What to pack for a trip to Mackinac Island

What to bring on a trip to Mackinac Island depends. It depends on what time of year you visit Mackinac Island. And it depends on what Mackinac Island things to do are on your itinerary.

What’s for certain is that no matter when you visit Mackinac Island and no matter what you do when you get here, there’s one item you absolutely will never need to take with you: a car. That’s because Mackinac Island has been car-free for over 100 years!

Because there are no cars, you might want to bring a bike to get around Mackinac Island. And you’ll probably want to bring some comfortable walking shoes, too.

Of course, just like traveling to any other destination, you’ll want to bring your basic necessities to Mackinac Island, from undergarments and toiletries to electronic devices and chargers. But beyond those basics…

Weather on Mackinac Island changes a lot during the travel season and affects what kind of clothing to pack for your trip.

Here’s a list of a dozen items to consider packing for a trip to Mackinac Island:



Mackinac Island weather can be crisp and cool in the spring and fall so be sure to pack warm coats, gloves, mittens and hats.


  • Comfortable shoes – Since there are no cars on Mackinac Island, you’ll probably do more walking than you would at many other travel destinations. Sandals should be fine for relaxing around the hotel or bumming around town. But if you’re going sightseeing, you’ll want walking shoes that your feet appreciate. Likewise, if you’re going to explore some of the 70-plus miles of trails through Mackinac Island State Park, you’ll want some tennis shoes or hiking boots. And don’t forget a water bottle and a daypack for snacks. Tips for visiting Mackinac Island with limited mobility

Mackinac Island can be cool on summer mornings and evenings so it’s wise to pack a variety of clothes and dress in layers.


  • Swimsuit? – Even though Mackinac Island is surrounded by water, it’s not a beach destination with lots of sand on the shoreline for sunbathing. Your best option for swimming is in one or more of Mackinac Island’s swimming pools. If you really want to swim in the lake, you can find several places to do so around Mackinac Island. The water is often a bit chilly but splashing around in the lake makes for a memorable experience. For a much warmer dip, book a Mackinac Island place to stay with a hot tub!

Swimming pools on Mackinac Island as well as hot tubs, spa pools and saunas can be found at several hotels and resorts.


  • Camera – Speaking of sightseeing, remember to bring extra batteries and memory cards for a camera or a charging cord and backup file storage for a phone. You might literally take a million pictures!

Mackinac Island weather varies quite a bit during the year, but sunglasses should always be on your list of things to pack.

  • Bug spray – More than 80% of Mackinac Island is state parkland. It’s natural wilderness that’s a joy to explore. But keep in mind that bugs, ticks and poison ivy are natural in the woods in the summer. So, if you plan to spend time hiking through the woods of Mackinac Island, bring some bug spray for yourself and some tick prevention for your dog. And if you’re not a pro at identifying and avoiding poison ivy, then bring long pants for any hiking you may do. 4 hiking and biking trails to explore on Mackinac Island


A man putts a golf ball on one of the holes at the Greens of Mackinac putting course at Mackinac Island's Mission Point Resort


  • Books – There are lots of things to do on Mackinac Island. But if your favorite thing to do on vacation is relax, then Mackinac Island is perfect for that, too. There are tons of great places on Mackinac Island to escape and enjoy a good book. Mackinac Island also is home to some of the best stone-skipping on the planet and features a windy point near the ferry docks that’s ideal for flying kites.

If you forget to pack something, don’t worry. There’s no stress on Mackinac Island! Besides, after you arrive on Mackinac Island you can get most anything you could need at Doud’s Market, the oldest family-owned grocery store in the country.

Explore all there is to see and do on Mackinac Island and start packing your suitcase!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mackinac Island (@mackinacisle)

Share on Social
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top