Things to do in Mackinac Island, Michigan
What are the best activities on the island?
Visit Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes
Fort Mackinac has a long history. It was moved to the island by British forces in 1780 so it would be safer than it was on the former grounds of Mackinaw City. In 1796, the United States took control of the fort but the British captured it once again during the War of 1812. There was a failed attempt by the United States to recover the fort during a bloody battle in 1814. After the war, it was given back to the United States. It stayed active until 1895. Most of the fort is original but other parts were added in the late 1790s to 1885. Today, this military outpost is a living history museum that you can visit and tour.
Historic Fort Holmes is placed on the highest elevation on the island and was constructed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812. Originally named Fort George, it was built to protect Fort Mackinac against the United States. During the bloody battle in that same year it was built, the fort saw no real involvement. When the United States reoccupied the island, they took over the fort as well and renamed it Fort Holmes after American Major Andrew Hunter Holmes who was killed during the battle in 1814.
Get connected with a horse-drawn carriage tour around this beautiful island. With Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, you are able to explore the island in a relaxing way while viewing some of the most famous landmarks. These tours officially began in 1869 when the first city carriage license was issued, and this carriage tour is one of the oldest carriage ride options on the Island. You will see places like the Grand Hotel, Wings of Mackinac Tropical Butterfly Conservatory, Skull Cave, Fort Holmes, Fort Mackinac, the Governer's Summer Mansion, and so much more.
No vacation is complete without some outdoor fun. Biking a main mode of transportation on the island but it can also be one of the most fun ways to explore. Rent a bike go places that a car would not be able to go (even though motorized vehicles are not allowed). You also have the chance to hike and explore the beautiful rock formations, natural limestone, and lake area by foot! There are hundreds of trails through the trees that will take you to some breathtaking views.
If you want something involving the water, rent a kayak and take to Lake Huron to explore and find something new with a self-guided tour. If you want something more relaxed, enjoy a round of golf at one of the beautiful golf courses located on the island.