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:
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!
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, Star Line – now known as 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!
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.
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.
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.
- 7 sights to see on a horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island
- Tours of Mackinac Island: 3 lesser known sights to see
- Paddling around Mackinac Island
- How much does it cost to rent bikes on Mackinac Island?
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!
- How Mackinac Island became fudge capital of the world
- 9 stunning places for a picnic on Mackinac Island
- Art galleries of Mackinac Island
- Things to do at Mackinac Island’s historic Fort Mackinac
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MACKINAC ISLAND IN AUGUST
- Mackinac Island does not have sandy beaches but rather rocky beaches with many public access points. The Beaches of Mackinac Island
- Swimming is not recommended as there are strong currents in the lake and the water is colder than most people are used to. Most people wade in the water and skip stones. Best spots for stone skipping on Mackinac Island
- 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
- August is one of the warmest months but temperatures are still cool, relatively speaking. Bring a light jacket or layers for early mornings and evenings. What to pack for a trip to Mackinac Island
- Reserve your room well in advance as there are a limited number of rooms on the Island and August generally books up quickly! Choosing where to stay on Mackinac Island