Mackinac Island in July

Crystal clear water, sailboats, and sunshine; July on Mackinac Island is perhaps the quintessential summer vacation. And while it’s one of the warmest months to visit, it’s also one of the busiest but still a great time to visit.

Because of the warmer weather, July on Mackinac Island is a popular month for water activities. Parasailing, kayaking, private boat charters, fishing charters, and Sip N’ Sail cruises are some of the different water excursions people can experience when visiting in July.

While there are many things to consider when choosing which month to visit Mackinac Island, here’s what you need to know when deciding if July is the right time for you.

Personal boats motor through the Mackinac Island harbor with downtown in the background and Grand Hotel up on the bluff

WEATHER ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN JULY

Mackinac Island weather in July brings an average high temperature of 76 degrees, with an average low of 57 degrees. Even better, July gets more than 15 hours of sunlight, making it an ideal summer destination to soak up the fun.

One thing to remember is despite the warm temperatures and sunshine during the day, it generally cools off in the morning and evenings when the sun goes down, so bring layers if you are spending the night.

What to pack for a trip to Mackinac Island

A Mackinac Island ferry boat kicks up a tail of water as it passes a light station with the Mackinac Bridge in the background

GETTING TO MACKINAC ISLAND IN JULY

There are 3 ways of getting to Mackinac Island in July: public ferry, personal boat, or airplane.

Ferries to Mackinac Island

There are two ferry companies, Mackinac Island Ferry Company, and Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, that operate out of two port cities on the mainland, Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. The ferry schedule changes throughout the month so be sure to double check the times and dates before your visit. July ferry schedules generally feature extended departure times into the evening (9 p.m. or 10 p.m. depending on the day) and more frequent departures in the morning. Round-trip tickets are around $35 for adults and the ride 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 largest suspension bridge in the world) before heading to Mackinac Island. This adds on an extra 10 minutes and is a fun bonus trip if you’ve never tried it!

What time is the last ferry from Mackinac Island?

Personal Boat to Mackinac Island

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

Where to dock your boat for overnight stay on Mackinac Island

Flying to Mackinac Island

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

  • 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.

Where are the nearest airports to Mackinac Island?

People wait in line to order food at Cannonball Oasis as bicyclists pedal past at Mackinac Island’s British Landing

WHAT’S OPEN ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN JULY

Everything that’s open for the season will be open in July. Downtown retail shops and galleries are generally open until the last boat, so around 9 p.m. Restaurants are open later and late night entertainment extends until around 2 a.m. at the Pink Pony, Horn’s Bar, Patrick Doud’s Irish Pub, and Gate House.

Every day is a working day on Mackinac Island in the summer so there’s not much difference in what’s open on weekdays vs. weekends.

Outdoor restaurant dining on Mackinac Island

Fireworks launched from the Mackinac Island harbor light up the sky at night as a crowd watches from Marquette Park

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN JULY

July begins with the annual 4th of July celebration before Yacht Races become the main event of the month.

The oldest Stone Skipping competition in the country, the W.T. Rabe Stone Skipping Competition, takes place at Windermere Point on Mackinac Island every 4th of July. Kids and amateurs compete in the open division for a chance to compete with the invite-only Pros.

There are two major yacht races that finish at Mackinac Island in July, the Bayview Mackinac Race and the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The two races flip-flop which race takes place first every year and it can often be difficult to find room availability during race weekends so be sure to book early!

  • The Bayview Mackinac Race began in 1925 with 9 boats competing. Today, the race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island features over 250 racing yachts.
  • The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the world’s longest freshwater sailing event (Chicago to Mackinac Island) and is considered one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world.

Another beloved event that takes place in July is the Vintage Base Ball game hosted by Mackinac State Historic Parks. Not only is the game played on the oldest continuously used baseball field in Michigan, it features old-time cheers, old-time rules (no mitts, hands only), old-time outfits, and a whole lot of fun!

Other Mackinac Island events in July include Music in the Park every Thursday in Marquette Park through the Mackinac Arts Council, art classes in the evenings at Watercolor Cafe, kayaking excursions with Great Turtle Kayak Tours, live music at local restaurants, and Sip N’ Sail cruises.

Sailboats line the docks in the Mackinac Island marina on a summer day with Fort Mackinac up on the bluff in the background

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MACKINAC ISLAND IN JULY

  • The downtown area can be busy during the day, especially with people who are taking a day trip. Spending the night or coming early and staying late can help make a more comfortable trip.
  • July books out quickly for rooms. Book your rooms ahead of time when visiting in July.

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