Offseason, non-peak season, low season, shoulder season, value season. Whatever you call it, now is time to save money on Mackinac Island.
As the shops, places to stay and island attractions prepare for the season finale at the end of October, there are great opportunities to take advantage of deals and discounts that enable you to experience one of the world’s best island destinations for less.
For example, if you book a two-night weekend stay in October at the historic Bay View of Mackinac, you can add the adjoining Thursday night or Sunday night for free. Or, if you stay at Bay View any Sunday through Thursday, you get any additional weekday nights for half price!
Many of the unique places to stay on Mackinac Island offer similar kinds of deals in October before the tourist season comes to a close at the end of the month. This time of year offers a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty and charm of Mackinac Island at a discount, both on your lodging and any shopping you may do in the one-of-a-kind boutique shops downtown.
“That’s probably one of my favorite times of year because the shops are offering wonderful discounts,” says Lydia Yoder, who owns the 130-year-old Bay View of Mackinac with her husband, Doug. “I actually like to do my Christmas shopping during that time.”
Summer is a popular time for families and people of all ages to visit Mackinac Island, sample fudge, tour Fort Mackinac and explore the wilderness that once was the country’s second national park. Come October, Mackinac Island takes on a different kind of mood.
The whole ambiance becomes even more relaxed. It’s quieter. Less crowded. You can feel the calm in the air.
And the colors. Oh, the colors! The entire island is completely transformed with streaks of red, yellow and gold set against the crisp, beautiful blue waters of the Straits of Mackinac.
“It’s just a perfect time to come, especially for couples,” Yoder said. “Coming to Mackinac Island in the fall is one of those things you want to put on your bucket list, if you really want a relaxing, romantic time just to get away.
“Our guests enjoy so much just lounging on the veranda and being able to do absolutely nothing, if they want to.”
Of course, if you like to mix a little action with your relaxing – a “relactive” vacation, in other words – then there’s still plenty to do on Mackinac Island in October. You can still rent a bike and pedal all the way around the outer rim of the island, only the views will be painted with fall colors. Have you ever tried riding a tandem bike for two?
You can still get out on the water in a kayak or go on a lighthouse tour by boat. You can get up in the air and see fall colors through the windows of an airplane. You can still hike through Mackinac Island State Park and see iconic sites including Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf. And fall is a great time to go on a horseback riding adventure through the interior of Mackinac Island.
Plus, October brings special events to Mackinac Island including the Women’s Wellness Weekend, Halloween parties and the Somewhere in Time event at Grand Hotel.
And in October it’s even cozier to cuddle up in a carriage ride on Mackinac Island.
“What I love is taking a horse drawn taxi to The Woods restaurant,” Yoder said. “That’s our most favorite thing.”