Mackinac Island nightlife: 5 things to do after dark

Thousands of people visit Mackinac Island each day during prime tourism season from spring through fall. They take in the beautiful sights, explore Mackinac Island’s historic attractions, taste world-famous Mackinac Island fudge and enjoy relaxing Mackinac Island bike rides, adventurous hikes through Mackinac Island State Park and fascinating horse-drawn carriage tours around Mackinac Island. 

Then, many visitors hop on a Mackinac Island ferry back to the mainland.

For those that remain on Mackinac Island and stay overnight, a completely different experience awaits. For one, you get to stick around and watch an incredible sunset – perhaps from high up in the Grand Hotel’s Cupola Bar. But then what happens after dark is even better.

Whether you’re staying on Mackinac Island for one night or a whole week, you’ll find plenty of extraordinary things to do after the sun goes down and the ferry boats leave.

The sun sets on the water beyond the Mackinac Bridge as people watch from the boardwalk on Mackinac Island

What To Do on Mackinac Island at Night

  • Mackinac Island Nightlife – From live music and rum runners at The Pink Pony to piano entertainment at the 1852 Grill Room, Mackinac Island has it all. With more than a dozen late night hot spots, you can always experience something new even during extended stays. Dance the night away at The Grand Hotel’s Terrace Room and head to The Woods to play on the country’s oldest operational duck pin bowling alley. Catch live entertainment at Horn’s Gaslight Bar & Grille, or grab a burger and beer at The Mustang Lounge or Seabiscuit Café & Grog. You can choose from 50 different craft beers at The Draught House, or try signature beers like Patrick Sinclair’s Scotch ale at Mission Point Resort’s Round Island Bar & Grill and Big Porch Ale at The Gate House. Where to Get a Drink on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island's nightlife hot spots include Horn's Bar with live music

  • Stroll the Mackinac Island Boardwalk – After the ferries leave for the day and the crowds thin out is a great time to wander along the shore in the northern Michigan summer night. Whenever you need to take a break, find a bench and take in the majestic sight of the Mackinac Bridge lights in the dark. Mackinac Island’s Top 9 Things to Do for Couples

A full moon shines through the clouds above the water off Mackinac Island and a lighted Mackinac Bridge

  • Sit and Listen to the Stillness – Mackinac Island is quieter at night, which makes some of the island’s sounds easier to appreciate. Grab a seat in an Adirondack chair with a favorite beverage in hand and just soak in the sounds of waves, seagulls, horse hooves and foghorns.

The moon shines on the water off a rocky Mackinac Island beach at night with a lighthouse in the distance

The light of a full moon shines through the spokes of a bicycle wheel on Mackinac Island

  • Stargazing – The night sky on Mackinac Island looks different than it does where you live. It’s clearer, sharper, darker and pretty much just amazing. You can head to Fort Holmes, the highest point on Mackinac Island, and find a romantic vista of the heavens above and the world below.

Stars sparkle above Mackinac Island's Main Street at night when the roads are quiet and lined with bicycles

Mornings on Mackinac Island

Of course, one of the best things about spending the night on Mackinac Island is that you get to watch the sunset and the sunrise as well. To wake up before dawn and pedal a bike along the eastern shore of Mackinac Island as the sun comes up, or to launch a kayak into the still, calm waters of the Straits of Mackinac at sunrise, is a breathtaking experience that should be on everybody’s bucket list.

Starting your day with breakfast on Mackinac Island and relaxing with your morning coffee on Mackinac Island are nice perks of spending the night, too.

RELATED: 11 Reasons to Spend the Night on Mackinac Island

As you make plans for how to spend your nights on Mackinac Island, check out this helpful info for choosing a place to stay on Mackinac Island.

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