Mackinac Island safely welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors in 2020 during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They experienced ferry boat rides from the mainland and enjoyed horse-drawn carriage rides. They savored delicious Mackinac Island food, soaked up beautiful summer weather and watched incredible sunsets beyond the Mackinac Bridge.
Yet, for all the ways the Mackinac Island travel experience in 2020 was the same as in previous years, last season definitely was different in several ways, too. For one, not every Mackinac Island destination opened.
Wings of Mackinac, for example, was unable to bring in its usual collection of gorgeous butterflies from around the world due to logistical challenges created by the pandemic.
Fortunately, Wings of Mackinac is on track to reopen this year! It’s one of several Mackinac Island places to stay, attractions and restaurants that are looking forward to welcoming guests in 2021 after a year-long hiatus.
Welcome back to these Mackinac Island destinations!
The butterfly conservatory in the Surrey Hill section of Mackinac Island usually gets weekly deliveries of the beautiful insects from all over the world. But the pandemic prevented butterfly shipments into the United States last year. The good news is that thousands of tropical butterflies are coming back to Mackinac Island this year and Wings of Mackinac plans to open during Mother’s Day weekend.
This popular watering hole named after a champion racehorse in the 1930s enjoyed a short and sweet 2020 season, opening after Labor Day with an abbreviated menu for just the beautiful fall season on Mackinac Island. Seabiscuit plans a full season in 2021 with its full menu of all the items Mackinac Island visitors know and love.
A Mackinac Island institution right on Main Street, this breakfast joint was unable to open at any time last year. And when it reopens Mother’s Day weekend, it will look a little different. The offseason has brought fresh paint and new décor to the classic Mackinac Island restaurant.
Although Michigan’s oldest family-owned B&B experienced a disappointing first in 2020 by remaining closed the whole season, this lovely Victorian home that dates to 1884 made the best of it. Visitors this year will find gorgeous new hardwood floors in the foyer and breakfast room, plus enjoy brand new water heaters and electrical upgrades. Reservations are being taken for this year, with a scheduled opening date of May 7.
Mackinac Island COVID precautions
Aside from several destinations not opening, the 2020 travel experience on Mackinac Island differed in other ways, too. Mackinac Island places to stay, restaurants, shops and attractions all made a commitment to undertake health and safety protocols aimed at keeping visitors, restaurants and workers safe. For example, everyone was encouraged to practice safe social distancing and to “wash their hooves.”
Many of those same precautions will be in place again in 2021 as we all look to welcome visitors safely back to the beauty of Mackinac Island again this season. Please take a look at the latest COVID-19 guidelines on Mackinac Island.