Step Back in Time With a Visit to Mackinac Island


© Courtesy of Mackinac Island Tourism

Maybe you’ve never been to Mackinac Island, MI. Perhaps you don’t even know where it is. But you’ve heard that Travel + Leisure just named it the number one island in the Continental U.S.

And you wonder, what’s so special about Mackinac Island?

You’ll have to visit yourself to really understand, but here’s a glimpse of what makes Mackinac Island so extraordinary:

Clip-Clop Pace of Life

Mackinac Island has been car-free since 1898. People get around using real horsepower! And bicycles, too. That gives Mackinac Island a timeless character. It’s not the kind of place where your vacation is held hostage by the clock. There’s no hurry. You can just slow down and relax.

What to do on your first visit? Enjoy a narrated horse-drawn carriage tour that stops at well-known sites, including Arch Rock, Fort Mackinac and Grand Hotel. Been to Mackinac Island before? Grab the reins of a Drive-It-Yourself horse-drawn carriage!

Bicycles, Bicycles, Bicycles

With no cars to get around, two-wheeled vehicles are everywhere. In fact, there are more bicycles per capita on Mackinac Island than anywhere else in the world! You can rent single and tandem bikes and even tagalongs for kids at any of the several bike shops on the island.

What to do on your first visit? Pedal all the way around Mackinac Island on the only state highway in the country that doesn’t allow motor vehicles. It’s a spectacular 8.2-mile waterfront ride that takes about an hour at a leisurely pace. Been to Mackinac Island before? Head up into the island’s interior, where there are more than 70 miles of paved and
dirt trails to explore, with fascinating landmarks hidden off the beaten path.

Historic Charm

From horse-drawn carriages and quaint, Victorian architecture to historic sites and attractions, a visit to Mackinac Island feels as if you’re stepping back in time.

What to do on your first visit? Visit historic Fort Mackinac and watch live reenactments of life as a soldier and civilian in the 19th century. Been to Mackinac Island before? Experience the many other historical attractions, including an old blacksmith shop, early 19th-century homes and a fur company store museum that details a fort surgeon’s experiments on a man with a window into his stomach!

World-Famous Fudge

Where else in the world can you visit 13 fudge shops—yes, 13!—all within a short walk of each other? Mackinac Island fudge makers churn out five tons of the tasty treat each day during peak tourism season.

What to do on your first visit? Watch fudge-making in person with marble slabs, wooden paddles and all. Plus, the shops all offer free samples! Been to Mackinac Island before? Sample more fudge. It’s still delicious!

Of course, this isn’t all that makes Mackinac Island so special. There’s also the ferry boat ride from the mainland, picturesque natural rock formations, a golf course built atop a 200-year-old battlefield, extraordinary restaurants, bars and places to stay, including the incredible Grand Hotel, home to the longest front porch in the world!

Come experience Mackinac Island for yourself and see what the excitement is all about. Plan your trip at

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For centuries, visitors have enjoyed this national treasure that’s home to historic Fort Mackinac, world-famous Mackinac Island fudge and car-free streets full of horse-drawn carriages. 


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