinac Bridge on their spacious lawn.

I hope this list of our favorite spaces and places to stay on the island is helpful, but honestly you can’t got wrong with any hotel, bed & breakfast, or AirBNB on the island. It’s such a magical place with so many different areas to discover you’ll want to visit again and again. So, I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time to try several locations. Wink wink!

What To Pack

Now let’s talk about what to pack for your trip to this one-of-a-kind island. Mackinac Island is located in northern Michigan in Lake Huron, so just by the nature of where it’s located the weather can vary from day to day. If you’re planning your trip during the summertime, prepare for various temperature fluctuations during the daytime. We’ve gone from needing jackets on an early morning bike ride, to slathering on the sunscreen and stripping down to t-shirts in the afternoon during putt putt. It’s Michigan, so you just never know what kind of weather you’re gonna get.

The overall vibe of the island is very vintage, casual, and like you’ve stepped back in time. But, be prepared with some fancier clothing to enjoy some unique dining options that I’ll share in a second. Some restaurants and even some hotels require formal dress for dinner or evenings, especially The Grand Hotel. Check with the restaurants or hotels where you plan to book what the dress requirements are, but for the most part you’re on island time and things are very cozy, comfy, and casual.

  • Casual Clothing– like I said, you’re on island time, and you’ll be hiking and bike riding so bring appropriate clothing for this activities so you can get the most out of your experience.
  • Dressier Clothing– you won’t want to miss some of the finer dining options that I’ll mention later, so bring some dress pants, blouses, jewelry, heels, and suit coats. Besides, it fun to dress up anyways, right?
  • Cardigans/Jackets– in can get a bit chilly during overcast days or in the evenings on the lake in northern Michigan, so come prepared with layers. You’ll thank me later.
  • Bug Spray– you’ll be near the water, and with that comes bugs unfortunately. So, pack your bug spray for those long bike rides through the woods and for star gazing on the lawn at night.
  • Umbrella– you definitely won’t want to stop exploring the island if it begins to rain, in fact that’s one of the most romantic and fun times to be on the island. Everyone else retreats to their hotels, bars, or restaurant, and you can feel like you have the entire island to yourself. So, pack an umbrella and don’t be afraid to splash in the puddles.
  • Walking Shoes– you’ll be doing a lot of walking if you choose too, so bring comfy shoes. There are plenty of hikes that are splendid, and if you’re staying at Mission Point Resort, for instance, it’s a mile long walk back into downtown (which is my favorite thing about it). You’ll want to meander down the twisting streets and up to the bluffs to see all of the Victorian houses that dot the cliffs and see the views of the island up above, so bring comfy shoes.
  • Sun Screen– even if it feels cool outside, don’t forget to put on sunscreen. We’ve made this mistake a time or two. Ouch! That Michigan sun near the water can burn you for sure even if you don’t feel like you’re getting a lot of sun.
  • Camera– always…pack your camera! You’re not going to want to forget this beautiful location and your adventure to Mackinac Island. There will be plenty of pictures to take, so bring lots of film….wait, what is this 1995?! Ha! My inner 90’s kid was just channeled. But, seriously, clear some space on your phone or camera and click away!
Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

Where To Eat

We are definitely bonefide foodies, so of course, we’ve got you covered when it comes to what to eat on the island. Here are our favorite places to grab lunch, enjoy a romantic dinner, and scarf down a pastry and a latte. Plus, I’ll share with you some must-eat Mackinac Island food experiences….

Lunch Spots

These are our favorite places to grab a bite to eat during the day after we’ve been hiking, shopping, or bicycling the island. You’ll love these places. Our list is growing bigger and bigger each time we visit, so check back often to see our newest recommendations.

  • Picnic– you certainly can’t go wrong with a picnic, especially on a bike ride around the island. There are plenty of spots to pull off, sit on the shore or at a picnic table, and enjoy lunch! We love picking up grab ‘n go items at Boxwood Cafe and Coffee Shop at Mission Point Resort before heading out on our bike ride. If you head east just past Mission Point, you’ll see a sign that you’re now entering Mackinac Island State Park, so it’s the perfect starting point for your ride. You can grab sandwiches, pastries, cheese, and wine at the shop for a lovely picnic on the go.
  • Mary’s Bistro– this is one of Adam’s favorite spots to eat at while on the island for a view of the ferries coming in to port, and their chicken pot pie is so comforting on a chilly Mackinac Island day
  • Pink Pony- great sandwiches and fries and water views
  • O’Reily’s Irish Pub– you can’t miss their Shepard’s pie and pasties located right on Main Street
  • Millies on Main– best club sandwich you’ll ever eat!
  • SeaBiscuit Cafe– great place to enjoy a big ole bowl of soup on a chilly, rainy day
  • The Jockey Club– absolutely gorgeous Grand Hotel restaurant located on the Grand’s golf course, adjacent to the hotel. A definite must-see especially in spring and summer when you can enjoy the patio.
  • Bistro On The Greens– located at Mission Point Resort overlooking their putting greens and the water, wonderful food and interesting cocktails/mocktails
  • Carriage House– located inside the Iroquois Hotel is another favorite lunch spot that overlooks the docks and the lighthouses, just west of downtown Main Street
  • Sushi Grand– the brand new place to enjoy sushi and ramen bowls just south of The Grand Hotel
  • The Gateway– another favorite Grand Hotel restaurant next door to Sushi Grand, great place for sandwiches and soup
A Mackinac Island Bucket List. What to see, where to stay, and what to do on Mackinac Island. Plus, an honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.
A Mackinac Island Bucket List. What to see, where to stay, and what to do on Mackinac Island. Plus, an honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.
Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.
Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.
Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

Fancier Dinner Spots

Now let’s talk about some amazing fancier dinner locations that you simply can’t miss during your time on the island.

  • The 1852 Grille Room– is located inside The Island House and offers breathtaking views and even better food. Once we finish dinner, we usually end our lovely date with s’mores on their front lawn during sunset. It’s a location not to be missed.
  • Chianti– is the fancier Italian restaurant located inside Mission Point. It’s even more romantic when you end the night curled up by one of their many fireplaces playing Scrabble waiting for the stars to come out.
  • Cudahy Chophouse– the dining room inside The Stonecliffe Inn is another favorite of ours. We typically stay at Mission Point Resort which is literally on the opposite of the island. So for us, it’s usually an hour-long carriage taxi ride that take us through downtown, past The Grand Hotel, along the West Bluff, to our final destination. And, if that wasn’t romantic enough, once seating inside the quaint dining room, we typically enjoy a lovely dinner by a roaring fire and watch the lights along the peaks and valleys of the Mighty Mackinac Bridge begin to twinkle and dance. It’s one of the most beautiful ways to enjoy a sunset on the island.
  • The Woods– and right next door to the Stonecliffe Inn is a German-themed restaurant owned by The Grand Hotel called The Woods. It totally gives me Hansel and Grettle vibes. We love the decor and the food…especially the German dishes you can’t get anywhere else (the pretzels are my favorite…I know, super exotic). Then after dinner, head over to their bar and enjoy a bag of popcorn and a round of duck pin bowling on the oldest bowling ally in Michigan.

Mackinac Island Foodie Experiences

There are a few foodie experiences that you simply can’t get anywhere else in the world located on Mackinac Island. I’ve already shared several of our favorites, but here’s a few more that you have to try…

  • The Fort– I highly recommend going on a tour of Fort Mackinac, especially if you’re into history, and enjoying some tea and dessert at the Tea House that overlooks Marquette Park beneath the fort and the sparkling water beyond. It’s a lovely place to grab a quick bite, and who else can say they’ve sat and enjoyed tea at a historic fort that played a vital role in the War of 1812?
  • The Grand Hotel– I’d also highly recommend paying the $10 dollars to go up on The Grand Hotel’s porch and take a tour of the inside. The Cupola Bar that is at the tip top of The Grand is a must-see for a quick cocktail amongst Tiffany-style vintage glass chandeliers and Victorian style. You simply have to see this place and the panoramic views the island are breathtaking.
  • Pecan Ball– and, while you’re at it, enjoy a Grand Hotel Fudge Pecan Ball for me while you’re there will ya? You can find this Mackinac Island dessert at any of the Grand Hotel restaurants including the Fort’s Tea Room, Sushi Grande, Gateway, and The Jockey Club.
  • Fudge– It wouldn’t be a trip to Mackinac Island without a stop at a fudge shop, and our favorite it inside the Murray Hotel. They have a fudge counter right inside their lobby where they serve fudge in any flavor you can imagine (our favorites have been Oreo, Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt, Snickers, and S’mores). They make their fudge differently than any other fudge shop on the island, and in our opinion it’s the best because its super creamy and decadent. But, let’s be serious, you really can’t go wrong with fudge, am I right?
  • Fried Pickles– on your bike ride around the island, you’ll notice a cute little food stand at the tip top corner of the island called the Cannonball. It’s affectionately named that because it is located at British Landing, the spot where the British stormed the island during the War of 1812 and surprise attacked Fort Mackinac. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a canon sitting on the shoreline. Stop at The Cannonball for a nice cold beverage and their famous deep friend pickles! It’s the perfect pick-me-up during your bike ride.
  • Somewhere In Time Latte– while I would recommend checkout out the small locally owned coffee shops that adorn the island, if you have a hankering for Starbucks, you can find one located right on Main Street across from the ferry docks. If you happen to find yourself grabbing a latte before boarding your ferry back to the mainland, try the Somewhere In Time Latte an island favorite.
What to do and where to stay on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

Coffee Shops

Of course I’ve rounded up my favorite coffee shops on the island, and you can read about them here. They deserved their own post. Also, if you’re looking for a unique coffee experience, check out the Watercolor Cafe located in the rear of the Bay View Bed & Breakfast (AKA the big yellow house just past the boat docks across from the Art Museum on Main Street) where you can enjoy a nice espresso and take a painting class…the perfect activity on the island if it’s chilly or rainy. I love this little cafe right on the water. We have fond memories of this special place. In fact, enjoy a lilac latte and a poppy for me, will ya?

Where to stay and what to see on Mackinac Island. An honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Where to stay and what to see on Mackinac Island. An honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Where to stay and what to see on Mackinac Island. An honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Where to stay and what to see on Mackinac Island. An honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

What To Do

There are many things to do and see on the island, although the overall feel is very relaxed. So, you may find that you’d rather just park yourself in adirondack chair for the afternoon and enjoy a cappuccino by the water. But, if you’re up for seeing what this beautiful island has to offer, here are some of the best activities to enjoy while visiting Mackinac Island.

Ride Bikes

There are a while smattering of bicycle rental shops along Main Street near the ferry docks, so you can rent whatever bicycle suits your needs and be on your way. If you are staying overnight on the island, your hotel may have its own bicycle rental shop and your rentals may be included with your stay. Most rental shops have accessories to make riding with your children or pets enjoyable as well.

Our favorite bike ride is to circumnavigate the island on the only Highway in Michigan that doesn’t allow cars. This ride will take you along the water past many beautiful homes and sensational landmarks, and even past The Grand Hotel. It’s an 8 mile ride that you’ll want to repeat over and over again.

We also love cutting straight down the middle of the island as well. When we reach British Landing and enjoy a couple of deep fried pickles at The Cannonball, we continue down the road there by the Cannonball. This ride will take you by the Equestrian Center, Grand Hotel Stables, golf courses, and even the island’s airport. Eventually, you’ll end up near the Governor’s Mansion and Fort Mackinac where you’ll be able to enjoy some spectacular views.

The Art Museum

The Mackinac Island Art Museum is a fun activity especially on chilly, rainy days. It features artwork from several local artists, and many pieces that depict the history of the island. It’s a great quiet escape during your peaceful stay on the island.

Tour Fort Mackinac

If you really want to step back into time, take a tour of Fort Mackinac. You can’t miss it. You can see the fort from the ferry docks. It’s the long white wall atop a hill overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. We love learning about history, so we enjoy spending an afternoon walking around the fort and discovering new things.

Part of the War of 1812 was fought here at this fort, and there was a Dr. William Beaumont who was stationed at this fort during the war and studied the GI system after a friend was shot in the stomach with a cannonball (I read an entire book about it…ha!). Now, Beaumont Health System which is named after this doctor stationed at Fort Mackinac, is the largest health system in Michigan. You can see of the medical devices they used back then as well as where the soldiers lived and what life looked like on the island back in the 1800’s.

Shopping on Main Street

You can’t visit Mackinac Island and not do some shopping on Main Street. I have a few favorite spots to peruse when I’m visiting including my favorite shops, Poppins, Little Luxuries of Mackinac, and Nephews of Mackinac. Don’t forget to go one block over and check out the adorable shops on Market Street as well, and stop for a cup o’ Joe at The Lucky Bean.

Fly Kites

When was the last time you flew a kite? Well, nows the time to dust of the old Delta and string her up. Flying kites is one of the favorite pastimes on Mackinac Island, and our very own kites were one of our first souvenir purchases on the island after we were married and we still have them. There are plenty of open field that are perfect for flying kites. Our favorite spots are on the lawn just south of The Grand Hotel near the Mackinac Island School and the great lawn at Mission Point Resort. If you forget your kite, don’t worry. There are plenty of shops downtown that sell them.

Hike

Another favorite pastime is hiking. If you’re sore of bicycles or just want to explore this beautiful space on foot, then I’d suggest grabbing a map at the Information Center located next to the Carriage tour building on Main Street. There are plenty of public restrooms right there as well as benches in the shade to relax during your trip.

Some of our favorite hikes have been to the actual Somewhere In Time gazebo which is just East of Fort Mackinac, Sugar Loaf, Arch Rock, the military cemeteries in the center of the island, and the northern most place on the island (Fort Holmes). Grab a map and begin planning your hike. You won’t want to miss these sites. There are so many beautiful places to see that aren’t right smack dab in the downtown area.

Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

Relax on Mission Point’s Great Lawn

After your hike or bike ride, pull up an Adirondack chair and relax on Mission Point Resort’s Great Lawn. There’s plenty of room for everybody. They have their own cute little shops and coffee bar right inside the resort adjacent to the lawn. I’d recommend grabbing a snack, a cup of coffee, or some ice cream and relaxing for a bit. You may even see Nick, the resident Mission Point border collie chasing the geese away.

And, do me a favor, and take a quick little walk around the gorgeous lakeside gazebo where we were married. It’s seriously our favorite little spot on the island. You can’t miss it if you’re on the Great Lawn.

What to do and where to stay on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Golfing

If you’re looking for another really relaxing activity, check out the island’s various golf courses. There is a putting green at Mission Point Resort right next to the Great Lawn, and even has a cute outdoor bar and restaurant overlooking the green where you can grab a bit to eat. Or check out The Grand Hotel’s award-winning golf course. This is a must-do if you enjoy playing.

A Mackinac Island Bucket List. What to see, where to stay, and what to do on Mackinac Island. Plus, an honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.
A Mackinac Island Bucket List. What to see, where to stay, and what to do on Mackinac Island. Plus, an honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

Carriage Tour

One of my favorite must-do activities is the carriage tour. You can buy tickets and board your carriage right next to the information desk on Main Street. Most likely you’ll see many carriage parked outside the ticket booth, so you can’t miss it. This tour will take you to most of the major must-sees on the island including the Butterfly House, Arch Rock, and Fort Mackinac.

If you’d like a more private customizable experience, check out the collection of private carriages parked on Main Street across from the Welcome Center near Marquette Park. If you get off the ferry, just turn right on Main Street and you’ll pass Marquette Park with the Fort standing proudly up on the hill. You won’t miss it. These carriage tours are more expensive, but private. They will take you wherever you’d like to to on the island, or have them surprise you. It’s seriously one of the most relaxing things you’ll do on the island. I love listening to the history and the stories the carriage drivers have to share, and learning more about the horses accompanying us that day.

Tips & Tricks to taking professional looking photos with an iPhone including my best kept secret...Lightroom Presets!

Horseback Riding

There are horses literally everywhere on Mackinac Island, and if you enjoy horseback riding you’re in for a treat. Head over to Market Street to the livery where you can begin your horseback riding adventure. The horses can take you wherever you’d like to go, or you can even join a tour group to see the sites on these magnificent animals.

What To See

There is so much to see and do on Mackinac Island, but here a few of my favorite must-sees that are a little off the beaten path, some popular and some not so much. If it’s your first time experiencing the island with your family, put these places on your list to see. You won’t regret it.

Arch Rock & Sugar Loaf

Mackinac Island has several iconic rock formations that you simply have to see. These special places, like Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf, aren’t breathtaking and spectacular and not something you’ll see anywhere else in the world.

Grand Hotel’s Secret Garden

Did you know that the iconic Grand Hotel has a secret garden? Neither did we until our last visit. We were told to go to the base of the Grand Hotel grounds where we happened upon a wooded trail that we’d never been on before. Then, down a hidden turn in the path we found it! Ask for directions at any of The Grand Hotel restaurants I mentioned above or at The Welcome Center. It’s not something you’ll want to miss. It was breathtaking.

Equestrian Center

The Mackinac Community Equestrian Center is another hidden gem on the island. It’s located near the northernmost tip of the island, British Landing. Just turn down British Landing Road to cut down the center of the island instead of continuing your commute around the island, and you’ll find the center on your left-hand side. Go inside and learn about the rich history of horses on the island. You can even take horseback riding lessons and enjoy trail rides with their horses or if you’d like you can even bring your own horse to island. Click here to learn more.

Grand Hotel Stable

Another hidden gem that we love is the Grand Hotel Stable. It’s where The Grand Hotel houses a lovely collection of carriages that have been used for centuries on the island. It’s fascinating to see these beautiful pieces. You can take a virtual tour of the stable here.

Special Bucket List Experiences

These experiences may require a bit more planning and budgeting, but are definitely worth it especially if you fall in love with this beautiful place as much as we did and want to experience everything Mackinac Island has to offer.

Lilac Spa Day

Lakeside Spa and Salon located at Mission Point Resort is the island’s newest health and wellness center. They have a full-service salon and spa that are simply what island dreams are made of. May I suggest scheduling a morning or afternoon at their lovely spa to rest and rejuvenate after exploring this historic island? I’d highly recommend the Lilac Body Treatment that is a special treat from head to toe (literally) using lilac essential oil. Learn how to book your spa day here.

A Mackinac Island Bucket List. What to see, where to stay, and what to do on Mackinac Island. Plus, an honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.
A Mackinac Island Bucket List. What to see, where to stay, and what to do on Mackinac Island. Plus, an honest review of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

Eat a Grand Sundae at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor

Whether you’re visiting Mackinac Island on a romantic getaway or for a fun family getaway, you have to add the Grand Sundae at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor to your bucket list. It is the ice cream sundae to end all sundaes…many many scoops of ice cream all served up in a giant dog bowl. It’s definitely sharable (unless you like ice cream as much as I do!). Grab your camera for all the fun photo ops inside this super cute ice cream parlor, and then board your bike to go for a ride to work off all those sweet calories afterwards.

Sunset Cruise

One of our favorite experiences from our most recent trip to Mackinac Island was the Sunset Cruise. This cruise leaves the dock off of Main Street and takes you on a glorious tour of the west side of the island and eventually underneath the Mackinac Bridge where you can truly gaze as this spectacular structure. You’ll enjoy live music and a beautiful sunset over Lake Huron and Lake Michigan as you return back to the island. This is a must at least once during a visit to the island. You can buy your tickets here.

Scary Movie Night

Well, maybe the movie in and of itself won’t be scary, but the fact that the theater of haunted will be spooky enough, right? Watch timeless classics filmed on Mackinac Island in the historic theater at Mission Point Resort shown every Tuesday and Sunday. This is a great way to relax after a busy day of exploring, and perhaps sit in Christopher Reeves seat in the theater while watching “Somewhere In Time”.

Lilac Festival

At least once in your lifetime, you need to visit Mackinac Island during their famous lilac festival. The island has 100+ year old lilacs that are celebrated every summer in June with parades, festivities, and fun activities. Plus, you can even take a piece of this lilac history home with you to plant and enjoy for years to come. Check our more Lilac Festival details here.

Visit During All Seasons

While Mackinac Island is most enjoyed during the summer, it is a lovely place to visit in the spring and fall as well. In fact, autumn in our favorite time to stay on the island. The summer crowds have died down, and there’s a golden hue amongst the trees. The island seems peaceful after a busy summer season.

We have visited in every season except for wintertime which is next on our bucket list. We hope to visit one year for New Years and watch the Turtle Drop on Main Street and showshoe in the Mackinac Island State Park. Which season is your favorite to travel?

Where to stay, what to see, and where to go on Mackinac Island. An honest review of our stay at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

I hope this travel guide helps you plan your ultimate trip to Mackinac Island. As always if you have any further questions please leave them for me below in the comments. I’d love to talk all about your upcoming trip and give you more tips if you need them.

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  • Omg Stephanie reading your trip review has gotten me even more excited for my first visit to Mackinac island. I’m sure Mike and I will be using your travel guide during our stay!! Thank you so much for writing this ❤️ Your the best, and I truly could feel the love you have for this island in your words❤️

    Reply
  • Omg Stephanie reading your trip review has gotten me even more excited for my first visit to Mackinac island. I’m sure Mike and I will be using your travel guide during our stay!! Thank you so much for writing this ❤️ Your the best, and I truly could feel the love you have for this island in your words❤️

    Reply
    • I’m so glad it’s helpful! Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

      Reply

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Hi, I’m Stephanie

Your newest BFF & Simplicity Guru, if that’s ok with you

Fueled by equal parts cold brew and dry shampoo, I spend my days inspiring and encouraging women to find joy and rest, even in a season full of chaos and overwhelm.  Your story, your family, your journey is a beautiful one and I can’t wait to help you create memories you will treasure for years to come.  

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