Mackinac Island in August

Escape the heat and leave the traffic behind as you head to an island where the only traffic jam you’ll see involves horses. Mackinac Island has been car free for 125 years and is a favorite summer destination for people from all over the world.

August is one of the warmest, most popular, and busiest months to visit Mackinac Island, and although it’s warm, it’s still likely to be 10 degrees cooler than anywhere else in the Midwest. With more than 70 miles of trails and countless attractions, it’s recommended to go exploring during the day and return downtown for a laid-back experience during the evening.

Here’s everything else to know about visiting Mackinac Island in August:

A Monarch butterfly flutters in a flower garden with boats on the water in the Mackinac Island harbor in the background

WEATHER ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN AUGUST

One of the many reasons to visit Mackinac Island in August is because of the weather. Most days are warm, some days are hot, and almost all days are pleasant in August. While the rest of the USA sees rising temperatures, the average high in August is 74 degrees. We get the sunny summer days without the scorching summer temperatures.

August is a fun time of year to explore both indoor and outdoor activities, but mostly to experience all the water activities on Mackinac Island. We are an Island after all and offer some of the most pristine fresh waters in the world!

6 extraordinary boat tours around Mackinac Island

A Shepler’s ferry boat glides through the water off Mackinac Island at sunset

GETTING TO MACKINAC ISLAND IN AUGUST

There are 3 ways to get to Mackinac Island in August; public ferry, personal boat, or flying.

Ferries to Mackinac Island

Taking a ferry is the most popular mode of transportation to and from Mackinac Island in August. Two ferry companies, Mackinac Island Ferry Company and Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, both operate out of two port cities on the mainland: Mackinaw City in the lower peninsula and St. Ignace in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

The ferry schedule varies depending on the day so double-check the departure and return times for your prospective dates. August ferry schedules generally offer Island departure times into the evening (9 p.m. or 10 p.m. depending on the day) with frequent arrival and return ferries throughout the day.

Round-trip tickets are around $35 for adults and $25 for children, with a small fee for bringing a bicycle on board. The ferry ride to the island takes around 20 minutes. Parking and ticket information can be found on the respective ferry websites.

Pro tip: For an extra treat, plan on taking an “Under the Bridge” ferry! Both ferry companies offer a free experience of going under the Mackinac Bridge (the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world) before heading to the Island. This adds on an extra 10 minutes and is a fun bonus trip if you’ve never tried it!

Tips for getting to Mackinac Island

Personal Boat to Mackinac Island

Bring your personal boat to Mackinac Island. Docking is available at the Mackinac Island State Park Harbor or a private dock such as East Dock or the Coal Dock.

Where to dock your boat for an overnight stay on Mackinac Island

Flying to Mackinac Island

There are three options when it comes to flying to Mackinac Island. Take a 7-minute air taxi, order a charter flight to pick you up from a different airport, or fly your own plane to Mackinac!

  • Fresh Air Aviation operates out of the St. Ignace Airport and flies directly to the Mackinac Island Airport. It is about $45 for a one-way adult ticket and a 7-minute flight. Call ahead to schedule a flight with them at 906-285-6727.
  • North Country Aviation is another way to get to Mackinac Island and offers chartered flights from nearby airports and around the country. Visit their website for more information.
  • You can also fly a private plane to Mackinac Island. Click here for more information about Mackinac Island Airport prices, rules, and contacts.

If you are flying into the Mackinac Island Airport, it is recommended to arrange a horse-drawn taxi ahead of time 906-847-3323. The Mackinac Island Airport is about 2 miles from the downtown area.

Everything you need to know about Mackinac Island taxis

A woman celebrates making a putt on the Greens of Mackinac golf course along the water on Mackinac Island

WHAT’S OPEN ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN AUGUST

In August, just about everything is open aside from any unforeseen reasons that a business might be closed. Attractions such as horse-drawn carriage tours, walking tours, kayaking, and bike shops are open and vary in their business hours. The horse-drawn carriage tours generally close by 5 p.m. but can be booked out early in the afternoon on busy days so be sure to get your ticket early in the day.

Most shops and restaurants stay open until the last ferry leaves Mackinac Island (9 p.m. or later, depending on the day) and a handful play live music well into the night.

Shops, restaurants, and attractions are open 7 days a week in August so if you have flexibility, one way to beat the crowds is to plan a visit during a weekday.

A cruise ship passes by Mackinac Island in the water off Mission Point Resort

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN AUGUST

August is one of the best months to dip your toes into Lake Huron, pack a picnic and go exploring, and enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions!

There are daily events that take place at a variety of attractions such as cannon firings and live demonstrations at Mackinac State Historic Parks properties, kayaking tours, and evening boat cruises. Special events such as live music, art classes, and educational workshops happen regularly throughout August and the summer season.

Check the Mackinac Island events calendar for a comprehensive look at everything happening on Mackinac Island in August.

The Mackinac Island Fudge Festival takes place annually in August. Since Mackinac Island is known as the Fudge Capital of the World, there’s no better place to celebrate this sweet treat. Fudge Festival generally takes place toward the end of August and is a weekend filled with all things fudge. Family games, a fudge quest, hands-on and rare fudge making opportunities, a high-level soccer match, and line dancing in the street with West Michigan Bootscooters. It’s a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of fudge!

Homes and cottages sit high on Mackinac Island’s West Bluff at sunset

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MACKINAC ISLAND IN AUGUST

 

 

  • Downtown can get busy during the day, especially with day traffic visitors. If you can get out and about and explore during the day and visit shops and restaurants early in the morning or later afternoon to the evening, that will help make for a more enjoyable experience. Downtown Mackinac Island: Something for every visitor

 

 

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