Best places for pictures on Mackinac Island

With water all around and fascinating landmarks at every turn, Mackinac Island is a camera’s dream. It’s full of scenic natural beauty plus horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, boats and charming Victorian architecture.

While professional photographers on Mackinac Island recommend a few photo spots in particular, you really can’t go wrong when looking for the best place to take pictures on your visit. People capture amazing images all over Mackinac Island!

Here’s a look at some of the most popular places to get incredible Instagram-worthy shots that show off your magical Mackinac Island adventures:

Mackinac Island State Park

Since it covers more than 80% of Mackinac Island, the state park has countless places for fantastic photos. Some of the most iconic sights include Arch Rock, which creates a natural frame of blue-green Lake Erie below, and Sugar Loaf, a stack of limestone that rises 75 feet out of the earth. From Devil’s Kitchen and Robinson’s Folly to Crack in the Island and Cave of the Woods, there are also several other superb spots for pictures in the state park.

Mackinac Island’s Butterfly Houses

Exotic butterflies from across the globe, up close and personal. That’s what you’ll see inside Mackinac Island’s two butterfly conservatories, Wings of Mackinac and The Original Butterfly House & Insect World. Try to snap a picture of one of the colorful critters as they land on your arm!

Downtown Mackinac Island

With all the activity on Main Street, downtown Mackinac Island makes for some really interesting photos full of people, bicycles and horse-drawn carriages – all lined with charming buildings full of shops and restaurants. At the west end of downtown is Windermere Point, a sublime setting with a rocky beach right along the water and ferry boats and Round Island Lighthouse in the background. At the east end of downtown is scenic Marquette Park and the Mackinac Island marina, with historic Fort Mackinac up on the bluff.

Anywhere and Everywhere on Mackinac Island with a Horse

Whether plodding along Main Street downtown or clip-clopping through the forest of Mackinac Island State Park, horses give your pictures a vibe that’s distinctly Mackinac. These giant creatures can appear stately and serene or precocious and playful. And, just like you, their individual personality really does shine through in photographs!

On the Water Around Mackinac Island

It only makes sense that a place in the middle of the Great Lakes offers up some spectacular photo ops full of beautiful, blue water. Mackinac Island has 360 degrees of gorgeous lakefront scenery that sets the stage for stunning photos. All you need to do is get yourself or a loved one into the shot!

Bicycling Around Mackinac Island

As omnipresent as horses on Mackinac Island, bicycles are everywhere. Good thing they make a great prop for photos! Whether you ride on downtown streets, all the way around Mackinac Island on the car-free M-185 highway or up into the island’s interior on 70-plus miles of trails, you could take a picture with every single pedal.

In the Gardens of Mackinac Island

While the famous lilacs of Mackinac Island steal the show in spring and early summer with endless opportunity for lovely photos, there also are many colorful flower gardens that bloom all summer long. Some of the gardens are on private property and can only serve as a backdrop for your pictures, while others are in public places where you can immerse yourself in all the pretty petals.


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