Come see why Mackinac Island was voted Best Summer Travel Destination again

Mackinac Island is known around the Midwest as the “Crown Jewel of the Great Lakes.” The one-of-a-kind vacation paradise is a national gem, too, named by USA Today as the Best Summer Travel Destination in both 2023 and 2024.

After expert panels curated short lists of must-see summer vacation places in the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, people voted Mackinac Island No. 1 two years in a row!

Logo for USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice 2024 Award of Best Summer Travel Destination to Mackinac Island, Michigan

10Best praise for Mackinac Island highlights car-free roads full of horse-drawn carriages, historic Fort Mackinac, world-famous Mackinac Island fudge and Mackinac Island State Park, “where you can hike, bike, kayak and take photos of the local natural beauty, including the stunning limestone Arch Rock.”

The writeup might just as well have mentioned Mackinac Island’s charming Victorian architecture, the happy atmosphere of Main Street, the relaxed vibe of Mackinac Island’s unique places to stay and the people who come from all over the world to provide extraordinary customer service and make Mackinac Island one of the Most Tourist-Friendly Cities.

The list of reasons Mackinac Island makes for a magical vacation experience goes on and on. Come see for yourself why the Crown Jewel of the Great Lakes is the country’s Best Summer Travel Destination.

Boats sit docked in the crystal clear blue-green waters of the Mackinac Island harbor, with places to stay in the background

Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find when you visit, and why USA Today readers voted Mackinac Island No. 1 again:

Horses everywhere on Mackinac Island!

Mackinac Island has been car-free for more than 100 years. Most visitors arrive by ferry boat and get around on foot, horse-drawn carriage or bicycle. Ding, ding!

Mmm. World-famous Mackinac Island fudge!

Watching fudgemakers ply their trade using wooden paddles and marble slabs is a Mackinac Island tradition. There’s no way you can breathe in the sweet scent without trying a bite (or maybe an entire loaf!).

A cannon sits on the bluff at Fort Mackinac above Ste. Anne’s Church and the Mackinac Island harbor below

History ‘round every corner of Mackinac Island

From the imposing Fort Mackinac overlooking the harbor to Fort Holmes atop Mackinac Island’s highest point, the Crown Jewel of the Great Lakes not only feels historic. It is historic!

Mackinac Island’s spectacular geologic sights

Arch Rock gets a lot of attention, but Mackinac Island State Park is full of intriguing rock formations shaped over the eons. And because Mackinac Island covers fewer than 5 square-miles, it’s easy to see them all in a single trip.

The sun sets behind the restaurants and places to stay on Mackinac Island’s Main Street on a gorgeous summer evening

Fantastic Mackinac Island Festivals and events

From celebrating the world’s largest lilac stems during the Lilac Festival in June to hosting the best costume parties you’ll ever see during an epic Halloween Weekend, Mackinac Island is renowned for extraordinary events.

An electric atmosphere in downtown Mackinac Island

From day-trippers browsing downtown shops to overnight visitors dancing the moonlight away, there’s always a buzz on Mackinac Island’s Main Street.

The charming Bay View Inn overlooks the Mackinac Island harbor just east of downtown

Charming places to stay on Mackinac Island

There are no chain hotels on Mackinac Island. Each place to stay is a unique destination with a fascinating history and a stunning setting on the No. 1 Best Island in the Continental U.S.

As you can see, Mackinac Island is a spectacular summer hot spot not just for one kind of tourist or another. It’s popular among a wide range of travelers, from foodies and fudgies to outdoor adventurers and history buffs, from couples and families to singles and seniors.

No wonder the honors and awards keep rolling in! There are so many Mackinac Island accolades that it’s hard to remember them all. But when you visit Mackinac Island, your experience will be unforgettable.

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