Best Places on Mackinac Island to Watch the Sunset

Like a lot of islands, Mackinac Island has beautiful sunsets. It also offers an added bonus that you only get to see in this part of the world: The sun setting into a horizon accented by the mighty Mackinac Bridge.

That’s one of many reasons that Mackinac Island consistently ranks as one of the best islands in the country.

In fact, the sunsets are so good on Mackinac Island that there’s even a place named after them. Sunset Rock is a spectacular spot to see a gleaming Mackinac Island sunset in spring, summer and fall.

Located on the west side of the island about a 45-minute walk from downtown near the Inn at Stonecliffe, Sunset Rock overlooks the water with the bridge in the distance. One look and you’ll see why the site is worthy of its name!

A couple looks out from Mackinac Island’s Sunset Rock at the setting sun over the water

Although you might come to love Sunset Rock as the No. 1 spot to watch a sunset on Mackinac Island, it’s not the only place to see nature’s beautiful display. There are many great places to see the nightly show.

Take a look at these other recommendations for seeing a stunning sunset during your visit to Mackinac Island:

People sit on the Mackinac Island boardwalk and watch the sun set over the water to the west beyond the Mackinac Bridge

Watch the sunset from the Mackinac Island boardwalk

Stretching west of downtown Mackinac Island past Windermere Point and the public library, the waterfront boardwalk is a popular spot for watching the sunset. It’s close to town and a short walk after dinner with an ice cream cone or slice of world-famous Mackinac Island fudge!

Things to do downtown on Mackinac Island

The colors of a Mackinac Island sunset streak through the sky behind and above Grand Hotel

Watch the sunset from Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel

Set on a hill above downtown, Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel is a fine spot to soak in the splendor of a sunset. You can watch it from a rocking chair on the world’s longest porch, or head up into the Cupola Bar for a drink and an unparalleled view.

Where to get a drink on Mackinac Island

A couple paddles a tandem kayak through the waters off Mackinac Island at sunset

Watch the sunset on Mackinac Island kayak tour

Just as seeing the sunset from the shore is a sublime photo opportunity, so you can get a picturesque perspective while paddling the waters off Mackinac Island. Great Turtle Kayak Tours offers sunset paddling trips that exercise the body and inspire the soul.

Sunrise vs sunset paddling excursions with Mackinac Island’s Great Turtle Kayak Tours

The sun sets on the water beyond the Mackinac Bridge with a Mackinac Island Sip ‘n Sail cruise boat in the foreground

Watch the sunset on a Mackinac Island boat cruise

While you can get out on the water on a paddling trip, a Mackinac Island sunset cruise takes you right out under the Mackinac Bridge. You can see the sunset through the suspension cables aboard either the Ugly Anne or a Sip ‘n Sail with full-service cash bar and live entertainment.

6 extraordinary boat tours off Mackinac Island

The ‘Is It You?’ marker from the ‘Somewhere in Time’ movie stands between two trees along the Mackinac Island waterfront

Watch the sunset from Mackinac Island’s ‘Is it you?’ marker

The late-day sun bathes the scene from “Somewhere in Time” when Jane Seymour’s character encounters Christopher Reeve’s character and asks in wonder, “Is it you?” You can relive the exchange by visiting a marker along the waterfront below Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, about a 10-minute walk west of downtown along M-185.

The Many Places of Mackinac Island: Somewhere in Time gazebo

Map of prime locations to watch the sunset on Mackinac Island


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