Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum & Whitefish Point Light Station

Mackinac Island Family Vacation Ideas

Mackinac Island is a vacation destination that is rich in history and culture and perfect for a relaxing family vacation. Does a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday traffic sound exactly like what your family needs? The unique and relaxing atmosphere is enhanced by the fact that there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island.

Mackinac Island Attractions

  • Shipwreck Coast Museum - Paradise MI. This museum is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. The kids are sure to love looking at the artifacts of shipwrecks and listening to the stories of the sailors of yore. The museum is located right near the Mackinac Bridge, making it a convenient stop when the family is heading into or out of town.
  • Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory - This is the island's only conservatory and is home to lush gardens and exotic butterflies from all over the world. Everyone will delight in the sights of butterflies like the Emerald Swallowtail, the Zebra Longwing, the Luna Moth and the Indian Leaf as they fly free in this breath-taking habitat. Full-time curators are available to answer questions, making this an educational experience - in addition to an awe-inspiring scenic visit!
  • Fort Mackinac - This National Historic Landmark served as a sentinel in the Straights of Mackinac for 115 years. The fort was constructed by the British soldiers during the period of the American Revolution. Fort Mackinac is home to Kid's Quarters - a 1,258 square-foot interactive exhibit where kids can play checkers, dress up in period clothing, learn to play the fife, and learn Morse code.
  • Colonial Michilimackinac - Mackinaw City, MI. You can see 18th century life recreated as you watch the detailed re-enactments and see soldiers demonstrate their skills. Stroll through the village and meet village residents. The whole family is sure to enjoy this trip back in time.

Mackinac Island Tours

  • Great Turtle Tales - If you are looking for an interesting and unique way to explore the island and learn about its history, Great Turtle Tales has just what you are looking for . This 1 1/2 hour walking tour will take you on a stroll from Market Street to the East Bluff and you will explore some of the island's historic landmarks including Metivier Inn, churches, historic homes and hotels. The tour is guided by an educator/historian who can provide you and your family with detailed knowledge of the area.
  • Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - One of the most charming aspects of Mackinac Island is that motor vehicles are not permitted on the island. This horse-drawn carriage will take you on a narrated tour of the island and its beauty and history. Large enough for even the biggest family, this 20-seat carriage is the best way to get to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory.

Mackinac Island Lodging

  • Island House Hotel - This hotel is a Michigan State Historical Landmark and is the only hotel located within Mackinac Island State Park boundaries, making it convenient for families to get to the attractions that the park has to offer. There are a variety of room-types to choose from including two-bedroom suites with a king-size bed in one room and two queen-size beds in the other, offering families much-needed privacy. Traditional rooms offer cable television with remote control and telephones. The hotel features an indoor pool, whirlpool spa, steam room, and on-site restaurant.
  • Lake View Hotel - Mackinac Island. This hotel, built in 1858, is the island's oldest continually operated hotel. The hotel features an on-site restaurant, so you don't need to worry about your family finding a last-minute place to eat. On-site specialty shops, a four-story atrium with an indoor heated pool, and babysitting services make this the perfect choice for traveling families.
Wings of Mackinac Tropical Butterfly Conservatory
This was a fun activity to experience. Never done something like this before and recommend it to everyone.
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-- Amanda
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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