Survey says: Mackinac Island is one of the world’s best travel destinations. In fact, Travel + Leisure readers have voted Mackinac Island No. 1 on a list of the Top 15 Islands in the Continental U.S. in the publication’s World’s Best Awards this year.
Readers hailed the “Jewel of the Great Lakes” as the “quintessential vacation spot for enjoying the simple pleasures.” They love Mackinac Island’s car-free streets full of horse-drawn carriages and bicycles, its historic character, well-preserved Victorian homes, incredible natural beauty and world-famous Mackinac Island fudge.
“What a different place to visit,” one voter said. “It’s like its own little world.”
Travel + Leisure each year asks readers to rate their travel experiences based on things to do, sights to see, natural attractions, food, overall value and more. The feedback is used to recognize an elite group of travel destinations with World’s Best Awards – everything from best islands to best cities to best cruise ships and beyond.
Mackinac Island is no stranger to Travel + Leisure readers, who ranked it No. 9 in 2021. But this year, Mackinac Island topped the list!
Here are four of the reasons Travel + Leisure readers love Mackinac Island:
- Charming atmosphere of Mackinac Island – “You’ll find neither cars nor chain brands on this tiny island,” Travel + Leisure writes. It’s the perfect place to “escape from the hustle and bustle” and feel as though you’re stepping back in time to a slower, more relaxed pace of live. The way vacation should be!
- Extraordinary hospitality of Mackinac Island – Visiting Mackinac Island is “like stepping into a fairy tale,” writes Travel + Leisure. Travelers arrive by ferry boat at the Mackinac Island dock “where horse-drawn carriages await to whisk you and your luggage to your lodging.” The many places to stay on Mackinac Island “channel a bygone era” and exude “genteel hospitality.”
- Diverse shopping and dining on Mackinac Island – From the “irresistible smell of homemade fudge” to delicious dishes prepared by star chefs at fine-dining restaurants, Mackinac Island is a wonderful place to gratify your palate with a variety of flavors. It’s also home to some of the prettiest picnic spots in the world. And the many art galleries and boutique shops of Mackinac Island offer special, one-of-a-kind treasures to be discovered.
- Outdoor adventure on Mackinac Island – Travel + Leisure readers love the many sights to see and things to explore on Mackinac Island, both in town and in the expanse of the state park that covers 80% of the island. Visitors enjoy riding a bike all the way around the lakeshore drive that circles Mackinac Island and paddling the waters surrounding Mackinac Island in a kayak. They have fun exploring historic Fort Mackinac and gawking at some of Michigan’s oldest and grandest homes. And they appreciate the chance to “get lost in a flutter of delicate wings” at Mackinac Island’s beautiful butterfly conservatories.
Being named the No. 1 Island by Travel + Leisure readers is one of many accolades – or shall we say, “Mack-olades” – that Mackinac Island has earned. Mackinac Island is also one of the most tourist-friendly cities, site of the best picnic spot in Michigan, home to the No. 1 state park in the country, best family vacation destination, most romantic travel spot and so much more. It’s even one of the best Christmas towns!