Labor Day marks the symbolic end of summer, and the autumnal equinox later in September heralds the official start of fall. Yet, it doesn’t often look or feel like fall in many parts of the country.
In lots of places where it’s still 80 degrees every day, you only know it’s fall because there’s football being played!
But on Michigan’s Mackinac Island, fall is done just right. Comfortable daytime temps and refreshingly crisp nights. Colorful leaves set against deep blue waters. An iconic weekend of Halloween celebrations.
Just as many people visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day because the summer weather on Mackinac Island is ideal, they come in September and October to experience an authentic autumn. Here’s the fall forecast for Mackinac Island this year:
- September temperatures on Mackinac Island average 66 degrees for daytime highs and 50 degrees for nighttime lows
- October temperatures on Mackinac Island average 53 degrees for daytime highs and 39 degrees for nighttime lows
In addition to temperatures that make Mackinac Island feel like fall, it looks the part, too. Below are some glimpses of Mackinac Island in all its autumnal glory. And here’s a packing list to prepare for your fall trip to Mackinac Island.
As summer transitions into fall, the days on Mackinac Island often are still sunny and bright. But the heat coming from the sun isn’t quite as powerful. Your list of what to pack for a trip to Mackinac Island should include long pants, long-sleeve tops and maybe even hats and gloves in case a cold front comes through.
Many sunny fall days on Mackinac Island are perfect for a picnic. Whether spreading a blanket out in Marquette Park at the foot of historic Fort Mackinac or taking a seat along the water on Mackinac Island’s Windermere Point, it makes for a beautiful fall experience. You can pick out your meal at Doud’s Market & Deli, America’s oldest grocery store.
As you may know, cars are prohibited on Mackinac Island. That makes it a wonderful place for a leisurely bike ride. And pedaling through town in the fall is an especially enjoyable experience. Don a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and come enjoy the fresh air of fall on Mackinac Island!
When you visit Mackinac Island in the fall, be sure to venture out of downtown and into the forest of Mackinac Island State Park. This view of Sugar Loaf is just one of many striking vistas that will take your breath away. A hearty hike or bike ride into the interior of Mackinac Island make a pleasant bit of exercise in the fall weather. Riding horseback along the trails through Mackinac Island State Park is another scenic option.
Dominated by green grass and blue water, summer golf on Mackinac Island is gorgeous. Add fall colors, and the experience is sublime. Mackinac Island is home to three one-of-a-kind golf courses that make for a splendid fall golf getaway: The Jewel at Grand Hotel features a horse-drawn carriage ride between nines; Wawashkamo Golf Club is the oldest course in all of Michigan; The Greens of Mackinac is a natural grass putting course that’s fun for the whole family.
Happy Halloween! Trick-or-treating on Mackinac Island makes for a memorable fall experience, even if there’s some rain. October does typically bring about 10 days of rain to northern Michigan, and fortunately Mackinac Island has lots of things to do rainy days! For example, shopping! Note the 70% off sign in the window. As Mackinac Island’s unique shops look to unload inventory in the fall, they offer deep discounts that make September and October fantastic times to go shopping.
Can you say ideal running weather? Part of Mackinac Island’s annual Halloween Weekend is the Great Turtle Trail Run, which offers a 5.7-mile run/walk route as well as a half marathon through the scenic roads and trails of Mackinac Island. The annual Eight Mile Run & Walk on Mackinac Island also takes place in the fall, usually in early September.
When people talk about fall colors, they’re usually talking about leaves. On Mackinac Island, fall colors include gorgeous sunsets. Sunsets are spectacular all year long on Mackinac Island. They just happen a little earlier in the evening during the fall, giving visitors plenty of time to stroll (or pedal!) the streets after dark and maybe even enjoy a spooky Haunts of Mackinac ghost story tour.