Multigenerational travel: Mackinac Island for extended families

As a popular wedding destination, Mackinac Island obviously caters to couples. It’s one of the most romantic places in America, in fact.

As for kids, well, they thrive on all the fun things to do on Mackinac Island, from exploring the Maze of Mirrors downtown to riding a bike around town, flying kites on Windermere Point and playing putt-putt at the Greens of Mackinac.Family Posing Beside Rail in Front of Shore on Mackinac Island

Meanwhile, older visitors enjoy the relaxed pace of a place without automobiles, the simple luxuries of a horse-drawn carriage ride or a seat on an Adirondack chair with a cool drink and a warm summer breeze.

But what happens when couples and kids and grandparents all travel together?

The multigenerational vacation has emerged as one of the leading trends in the travel industry, with people of different generations coming together on the same trip to celebrate milestone birthdays, anniversaries or just to get away and spend time with each other. Mackinac Island just so happens to be perfect for that kind of vacation.

For one, everybody loves world-famous Mackinac Island fudge. Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple hours sampling the endless variety of flavors, no matter their age?

But that’s not the only Mackinac Island attraction enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Imagine adding these activities to your next big family vacation:

Fort Mackinac – Surveys show that parents appreciate trips where their kids get to experience history and culture, but kids aren’t interested in a lecture. Mackinac State Historic Parks does it right at the 240-year-old Fort Mackinac. The fort has enough historical information to satisfy the appetites of adults, yet plenty of hands-on activities, demonstrations and re-enactments that expose kids to a time and place that broHand Petting Butterfly in Conservatory on Mackinac Islandadens their view of the world.

Family dinners – Come on, moms and dads. Let’s just admit right now that family dinners come few and far between. What with sports practices and after-hours work meetings and everything else that somehow squeezes into each day’s little box on the calendar, it’s almost impossible to get everybody in the same place at the same time.

Well, on Mackinac Island there are no clocks. No to-do lists. No calendars chock full of appointments. But there are scores of unique restaurants where you all can sit down, exhale and talk to each other while enjoying a delicious meal.

Butterfly houses – Mackinac Island is home to two butterfly conservatories with hundreds of the colorful winged insects from around the world. Strolling through the gardens is an enchanting excursion for adults and kids alike, and it’s a memorable experience when a butterfly flutters its way to your hand or shoulder!

Family portraits – Mom always wants to schedule time on vacation for the perfect family photo, and everybody protests. But on Mackinac Island, amazing photo ops are embedded into the things you’re doing each day, whether it’s sightseeing at Arch Rock, taking a break on a bench along the picturesque cliffs of the Tranquil Bluff Trail, reaching the top of the island at Fort Holmes or just lounging on the lawn at Mission Point Resort or experiencing the world’s longest front porch at Grand Hotel. You can’t get the photo wrong when the setting is so right!

Grandmother with Grandson in Sunglasses Taking Photo on Mackinac Island When was the last time you took a family hike? Or a bike ride? Or had a picnic? When was the last time you all tried something new together?

On Mackinac Island you can go parasailing or horseback riding or kayaking. You can explore the wonders of what once was the country’s second national park or pass under the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere on a boat.

Mackinac Island not only offers something for everybody in your extended family, it offers things for you all to do together. Plus, with a wide variety of places of stay, you’re sure to find the perfect accommodations for your family, however many people you’re traveling with.

We can’t wait to see how much your family loves being here!

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