How spring on Mackinac makes for a unique island experience

Published on April 9th, 2018

Last updated on December 2nd, 2021



From the time the Mackinac Island ferries resume a regular schedule of passenger transportation from the mainland in late April, it’s usually about five weeks until Memorial Day and the start of the peak tourist season. That means each year you have about five weeks to experience Mackinac Island in a way many visitors never do – during the spring.

The summer months are the most popular time of year on Mackinac Island, yet you might find that you like spring even more. Whether one is better than the other is up to you decide, but Mackinac Island in the spring certainly is unique.

Here are seven ways Mackinac Island is different in the spring:

Smaller crowds

As relaxing as things are on Mackinac Island in the summer, the pace is even slower in the spring. Restaurants and shops are just awakening from their winter slumber, and the ferries that shuttle visitors back and forth to the mainland are just ramping up their services. Part of Mackinac Island’s peak season appeal is the buzz and excitement of the crowds, of course, but you can find a quieter time here in the spring before school lets out for the summer.

Better deals

The basic law of supply and demand makes lodging on Mackinac Island even more affordable in the spring. Many hotels and B&Bs offer special packages and deals that stretch your dollar farther. Find lodging specials here.

Cooler weather

Sure, there can still be a chill in the air on Mackinac Island in the spring. But the end of April and into May is a special time when Mackinac Island bursts forth with new life as it sheds its winter coat. Even if you’ve been too busy to appreciate the beginnings of spring where you live, you can head to Mackinac Island and immerse yourself in nature’s annual rebirth.

Spring skies

Whether it’s in late August or late April, stargazing at Fort Holmes is a must for your Mackinac Island experience. The highest point on the island offers an incredible 360-degree view of the Mackinac Straits including an amazing vista of the Mighty Mac. During late April evenings you’ll see the Lyrid meteor showers.

Special occasions

Summer has its own schedule of holidays that are great for family gatherings, while spring has the mother of all holidays – Mothers’ Day. A weekend getaway to Mackinac Island is the perfect gift. Hotels and B&Bs on Mackinac Island will help you put a bow on it with special packages just for mom.

Fun events

The world-renowned lilacs don’t bloom yet in spring, but the clip-clop of hooves can be heard in the streets. What better place to watch the Kentucky Derby than where horses rule the road?

Easier to fit it all in

Though some restaurants and attractions are slower to emerge from winter’s hibernation than others, most Mackinac Island hot spots open for business as spring progresses. There will be plenty to do whenever you visit and, in fact, you’ll be able to fit more into your trip since the crowds are smaller and you’ll have your run of Mackinac Island.

Plan your spring excursion on Mackinac Island now!


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