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Activities & Attractions in Mackinac Island, MI

Are you in need of a true vacation getaway this year? How about a nice quite locale with no cars, crisp, clean air, and few distractions? Then you'll want to schedule your trip to Mackinac Island. And, no, they really don't allow cars on the island! Traffic on Mackinac Island is limited to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and foot. This quiet little island is nestled between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas and is surrounded by the deep blue waters of Lake Huron. With a plethora of memorable historic and natural treasures, Mackinac Island is just the setting for a romantic couple's retreat or for getting in touch with the kids again.

If there are no cars allowed on the Island, how in the world do you get there? Well, you have several options. You can park your car on the mainland in Mackinac City in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan or Saint Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. From here, ferryboat service is available to the historic Island. Ample parking is available at all ferry docks.

Of course, quiet relaxation is the main focus on the Island, but there's also a wide range of activities to keep you busy while you're here.

  • Bicycling is a popular mode of travel and exercise on Mackinac Island. The 8-mile lakeshore path provides the perfect setting.
  • Be sure to take in a carriage tour. Since cars aren't allowed to intrude on the beauty of the Island, there's no better way to visit the history of the Island than by horse-drawn carriage.
  • Fort Mackinac is a must see if you'd like to get a good taste of Mackinac Island's history. The fort was constructed by British soldiers during the American Revolution.
  • Great Turtle Tales is a walking tour that highlights the history of Mackinac Island.
  • For a fun, energetic family event, take time to see Mackinac Magic. This grand illusion performance creates magical memories which last well beyond your vacation.
  • Wings of Mackinac showcases the magical flight of free-flying butterflies amidst a lush, green garden conservatory.
  • A stop at the Mackinac Island Butterfly House offers both beauty and tranquillity as more than 500 butterflies from around the world flutter about.
  • For older kids, The Haunted Theater offers up chills and thrills.
  • Great Turtle Park, located on the island offers a glimpse into the Native American history of the area.
  • Return to the car for a day trip and explore The Shipwreck Coast Museum in nearby Paradise, Michigan.

Exquisite as well as simpler dining experiences abound on Mackinac Island as well. With everything from the very basic pizza to fresh lake catches and seafood, you're sure to find more than you could possibly sample during your stay!

From the moment you step foot onto the small Victorian Isle, until the moment you depart, you're enveloped in a quiet calm that is unparalleled. Mackinac Island is versatile enough to serve as a romantic backdrop for couples as well as a great place to bond with family.

Reviews
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - Mackinac Island
Would highly recommend taking this tour. We started out our trip on the island with this tour and glad we did. It made us realize what we did and didn't wanted to check out and showed us places we may not have noticed on our own. We did not do the butterfly house, maybe next time. Driver was very informative and nice. He was also right about the best fudge in town. I tried many and he suggested joanns - right on the money! I did not know the tour was broken up into 2 parts, it was a nice way to break it up. I loved that you could get off, walk around and catch a different tour back if you wanted to.
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
-- Lynda Lowery - Bridgman, MI
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - Mackinac Island
The carriage tour was excellent. We had two different guides and both did a very good job. We were able to get the row of seats behind the driver on both carriages which gave us a good view of everything. This was also a good way to view part of the island since we were three adults, one child and one toddler. The butterfly house was extremely interesting for my eleven year old grand-daughter. We left with her parents and ended up going back in for another hour. The butterflies would land on you. My fifteen month old grand-daughter liked the butterflies, the rock walls and water ponds.
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
-- Mary Fisk - Bark River, MI
Shipwreck Coast Museum
The museum does a good job of giving the details of the various ship wrecks in the area by using displays and artifacts. Good movie presentation about the edmund fitzgerald. Enjoyed walking through the living quarters of the lighthouse keeper's family which had wax figures that looked alive. Enjoyed wading in lake superior. Would have liked to have been able to go up inside the lighthouse, but it was closed to the public.
4.5 Star Rating4.5 Star Rating4.5 Star Rating4.5 Star Rating4.5 Star Rating
-- Christy Chester - Dickson, TN
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