Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Travel Guide

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.

Articles about Mackinac Island

See our slideshow of Best Resorts for Family Reunions. With three kids in tow, the Pickerings of San Diego still make the trek to Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta, Canada—a trip they’ve made annually since their honeymoon. “We’ve been going ...
Feasting on Crete What a joy it was to read Anya von Bremzen's article [Food, September] on the tavernas of Crete. It brought back a vivid memory. Nine years ago, after a long ride from Herákleion to Mátala, I dismounted from a rented motorbike ...
Only a few years ago, bicycle touring was the domain of the athletic and adventurous, people who were willing to load up their bikes with 40 pounds of camping gear and set forth on their own. It has since entered the mainstream; there are now hund...
todd takes on miamiFashion designer Todd Oldham has dressed up Miami Beach's Tiffany, a 1939 glam pad. Now called the Hotel (love the simple name), it's pure Oldham, from the crush-dyed robes to the bath tiles, all individually painted with stripe...
Lady Bird Johnson struggled not just with that weird nickname (friends actually called her Bird) but also with a nose along the lines of Louis XIV's. Had she known she was headed for Pennsylvania Avenue, she once ruefully admitted, she would have ...