Mackinac Island visitors had a lot to smile about in 2020, despite travel challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the faces sometimes were covered by masks, you can still see the joy in people’s eyes as they experienced the magic of Mackinac Island.
Many of us are happy to turn the page on 2020 and move on to a new year. But let’s take a moment to look back and appreciate the happiness that Mackinac Island visitors enjoyed even during trying times.
It’s true that some things on Mackinac Island were different in 2020. Not all of our favorite restaurants or places to stay opened, due to the pandemic. There was no Lilac Festival Grand Parade. Mackinac Island’s iconic Halloween festivities were muted. And the season-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of Mackinac State Historic Parks was scaled back.
Yet, the smiles of visitors showed that so much of what makes Mackinac Island special remained the same in 2020. Here’s hoping for more happiness in 2021!
Mackinac Island remained a popular getaway for families in 2020. In fact, the pandemic gave some people even more opportunity to visit. With many schools and offices closed at times during the year, families were able to enjoy “field trips” to Mackinac Island. Kids engaged in some real-life learning by experiencing the historic and scientific wonders of Mackinac Island, while parents were able to work remotely in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
A wealth of outdoor recreation makes Mackinac Island an ideal place for natural social distancing. In addition to exploring more than 70 miles of trails through the Mackinac Island State Park forest, visitors enjoyed getting out on the open water for a gorgeous sunrise or sunset paddle with friendly guides from Great Turtle Kayak.
As always, there was plenty of room in Mackinac Island’s historic and picturesque Marquette Park to cozy up with a partner and escape from the world for a while…
…or to enjoy a unique adventure in a place where bicycles rule the road. (If your relationship isn’t quite to the point of putting your fate in each other’s hands by traveling like this, there are plenty of tandem bicycles for rent on Mackinac Island that really are built for two!)
While restaurant capacity was limited due to the pandemic, visitors still happily found seating in Mackinac Island’s unique and diverse assortment of bars and restaurants. Socially distanced outdoor dining was especially popular on Mackinac Island in 2020!
Pandemic or not, staying on Mackinac Island has a special charm that’s different from anywhere else. The hotels, resorts, B&Bs, condos, cottages and other places to stay on Mackinac Island all made a commitment to keeping guests as safe as possible.
While business conferences and other group travel was less common in 2020 due to the pandemic, vacationing on Mackinac Island with extended family was as popular as ever. Because Mackinac Island offers a variety of things to do for all ages, it’s a perfect destination for multigenerational travel.
With the pandemic and a heated election dominating headlines in 2020, it was easy for adults to become weary. But no matter how many challenges we face, the smile of a child can make them all melt away. Happy New Year!