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Best Things To Do On Mackinac Island: Exploring The Island In Michigan

things to do on mackinac island

Mackinac Island, located in the upper portion of Michigan, is a getaway from reality and is known as the Jewel of the Great Lakes - where time stands still. No cars are allowed on the island - instead, it is all horse-drawn carriages and bicycles. Mackinac Island has plenty of outdoor activities, museums and history to explore, as well as what it’s known best for: fudge and the Grand Hotel. The island is open from May to October and has two ferries that service the island to the mainland.

1. The Grand Hotel

Beginning this weekend Inside Grand Hotel will air on additional PBS stations throughout the State of Michigan,...

Posted by Grand Hotel on Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Grand Hotel, built in 1887, became a state historical building in 1954, and a national landmark in 1989 and is the premiere highlight of the island. It boasts 393 rooms and in July 2017, the hotel will be 130 years old. It’s been owned by three generations of the same family - the Musser Family - since 1933.

“We want every person who comes through these doors to feel welcome and special. Our staff and I strive to create and maintain an intimate, personalized experience for everyone” - Dan Musser III, Hotel President.

For ten dollars non-hotel guests can tour the hotel and grounds. Visitors can play golf on the course known as the Jewel, swim in the Esther Williams Swimming pool for a fee and finish their visit with ice cream at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor. Two films were filmed at the hotel: “This Time for Keeps”, in 1947 and “Somewhere in Time”, in 1980.

The Grand Hotel

Address: 286 Grand Ave Mackinac Island

Price: 15 USD for golf, 5-10 USD for pool access and icecream, 10 USD to tour hotel

Access: Walk up streets from the main street to the hotel.

Contact: +1 (800) 33GRAND

Website: The Grand Hotel

2. Outdoor adventures: biking, riding and carriage tours

Fill in the blank: "My first trip to Mackinac Island was ___!" #MakeItMackinac

Posted by Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau on Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The island is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, with horse-drawn carriages provided by Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. Established in 1868, the tours are by knowledgeable tour guides and they have 200 carriages with 400 horses. Small dogs are welcome on the tours as lap dogs and the tour covers a wide part of the island with a variety of location stops. For an additional cost, you get admission to one of the stops. Visitors can visit one of the island’s famous fudge shops.

Just step onto the main street and you will see several bicycle rental places that line the street - bicycles are one of the main ways to get around the island. There are 70 miles (113 kilometers) of natural and paved pathways for cyclists to enjoy. Electric scooters are also available. Ryba’s Bike Rental is in two locations on the island, where they have been for their 56 years of service.

You can go horseback riding at Cindy’s Riding Stables, who will guide you through the trails of the Mackinac park area. There are 83 miles (134 kilometers) of roads and trails to ride on. They have 30 horses and have been around since 1974. They also provide guides to ride with you.

Ryba's Bike Rental

Address: 7245 Main St

Price: hourly 15-30 USD or all day 35-65 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 6 pm, spring; 8 am - 8 pm, summer; 9 am - 6 pm, fall

Duration: Hourly or all day

Access: Right next to the ferry dock

Contact: +1 (906) 8473208

Website: Ryba’s Bike Rental

Cindy's Riding Stables

Address: 7447 Market St

Price: 45 USD per hour

Duration: 1-2 hrs

Contact: +1 (906) 8473572

Website: Cindy’s Riding Stables

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours

Address: 7396 Market St, Mackinac Island

Price: 29-36 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am - 3 pm

Duration: 1 hr 45 min

Access: Located on the main street of the island

Contact: +1 (906) 8473307

Website: Mackinac Island Carriage Tours

3. Museums & history

For Mackinac
Source: Wikimedi

If you’re not into the outdoors, you can explore the many museums where history comes alive. Fort Mackinac was founded during the American Revolution and hosts reenactments daily, with bugle music, cannon salutes and 14 different buildings for visitors to explore.

If you like art, then visit the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, which features Native American and modern pieces of artwork. It has interactive exhibits and hands-on features as well as photographs and artwork from the Mackinac area. One of the family-friendly features is the kids art studio, which runs from June to August. Here, a trained staff member shows kids how to create art.

For island history, visit the Robert Stuart City Museum, also known as the Agent’s House. It is on the National List of Historic Places as well as Michigan’s list. Stuart was resident agent of the American Fur Company, for 14 years from 1820 and he lived in this house. Built in 1817, it housed the company’s main office then was altered to a boarding house during the Civil War era.

Mackinac Art Museum

Address: 7070 Main St Mackinac Island

Price: 6 USD Adult and 4.50 USD youth

Opening Hours: May to Oct 10 am - 5 pm

Duration: 1 hr

Access: Walk down the main street, past all the shops, towards the park

Website: Mackinac Art Museum

Fort Mackinac

Address: 7127 Huron Rd Mackinac Island

Price: 13 USD Adults and 7.50 USD youth

Opening Hours: May to Oct 9 am - 5 pm

Duration: 2 hours.

Access: On the boundary of the park

Website: Fort Mackinac

Robert Stuart City Museum

Address: 7342 Market St Mackinac Island

Price: Donation required

Opening Hours: 10 am - 4 pm

Duration: 1-2 hrs

Access: From the ferry go one block left, then go up a block on Astor St to Market, turn left and its just past city hall

Contact: +1 (906) 8478181

Website: Robert Stuart City Museum

Come visit Michigan's island

Add Mackinac Island to your adventure list, it has many things that await you. Make memories that last a lifetime and enjoy a relaxing time where time stands still and technology is put on hold. A place rich in history and welcoming people, as well as nationally recognized landmarks and locations.

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I'm a self-employed pet sitter and have been in business for almost 13 years. I'm a solo traveler since 2011 and have visited Charleston, Newport RI, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Mackinaw Island and...Read more

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