This website uses Cookies to offer you an enhanced browsing experience. Find out more about how we use Cookies.

USA Radio
Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan: The Jewel of the Great Lakes

By Shannon Doe Ewing

Mackinac Island is one of those rare destinations where you can truly take a step back in time. Accessible only by ferry boat or plane – via Great Lakes Air from the St. Ignace Airport – this completely automobile-free island will seduce you with its Old World Victorian charm.

The ferry ride to the island is impressive, with its exceptional views of the massive Mackinac Bridge. Once on the island, the sounds of horses and carriages are heard throughout the streets, providing a rhythmic calm compared to normal automobile sounds. Visitors relax naturally to this new rhythm, enjoying the sights and sounds of this unique and beautiful place.

Charming Accommodations – From Quaint to Grand

There are so many accommodations to choose from on Mackinac Island, from resorts and spas to historic inns and B&Bs. You will soon discover that there are no chain hotels anywhere. I stayed at the beautiful and historic Island House Hotel. Each room is decorated uniquely with a romantic Victorian flair. The ambiance is charming, and the vibe is all about relaxation. Simple pleasures here include taking in the view from the veranda over cocktails, and relaxing at the outdoor fireplaces on the lawn. 

Carriage Rides

Carriage rides were one of my favourite activities on Mackinac Island. I assure you that booking a carriage tour is one of the best ways to see the sweeping views of the Straits of Mackinac, lighthouses and the gorgeous Victorian architecture. I took a morning tour of the island, stopping to enjoy the Butterfly House, a perfect family activity with so many delicate exotic species flying about. After that, I took a quick trip up to the famous Grand Hotel, known as “America’s Summer Place.” The impressive grounds really make you feel the history and opulence of this Victorian island.

Fort Mackinac: Lunch and Historic Tours

The walk up the hill to Fort Mackinac is fun, and a lovely lunch at the Fort Mackinac Tea Room is a great idea. Enjoy the exceptional views of downtown Mackinac Island and the harbor over lunch, then check out the fort with a self-guided tour of the grounds. There are re-enactments to enjoy, with soldiers demonstrating cannon salutes and rifle firings.

After lunch, I walked down the hill and rented a bike downtown. It’s super easy to do, with many vendors throughout Main Street. I loved riding my funky beach cruiser, impulsively stopping at shops and boutiques. Among my favourites were the several fudge shops, which sell exceptional homemade fudge, making it in the shop for all to see.

Downtown Nightlife and Good Eats

Evenings downtown are lots of fun, with a vibe similar to a mini Bourbon Street with many restaurants, bars and pubs you can stroll in and out of. Be sure to check out the Pink Pony Bar & Grill, right on the waterfront at the Chippewa Hotel. It’s a local favorite for food, live entertainment and great cocktails.

Mackinac Island surpassed my expectations with its beauty and Old World flavor. It truly is an opportunity to relax, turn off the noise and get back to what is important: family, friends and the simple pleasures in life.

For more information, please visit us:

Official Mackinac Island Travel Information

When you go


The Island House Hotel
Grand Hotel


Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
The Original Butterfly House and Insect World
Fort Mackinac

For more information

Mackinac Island Tourism
Pure Michigan

Welcome to Visit The USA!

Now that you have registered, you can save trip ideas to your suitcase.

Start exploring

Enter your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Please check your email.

Start exploring

The password on your account has successfully been changed. Please use your new password to login.

Start exploring

This website is set to 'allow all cookies' for the best user experience. By continuing without changing this setting, you are consenting to this. You may change your settings at any time at the bottom of this page.

More information about cookies

Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.

We use cookies to make our website easier for you to use. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.

If you choose to disable non-essential cookies, the website will:

  • Allow you to log in and remember you are logged in, while in session
  • Determine your country of origin in order to serve you the most relevant version of the site

This website will not:

  • Restrict welcome messaging to the first time you visit the site
  • Track any activity on the site for analytics purposes

More information about cookies