What to do and see in Mackinac Island, United States: The Best Places and Tips

February 26, 2018 Agatha Simes

Charming Mackinac Island is a throwback to old-timey seaside leisure, from the candy-colored facades of downtown shops to the impressive (record-breaking, in fact) front porch of the Victorian-era Grand Hotel. Mackinac is world-famous for its homemade fudge, available in every flavor you can imagine. Work off your sugar high with a round of golf, a bike ride along a seaside trail, or exploring the limestone bluffs of Mackinac Island State Park.
Restaurants in Mackinac Island

1. Mackinac Island State Park

7029 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5155 +1 231-436-4100
Excellent
78%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Mackinac Island State Park

This is Mackinac Island State Park, a landscape characterized by high limestone bluffs, beautiful vistas of sparkling water, vibrant forests, and mystical geological formations. With automobiles banned since 1898, here exists a quieter way of life away from interstate noise of cities. Over 80 percent of Mackinac Island is within Mackinac Island State Park—free of charge and open year round—where you’ll discover the true natural gems of Mackinac. Whether visiting this island parkland by foot, bike, horseback, or carriage, these many majestic geological wonders and unique historical monuments are visual treasures found only here—on the island sacred to the Ojibwa and Odawa Great Lakes Indian tribes. According to them, this is where life began. You’re invited to discover why.

Reviewed By PamDoug - Hudsonville, Michigan

Another visit to this island was spectacular! We...just .. walk.. Around the island! Through the island! THe center of the island and oposite end of the island are really peaceful during the fall months.

2. Arch Rock

Mackinac Island, MI +1 248-344-0451
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Arch Rock

Natural rock bridge soaring 149 feet above the Straits of Mackinac appears to be suspended in midair.

Reviewed By Puddleduckie - Puddleduckie

Visiting Arch Rock is like entering the greatest cathedral ever built. Said by the native population to be the front door of the Great Spirit... I have spent many hours there meditating, renewing and regenerating my own soul... but I'd recommend trekking up there before or after the big tour buggies arrive...better in the early morning or at sunset anyway.

3. St Anne's Catholic Church

6836 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5155 +1 906-847-3507
Excellent
71%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 299 reviews

St Anne's Catholic Church

Reviewed By Pesto13maz - Green Bay, Wisconsin

I have visited Mackinac Island seven times. Why you may ask? Because I love it and I love the quaintness of St. Anne's. In fact I do feel so privileged that my daughter was married here long ago. St. Anne's is lovely. Rest your feet and stop for a bit in this beautiful church.

4. Fort Mackinac

7127 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5155 +1 906-847-3328
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Fort Mackinac

The cannon blasts, the rifles fire, the soldiers march and history comes alive. The oldest building in Michigan and 13 other historical structures boast exhibits explaining everything from military training and battles to medical treatments to family life within the fort. More than just a military outpost, Fort Mackinac served as a home for soldiers and their families and eventually the headquarters for Mackinac National Park, where tourists to the island visited the great fortress on the bluff, much like they do today.

Reviewed By K9Medic1124 - Colorado Springs, Colorado

As a US Veteran, someone who has been around the Military her entire life and a HUGE US Military history enthusiast, the depiction of this fort was spot on! I absolutely loved everything about it from the period setups in the various buildings/rooms to the actors portraying the soldiers and people of that era! LOVED IT!

5. The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World

6750 McGulphin St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5159 +1 906-847-3972
Excellent
60%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 565 reviews

The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World

Reviewed By Sylvia G - Arlington, Texas

Across from the main entrance to the Grand Hotel Carriage House & Stables is the Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World which we took the opportunity to visit while filming horses and carriages. It was a unique experience on the Island with many beautiful varieties of butterflies flying about and even landing on the observing guests.

6. Is it you spot from Somewhere in Time movie!

Lakeshore drive. The real locaiton is at 45.849220, -84.626609, Mackinac Island, MI
Excellent
68%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 159 reviews

Is it you spot from Somewhere in Time movie!

Reviewed By dsarv1 - Illinois

Don't use tripadvisors map location to find this, its actually by the pool area of the Gran Hotel. We rented bikes to go to this spot and take pictures. I used the location marked on the map on tripadvisors web page to find it. That didn't work. Tripadvisors map location shows it by the airport, so that's where we went to first. We didn't find it there. So we tried to google the exact location and couldn't find any help that way either. So we pedaled back towards the Grand Hotel to see if we missed it along the way. And there it was way south of where its marked on tripadvisors map! As your going towards it from the towns main street the stone is behind a tree, and since we were not looking for it until we got closer to the airport we missed it. Coming from the north though its easy to see.

7. Fort Holmes

2234 Fort Holmes Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757 +1 231-436-4100
Excellent
60%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 221 reviews

Fort Holmes

During the War of 1812, the British constructed a small fort on the highest point of the island, to better protect Fort Mackinac. Originally named Fort George, it was renamed by the Americans, following their return in 1815. The Americans continued to man the outpost for a few years, but eventually abandoned it. In 1934 a reconstruction, carried out by the Works Progress Administration and based on original plans, was completed. It was replaced by the current version in 2015.

Reviewed By Bob S - Cincinnati, Ohio

The highest point on the island, this location allowed the British to attack and force the surrender of Fort Mackinac at the beginning of the war of 1812, Rebuilt c1936, it represents the military importance of securing the high ground.

8. Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry

7271 Main Street, Mackinac Island, MI 49757 +1 800-638-9892
Excellent
61%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry

Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry offers the best ferry prices in town! Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Straits of Mackinac, the Mackinac Bridge, Round Island Lighthouse, Mackinac Island & the shoreline of Michigan's great peninsulas aboard a classic ferry. A 30-minute cruise from St. Ignace or a 40-minute cruise from Mackinaw City is just the right amount of time to enjoy panoramic views from covered, wide-open decks. Travel comfortably aboard the only ferries with on-board restrooms, handicapped-friendly indoor seating & the largest USCG certified passenger capacities. All guests receive complimentary day & overnight parking, luggage handling & hotel/campground shuttle service. Additional parking services, directions, departure times, Sip n' Sail cruises & staying overnight tips are listed on our website. Your next adventure begins on Arnold, Mackinac Island's most historic ferry line, transporting visitors, explorers & adventurers since 1878.

Reviewed By PamDoug - Hudsonville, Michigan

From the time we arrived, purchased tickets, parked in secure overnight parking, and return was flawless. Personal was kind, helpful with those who needed special assistance, professional, and patient. Thanks for a food trip.

9. Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory

Box 901, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-0901 +1 906-847-9464
Excellent
57%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 233 reviews

Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory

Experience free-flying exotic butterflies in a lush garden environment.

Reviewed By JohnandPam - Illinois

It was neat to see these pretty butterflies. The deep blue ones were the prettiest ones. The butterflies were in what looked like a greenhouse. They sometimes would land on you. It seemed that they like old bananas. There was a worker here that would make sure that you did not walk out with a butterfly on your back or somewhere unknown to you. Not much walking involved.

10. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum

7070 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Excellent
55%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 114 reviews

The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum

Nowhere else does such a rare and exceptional collection of Mackinac-related art and photography come together to tell Mackinac’s story. In complement to the natural beauty of Mackinac Island, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum allows visitors to experience fine and decorative arts inspired by Mackinac through the ages. One of the most diverse art museums in the region, the museum’s collection offers no shortage of beauty and history – from hand-beaded Native American garments and 17th and 18th-century maps of the Great Lakes, to one-of-a-kind pieces from the height of Mackinac Island’s Victorian era. Original photographs from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century present the beauty of Mackinac as captured by the camera’s eye. Featured are the works of William H. Gardiner, including dozens of his famed early-twentieth century hand-tinted views.

Reviewed By findeerror - Minneapolis, Minnesota

This is a well-appointed small museum housed in the former Indian Dormitory on Mackinac Island, itself a historic building. Features art on Straits history subjects and by local artists. Includes interactive features that explicate significant pieces. Maps and Native exhibits are notable, especially the video piece on contemporary Ojibwa artists. Basement features an area for children's art activities, making it a good stop on rainy days for families. Wheelchair accessible via back entrance, elevator inside.

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