I Want To Go To Mackinac Island, But Where Do I Start?

Your urge to get away reached its maximum, and you’re now set on officially booking a trip. You convinced yourself, your spouse, your family, whomever, that it’s time to book an Island getaway – you’re Mackinac Island bound. But where do you start in the booking process?

Main Street on Mackinac Island

Like any trip, lodging is a nice starting point. You should know Mackinac Island contains more than 1,600 unique rooms, and lacks franchise hotels. Each option is unique. From luxurious resorts to quaint bed-and-breakfasts, you’ll find a full spectrum of options suitable for a multitude of preferences. We recommend spending ample time delving into the possibilities. Think about what the focus of your trip is: is it a family outing? A long weekend away with friends? An anniversary trip? Some hotels may appeal more that others based on what your trip is all about. Furthermore, you must also consider where on the Island you want to be: Main Street? Waterfront? Tucked away?

With the lodging booked, we recommend to start thinking about how you get to the Island. We hope by this point you already know that automobiles are banned on Mackinac Island – it’s part of what makes the Island so distinctive. So getting here isn’t as simple as driving your car and parking directly outside your hotel. Don’t fret, the ferry companies, Shepler’s Ferry and Starline Ferry, will take good care of you. All season long, you’ll find ferry service that departs in both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. You can purchase your ferry tickets ahead of time or directly at the docks. Departures are frequent so if you happen to miss the departure time you were aiming for, you won’t have to wait around all that much. And if you prefer to travel via air than water, Great Lakes Air provides affordable passenger charter service from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island. It takes around 20 minutes to get to the Island via ferry, and 7 minutes via plane.

As mentioned, there are no cars on the Island – so how does everyone get around? Bikes and horses are heavily prevalent on Mackinac. This presents you an important decision: bring or your own bike or rent? You’ll find several rental options on the Island, including single-speed, three-speed, five-speed, tandems, mountain bikes, kids ‘bikes, burleys, beach cruisers, and more. Additionally, you can rent wheelchairs and mobility carts from many of the shops. You can rent bikes in hourly, half-day, full-day and 24-hour blocks. You can also bring your own bikes with you on the trip for an additional fee on your ferry ticket.

Locking down your hotel room, putting together your transport plans, and deciding whether to bring your own bike or stick with renting are three integral aspects to laying your trip’s foundation. Everyone will bring their own variables to the table in regards to these three components. Much like Mackinac Island itself, how you configure these options into your trip is unique. Think about your situation, what you hope to accomplish with your Mackinac Island getaway, and proceed your planning accordingly.

And if you need some help in the planning stages, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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