Great Ways to Unplug & Relax on Mackinac Island

The daily grind can be overwhelming — traffic congestion, never-ending demands at work, a phone that never stops buzzing. Sometimes we need a little respite, some time to get away and unwind.

One of the key ingredients to that recipe for a reset is to unplug for a bit. To escape all those texts and emails, as if we were stepping into a different world for a spell.

That’s the allure of Mackinac Island. An extraordinary place that’s both car-free and carefree. A place where fairytale charm greets us at the ferry dock and whisks us away into an enchanting experience that makes us forget the hassles of the workaday world for a few glorious days.

Mackinac Island is where blaring car horns are replaced with the soothing clip-clop of horse hooves. Where the sounds of the waves lapping at the shore wash over our worries. Where you can relax. Really relax.

Flowers bloom in the foreground of Mission Point Resort's great lawn with white Adirondack chairs and blue water in the distance

Relaxing on Mackinac Island

Relaxation is embedded in the culture of Mackinac Island. It’s in the air. What exactly makes Mackinac Island so relaxing is a long list, so let’s start by highlighting these four things:

Adirondack Chairs at Mackinad Island’s Mission Point Resort

Curling up with a good book and no distractions may be the pinnacle of relaxation. The Adirondack chairs at Mackinac Island’s Mission Point Resort on the southeast corner of the island are among the best spots for just that. Pack a book and head to Mission Point’s expansive lakefront lawn. You may intend to read solely for an hour or two, but this relaxing spot can pull you in and before you know it the hours have flown on by. The lawn at Mission Point is also a fantastic spot for flying a kite in the refreshing lake breeze.

Two more places that will help you recharge: the rocking chairs at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, home of the world’s longest porch, and Windermere Point on the west end of downtown which is awesome for kite flying and skipping stones.

A man walks along a paved Mackinac Island path along the water at sunrise

Mackinac Island’s Trails for Hiking, Biking and Horseback Riding

M-185 is the main road and can be bustling with visitors making the 8.2-mile bike ride around Mackinac Island, enjoying a stroll or going for a horsedrawn carriage ride. However, it’s not the only path for a casual bike ride or relaxing walk. Mackinac Island features more than 70 miles of paved and natural trails, many that weave through the state park forest up in the island’s interior. You can spend ample time wandering and stumbling across hidden curios throughout the forest.

A map of Michigan's Mackinac Island with nine popular picnic spots highlighted

A Mackinac Island Picnic

There’s a certain aura about laying a blanket down, nestling in and enjoying a picnic lunch. It’s hard to go wrong with several premier picnic spots on Mackinac Island. We’ll just mention a couple of them here: Mackinac Island’s Marquette Park once was named by Reader’s Digest as the No. 1 picnic spot in all of Michigan! Located at the foot of historic Fort Mackinac, Marquette Park is right off Main Street on the east side of downtown. Just pick up some food at Doud’s Market and watch all the people and horses go by. If you’d rather get away from the buzz downtown, then hop on a bike with your picnic basket and ride to the other side of Mackinac Island to British Landing, where there’s a rocky beach with views of the Mackinac Bridge.

A bartender hands drinks to customers at Pink Pony on Mackinac Island with the water and a ferry boat in the background

Sip a Signature Mackinac Island Cocktail

Savoring an adult beverage is a big part of relaxing for many people. Fortunately, Mackinac Island has many bars and restaurants with signature cocktails to ease your nerves. One of the most popular places to get a drink on Mackinac Island is the Pink Pony, which Thrillist called the most iconic bar in Michigan. It’s located right along the water at the Chippewa Hotel downtown with an outdoor patio that sports a gigantic 25-person hot tub! The sights from the patio are incredible and the drinks such as the famous Pink Pony rum runner are delicious.

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