Multigenerational Travel: Family vacation to Mackinac Island

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

And there are so many fun things for kids to do on Mackinac Island, too. Meanwhile, older visitors enjoy the relaxed pace of a place without automobiles and the simple luxuries of a horse-drawn carriage ride.

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

A multigenerational smiles for the camera on the Mackinac Island ferry docks with a hotel and the water in the background

Visiting Mackinac Island with Extended Family

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:

A historical interpreter at Fort Mackinac stands in the midst of the fort with an historic building in the background

Mackinac Island’s Historic 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 broadens their view of the world.

Groups of diners fill the outdoor patio at a Mackinac Island restaurant on a beautiful summer day

Family dinners on Mackinac Island

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 Mackinac Island restaurants where you all can sit down, exhale and talk to each other while enjoying a delicious meal.

A young boy looks wide eyed at a butterfly inside one of Mackinac Island's butterfly conservatories

Mackinac Island Butterfly Houses

Mackinac Island’s two butterfly conservatories feature 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!

Two women and a baby admire a horse in one of Mackinac Island's horse stables

Family portraits on Mackinac Island

Mom always wants to schedule time on vacation for the perfect family photo, and everybody protests. But amazing Mackinac Island photo ops are embedded into the things you’re doing each day, whether it’s sightseeing at Arch Rock, 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!

A grandmother holds a grandchild's hand as he raises a stick in the air on a rocky Mackinac Island beach

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 Mackinac Island boat tour.

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 on Mackinac Island, 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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