Road trip from Chicago: Relaxing getaway to Mackinac Island

Published on July 1st, 2020

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 3,000 flights landed in or took off from Chicago each day. Those departures and arrivals connected people to virtually every corner of the globe.

But now, with the threat of the coronavirus still looming, many people are planning vacations within driving distance. And some people plan to fly less often even after the pandemic eases.

So, where are people going to travel? They’re going to drive to relaxing destinations with ample opportunities for social distancing, according to TripAdvisor surveys on consumer sentiment.

In other words, they’re going to visit destinations such as Michigan’s historic Mackinac Island. Although the annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has been cancelled for 2020, it sounds like Chicagoans will be racing around Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island anyway – on road trips rather than boat voyages!

Indeed, travelers are 218% more likely to desire a relaxing vacation than before the pandemic. Plus, six in 10 travelers are prioritizing places where they can get off the beaten path and away from crowds, TripAdvisor says. That makes Mackinac Island the ideal destination, with its clip-clop pace of life and long list of picture-perfect landmarks out in the wilderness of Mackinac Island State Park.

Few travel destinations offer such a wide variety of activities with natural social distancing as Mackinac Island. Within minutes of arriving at the ferry dock you can be riding a bike in the lake breeze around the outer rim of the island, paddling a kayak on the surrounding waters, riding a horse through wooded trails or hiking through the forest to find legendary rock formations and stunning Great Lakes overlooks.

RELATED: Social distancing on Mackinac Island: Where you can go to escape

A separate survey on the impacts of COVID-19 by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that more than one-fourth of people expect to travel by airplane much less frequently in the future, and nearly half are likely to fly somewhat less often. Meanwhile, personal cars, bikes and walking are seen as the safest modes of transportation, that survey found.The peaceful beauty and temperate breezes of Mackinac Island make it the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.

Mackinac Island visitors can drive their car to the mainland ferry docks in Mackinaw City at the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula or in St. Ignace at the bottom of the Upper Peninsula. Then, because cars aren’t allowed on Mackinac Island, everybody gets around by horse-drawn carriage, bike or on foot after coming over on the ferry.

Of course, no matter how safe your transportation is, travelers also want to be confident that their vacation destination is taking safety precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 as well. Health and safety are top priorities for the restaurants, shops, attractions and places to stay on Mackinac Island.

Visiting a destination that’s taking the health and safety of travelers seriously will make it much easier to relax for a few days away from home – especially if you vacation at a place where social distancing is easy to do.

And who says it has to be just for vacation? The University of Illinois at Chicago survey found that many more people are working remotely than before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can work remotely, you can work amid the peaceful beauty and temperate breezes of Mackinac Island, one of the Best U.S. Islands.

Plus, researchers think that trend of remote work might continue long after the pandemic wanes. So, in addition to making a trip to Mackinac Island this summer, you might as well book a visit to Mackinac Island for next year, too!


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