What to See on Mackinac

CLIMATE in the summer is moderate, with cool mornings and warmer afternoons. Islanders suggest dressing in layers, shedding sweaters, jackets, etc, as the day progresses and putting them back on in the evenings as the sun goes down. Winters are interestingly cold (!!!) and by February, the Straits freeze and Lake Huron is covered with ice.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES May: 50 degrees, June: 64 degrees, July: 70 degrees, August: 71 degrees, September: 63 degrees, October: 50 degrees. Winter holidays and cross country skiing season, mid-December through March: cold!.

Ring in the New Millenium by going BACK in Time. Christmas and New Year's are becoming a popular attraction. Many businesses open specially for the holidays. A unique treat is snowmobiles! Snowmobiles are allowed to run on city streets when the snow flies. Sleds can be taken on the ferry and unloaded at the dock downtown. Paved streets throughout the island make riding very enjoyable. What better way to welcome a new century than by staying at a place that is "frozen" in time? Try planning your holiday this year on historic Mackinac Island.

When visting, we highly recommend that you acquire a map of the Island and list of attractions from the Chamber of Commerce booth in front of the Arnold Docks in the middle of downtown. All of the attractions are listed and you can plan your itinerary much easier.

MAPS The Mackinac Island Chamber of Commerce has a great map of the Island on their website. You can click on the MAPS link to open it.

VISITORS GUIDE The Chamber of Commerce also has an excellent Visitors Guide in color. The Guide can be accessed from this link: VISITORS GUIDE

What to See on Mackinac

Downtown Mackinac Island

  • Sightseeing!
  • Shopping!
  • Relaxing on the lawn!
  • More Shopping!
  • Great Restaurants! 34 at last count...
  • And FUDGE!

Downtown Mackinac Island has curio and souvenir shops, clothing stores, restaurants and of course Fudge Shops. Mackinac Island Fudge is guaranteed to add inches to your waistline and make kids go wild, but it tastes so delicious that we can't help ourselves. We can't resist buying fudge when we're on the Island, how can you?

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac is an excellent site to visit. They have recreated life in the fort from the 1800s, complete with ceremonies in the parade ground. More information on the fort can be found on their website. mackinacparks.com/fort-mackinac/

The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel boasts the longest covered porch in the world and is renowned for its elegant lifestyle. Visitors are allowed to enter the Hotel and touring the grounds by paying a cover charge. Tulips are planted every spring and are a hallmark of the hotel. Their covered and glass-enclosed carriage can be seen whisking guests from downtown to the hotel and back, pulled by a pair of white horses.

Somewhere in Time

One of two movies filmed on Mackinac Island, Somewhere in Time stars Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. The production company obtained a special permit for the scene where Richard Collier, played by Christopher Reeve, drives his car up the street and in front of the hotel.

A marker commemorating the scene where Elise McKenna asks, "Is it you?" can be found just west of downtown on the main highway, below the hotel.

The Grand Hotel hosts a "Somewhere in Time" festival every fall, where guests dress in period clothes and are treated to an inside look of the making of the movie hosted by cast and crew.

DVDs of the movie can be found in the various shops downtown and can also be rented (when available) from the Sunset Condo office.

Little Stone Church

Just down the street from the Grand Hotel, the Stone Church is an idyllic location for weddings, and guests are welcome at their services. Several other historic churches are located downtown and are open for worship, as well as weddings. Information on wedding packages can be obtained from Sunset Condos.

Island Attractions

Historic buildings, old churches, military installations, island cemeteries, Arch Rock, Sugarloaf, trails, historic houses downtown, the list is endless. Sightseeing on Mackinac Island is like a trip to another time, another place. It's guaranteed to wash away the everyday blues and put a spring in your step and relaxation in your heart. Please be sure to get maps and directions from the Chamber of Commerce booth downtown, in front of the Arnold Lines dock.

Whether you walk, bicycle, rollerblade, carriage tour, horseback ride, or any combination, seeing the sights on Mackinac Island is an experience unto itself. Enjoy your visit.

What to Do on Mackinac

When visting, we highly recommend that you acquire a map of the Island and list of attractions from the Chamber of Commerce booth in front of the Arnold Docks in the middle of downtown. All of the attractions are listed and you can plan your itinerary much easier.

Bicycle Rentals

Bike rentals are available at a number of locations, too many to list. You can't help but walk downtown and bump into a bicycle rental facility. Be sure and rent at least a 10 speed - the hills can be tough if you only have one speed!

Rollerblading is also a popular pastime. The miles and miles of paved roads, rolling hills, breathtaking scenery and NO CARS! make for a great rollerblade workout. Some call it the rollerblade capital of the world. We might not go that far, but it is a great place to blade. Rentals are available downtown.

Carriage Tours, Horse and Buggy Rentals

Guided Carriage Tours:

Arrowhead Carriages (906) 847-6112
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours (906) 847-3325
Carriage Tours Private Livery (906) 847-3325
Private, antique style carriage tours

Buggy rentals (drive your own small carriage):

Gough Private Livery (906) 847-3391
You will also find their booths in front of Marquette Park (the big green lawn below the fort).

Horse rentals:

Cindy's Riding Stable (906) 847-3572
Chamber's Riding Stable (906) 847-6231

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac is a fun trip back in time. The Fort (pictured on top of the hill) has a scenic tour with descriptions of the various buildings and their place in history, along with important events in the fort's life. Realistic enactments of various activities take place daily. Worth seeing, especially with kids. Plan for the walk up the hill - it'll put your legs and lungs to the test! (906) 847-6330

Golfer's Beware!

There are three 9 hole courses on the island, one at Stonecliffe (The Woods Nine), one downtown (The Grand Nine), and one just north of the airport (Wawashkamo).

Grand Hotel Courses

The Jewel is owned and managed by The Grand Hotel and is open to the public. The Jewel consists of two nine-hole layouts, the Grand Nine and the Woods Nine. The views of the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island Harbor, downtown and Lake Huron are spectacular.

The Grand Nine is located across from the Grand Hotel with fabulous views of downtown, the harbor, Round Island Lighthouse and Lake Huron.

The Woods Nine is located at Stonecliffe, and weaves through the woods with several holes providing fantastic views of Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge.

You can play 18, with a carriage ride between the two locations included in your greens fees, or play 9 on either course.

Wawashkamo Located past the airport on British Landing Road, it has been open since 1898. Ride your bike or take a taxi from downtown. It's a very scenic 9-hole course.

Shopping & Fudge

Buy Fudge!

What trip to Mackinac Island can be considered complete without a taste of fudge? And don't forget to bring some to your friends back home (if you can resist temptation long enough). There are five fudge companies with multiple locations to satisfy that sweet tooth.

There are dozens of curio and souvenir shops on the Island to choose from. Food and other necessities, recreational clothing and fashion attire, souvenirs, gifts, local artists, photographic treasures, Island memorabilia, you name it, you can find it. Bring an empty suitcase for all of the extras you'll end up bringing home...

If you come late in the season, many merchants have excellent sales to tempt you with. (We tend to do a little Christmas shopping as store owners try to get rid of extra merchandise before they close for the season.)

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Mackinac Island has some of the best trails for hiking and biking. The elevation changes and rocky landscape can present a challenge for the biking and hiking enthusiast, while easier trails are available for the novice alike. Maps are available from the Chamber of Commerce (1-800-4LILACS), and the trails are clearly identified. Enjoy!

Whether you walk, bicycle, rollerblade, carriage tour, horseback ride, or any combination, "doing" Mackinac Island is guaranteed to refresh and relax you, both physically and spiritually. Enjoy your visit. And thanks for visiting us at Northern Lights.