What one-of-a-kind shops on Mackinac Island have in common

In downtown Mackinac Island, Nicole Doud owns three stores. Little Luxuries is a one-stop gift shop that offers a touch of whimsy. Canvas & Paddle is a cozy “Up North” shop with cabin decor. And the Artists Market of Mackinac Island features the works of more than 100 artisan makers from around the country.

Doud strives to give each of her three stores its own distinctive personality and feel. As a result, when you walk into one of them you don’t recognize that it has the same owner as the other two.

But in many ways, all three of Doud’s shops and many others in downtown Mackinac Island have a lot in common.

“They’re all family owned and a lot of them have been passed down or they’ve been doing it forever,” said Doud, whose husband’s family has been on Mackinac Island for generations.

Nighttime View Outside Little Luxuries Shop on Mackinac Island

What’s Special About Shopping on Mackinac Island

People buy lots of things online and in big box stores, too. Those can be convenient ways to shop. But for a unique experience you just can’t get anywhere else, the one-of-a-kind shops of Mackinac Island are the places to go.

When you visit Mackinac Island, here are some things you will find browsing the shops in town:

  • Quality products that are one of a kind – There’s only one Canvas & Paddle on the planet. And there are no Little Luxuries franchises in Mackinaw City or Traverse City or any other city in the world. Mackinac Island is full of independent shops with charming character and high-quality items that just aren’t available in other places.


  • Extraordinary restaurants – You won’t find a collection of fast-food chains in downtown Mackinac Island like you do in many shopping malls. Instead, Mackinac Island is home to iconic waterfront eateries with tasty, chef-prepared fare and priceless views. How’s that for a food court?!?


  • History – People have been doing business on Mackinac Island since the 1600s, when it was the center of the fur trade industry. Many Mackinac Island buildings date back more than 100 years. Doud’s Market, for example, is the oldest grocery store in America, founded in 1884.


  • World-famous fudge – Most malls have places to pick up a snack while you shop, whether it’s a pretzel stand or kiosk with candied almonds. But none of those places have authentic world-famous Mackinac Island fudge. There’s nothing like the fudge on Mackinac Island.


  • Fall discounts – Not only is the fall weather on Mackinac Island beautiful, but shops begin discounting inventory. Great deals start to emerge around the middle of September, with really big discounts coming in October. It’s a really good time to do some holiday shopping. A few Mackinac Island stores even reopen between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Mackinac Island has many shopping areas including Main and Market streets, Surrey Hill, Grand Hotel and Mission Point.

Mackinac Island Shopping Districts

In addition to downtown shopping on Main Street and Market Street, Mackinac Island has cute boutiques and art galleries toward Mission Point Resort on the east side of the island, up the hill from town to Grand Hotel and along one of the horse-drawn carriage stops at Surrey Hill.

Learn more about what you can find in each of the distinct shopping areas on Mackinac Island.

Bustling Street and Shopfronts on Mackinac Island

Whatever time of year you visit Mackinac Island, you’re going to get the family-owned, small-town, shop-local experience. And you won’t get shipping snafus or surprises when your online order arrives in a different color or size than you expected.

Come shop Mackinac Island and see for yourself!


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