Getting Onto and Around Mackinac Island

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The beauty of Mackinac Island lies in the lack of motorized vehicles--there are absolutely no cars allowed on the island. So getting around Mackinac Island is a bit different than your average city. Here are some tips on getting into the area, onto the island, and, once you're there, how to get around.


Getting to the Island...


  • If you are driving to the island, you will first need to drive to Mackinaw City, which is located in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. From there, ferry service is available to the island throughout the day.


The Ferries...


  • Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry is the fastest ferry fleet to the island from Mackinaw City. They can get you to the island in 16 minutes--and they're one of the only ferry services to offer free daily and overnight parking. This is where you'll leave modern transportation behind: you will need to leave your car in the mainland parking lot. Other companies that offer ferry service to and from the island are Arnold Transport Co. and Star Line.
  • During the winter months, when the lake is frozen over, air rides are offered to and from Mackinac Island at varying nominal fees.


Getting Around...


  • Getting around Mackinac Island is a little different than getting around the city. On the island, motorized forms of transportation are not allowed, so popular methods of travel are either via walking, bicycling or horse and carriage. Rental facilities are available on the island so you can rent bicycles or even horses. Market Street is one of the more popular streets of the island but isn't as traveled as the main street.


Horse-Drawn Carriages....


  • While there are horse and carriages available 'on call,' it is a good idea to plan ahead as this is a popular method of travel. There are also narrated carriage tours that will take you around the island and to the Butterfly Conservatory. Try Mackinac Island Carriage Tours.




  • Most people who fly to the area use Pellston Regional Airport. The airport features on-site car rental facilities. You can also get to and from the airport using one of the available shuttle services. Both Mackinac Shuttle and Wolverine Stage provide service to the area from Pellston Regional Airport.
  • Another airport that is used is Mackinac Island Airport. Charter services are available at this small airport.
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
The mackinac island carriage tour was a great way to see the island for the first time. Our carriage drivers were knowledgeable and the horses had personality. Mackinac island was a delightful place that had a cheerful atmosphere as soon as we stepped off the ferry.
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-- Shellie Legler - Modesto, CA
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - Mackinac Island
The tour was excellent. The information about the island is not to be forgotten. You could get off the coach and spend as much time looking at things as you wanted.
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-- Linda Beckner - Milwaukee, WI
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.
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-- Lynda Lowery - Bridgman, MI
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