Happy New Year!
Yes, the date has changed. Still, Mackinac Island remains the same. The country’s Most Tourist Friendly City is still synonymous with fudge, ferries, and forts. Cars are still prohibited. Horses and bicycles still rule the road. And there are still breathtaking views to be had all around Mackinac Island by day and by night.
In this new year, Mackinac Island is still the scene of idyllic destination weddings, still a charming escape for romantic excursions and still a world apart from the hustle and bustle of everyday life where you can go and relax.
You need to get here this year to experience Mackinac Island for yourself!
But when is the best time to come?
Well, Mackinac Island happens to have perfect weather in June. July and August offer breezy relief from the oppressive heat of summer, and both September and October offer a truly special experience of spectacular fall colors.
May on Mackinac Island is another item for your bucket list as the natural beauty of the state park returns to life after its winter slumber. Or, maybe you want to be on the very first ferry from the mainland when regular service resumes in late April!
The truth is that anytime from late April through the end of October makes for a special trip. You can go ahead and pick any of those 194 days! To help you narrow down your vacation window, you might consider visiting around one of these special days:
- National Fudge Day is June 16, and what better place to celebrate than at the home of world-famous Mackinac Island fudge! Mackinac Island continues to produce 10,000 pounds of fudge per day in peak season, with free samples available at each of the 13 – yes, 13! – fudge shops downtown. If you can’t make it here in June for National Fudge Day, then come check out the annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August. Festivities include family games at Windermere Point, concerts in the park, a cornhole tournament, and lots of fudge – including specialty fudge-infused cocktails!
- Earth Day comes in late April right around the time that ferries resume regular daily service between Mackinac Island and the mainland. The vast majority of visitors come to Mackinac Island on a ferry boat. Why? Because you can’t drive here. There are no cars allowed! Although it’s been 120 years since the first mass-produced car, Mackinac Island still favors actual horsepower to the motorized kind. That’s pretty great for the environment.
- With no cars, people get around on Mackinac Island using bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. With the most bicycles per capita on the planet, Mackinac Island is the perfect place to celebrate World Bicycle Day on June 3. And a carriage tour of the island’s sights, or maybe a horseback ride through Mackinac Island State Park, i
s a wonderful way to take part in National I Love Horses Day on July 15.
- Mackinac Island is one of Frommer’s “100 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up,” making it a great vacation spot for families. It’s also one of the most romantic destinations in the country, ideal for couples. Make a point of visiting on International Kissing Day on July 6, Wife Appreciation Day on Sept. 14 or National Boyfriend Day on Oct. 3. Or, put on a sweater, cuddle up, and admire the view from Mackinac Island on National Sunset Day, Oct. 1.
Of course, not every special national day is recognized on Mackinac Island. (At least, there’s nothing organized for National Dance Like a Chicken Day…yet.) But there are many special events and festivals all season long on Mackinac Island, from road runs and sailboat races to one of America’s best small-town festivals and the iconic Halloween weekend.
Come check it out this year!