Beaches, clip-clopping horses and an abundance of freshly made fudge: it's hard to argue with the infectious charm of Mackinac Island. Covering just four square miles, this island is located on Lake Huron, between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, but it also inhabits another dimension, in a way. Cars have been outlawed since 1898, and 80 percent of the island is preserved as parkland, helping this National Historic Landmark maintain the quiet atmosphere of another era. When you take the ferry to visit Mackinac Island (just pronounce it mack-in-awe), you'll immediately step into a slower pace of life as you explore the local caves and unique rock formations — and perhaps join other chocolate-loving visitors, whom the locals refer to as "fudges."
Things Not to Miss on Mackinac Island
Check out this Mackinac Island travel guide to discover more about this beautifully preserved getaway, and while you're there, be sure to visit some of these popular activities and sights:
• Check in at (or at least snap a few pics of) the Grand Hotel, the Victorian grande dame of the island
• See Fort Mackinac, an 18th century fort built by the British
• Ride a horse, or horse-drawn carriage, around town
• Check out the rock formations: Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf on the east side, and Devil's Kitchen on the west side
• Smell the lilacs covering the island
When to Visit Mackinac Island
The ideal — and really, the only — time to travel to Mackinac Island is in the summer, when the weather is warm and festivals abound. After Halloween, many of Mackinac Island's travel-related businesses close down until April, with only the basic services still running for locals.