Maybe you’ve heard that Mackinac Island has a dress code. Well, there is some truth to that, but it’s also not quite right.
On the one hand, there is no dress code for Mackinac Island itself. Visitors come from all over the world, and they arrive in all kinds of clothing. Whether you prefer shorts and a T-shirt or dress pants and a button-down shirt with tie, you’re welcome on Mackinac Island.
However, there is one place on Mackinac Island that does have a dress code. While Mackinac Island’s historic Grand Hotel has a casual resort atmosphere during the day, guests are required to wear formal attire in main areas of the hotel after 6:30 p.m.
The idea is to make every evening at Grand Hotel a special occasion. That means dresses, skirts, blouses, dress sweaters and dress slacks for women and suit coat, necktie and dress pants for men.
There’s no formal dress code elsewhere on Mackinac Island, but you still may want to pack something nice depending on which of the many restaurants you plan to visit. For example, the 1852 Grill Room at Island House Hotel, Chianti at Mission Point Resort, Carriage House at Hotel Iroquois, and Woods Restaurant and Jockey Club, which are off-site Grand Hotel restaurants, are among the fine dining establishments on Mackinac Island where you may enjoy dressing up for the evening.
As for what’s appropriate to wear during other parts of your trip to Mackinac Island, here are some examples to help you pack:
- When sampling world-famous fudge on Mackinac Island, there’s no special clothing to wear. Just make sure to have your sweet tooth! And maybe some comfortable shoes. While most all the fudge shops are in close proximity right in town, there are so many of them that you’ll be walking around for a while in order to try all the many great flavors.
- When riding a bike on Mackinac Island, you’re not going to see many cyclists in Lycra suits. Bike riding on Mackinac Island takes more of a leisurely pace, and flip-flops are perfectly fine. There are, however, some more challenging rides up the hills into Mackinac Island’s interior. If you’re going to explore Mackinac Island State Park by bike, just be sure to bring a water bottle.
- When going on a horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island, there’s no special dress needed. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, the sights and the narration. But if you’re planning to go horseback riding on Mackinac Island, then be sure to wear long pants and close-toed shoes.
- When hiking through Mackinac Island State Park, wear some good hiking shoes or boots. In addition to paved paths, there are many miles of earthen trails over a variety of terrain with many exposed tree roots. Bug spray can be helpful at certain times of year. And if you decide to venture off trail, either wear long pants or watch out for poison ivy!
- When swimming at one of Mackinac Island’s many pools, wear a swimsuit. And probably some sunscreen!