Although you might think first of horse-drawn carriages, world-famous fudge or legendary rock formations when Mackinac Island comes to mind, the No. 1 Best Island in the Continental U.S. also happens to have a pretty great bar scene.
Mackinac Island is not only home to the most iconic bar in Michigan. It’s where several unique places full of character and personality come together to create an unforgettable atmosphere of fun and frolic.
Here are some distinctive spots to get a drink on Mackinac Island
Horn’s Gaslight Bar on Mackinac Island
Horn’s Gaslight Bar on Mackinac Island is a classic neighborhood watering hole featuring great food and drink to go with live music and dancing. The place began as a pool hall during Prohibition in the 1920s, started by a guy named Horn who was stationed on Mackinac Island while working for an organization whose mission was to save the lives of people shipwrecked in the surrounding waters.
Mary’s Bistro Draught House on Mackinac Island
Mary’s Bistro Draught House on Mackinac Island features more than 50 taps offering craft beers from all over Michigan. There are lots of TVs inside where you can catch the game, and a spectacular view of the Mackinac Island harbor from the bar’s outdoor patio right on the water.
Pink Pony on Mackinac Island
Located on Main Street in the Chippewa Hotel, the Pink Pony is the Mackinac Island hot spot that Thrillist called the most iconic bar in Michigan. Known for live music, rowdy parties and its iconic rum runner, the Pink Pony also sports an awesome waterfront patio with a gigantic 25-person hot tub.
The Gate House on Mackinac Island
Just down the hill from Grand Hotel, The Gate House is one of the historic resort’s restaurants and a fine place to grab some food and drink in the midst of exploring beautiful Mackinac Island. Be sure to try the Electric Lilac Lemonade, one of the signature drinks at the bar. After dark, The Gate House often features live entertainment and dancing.
Bistro on the Greens on Mackinac Island
On the southeast corner of Mackinac Island at Mission Point Resort you can find Bistro on the Greens, a gorgeous outdoor setting along the water and the 18-hole Greens of Mackinac natural grass golf putting course. This is a fantastic spot to relax with a favorite beverage on the patio, on the course or in one of the many waterfront Adirondack chairs on Mission Point’s great lawn.
Great Turtle Brewery & Distillery on Mackinac Island
Great Turtle Brewery & Distillery is the first place on Mackinac Island to make its own craft beer and spirits. Many of the drinks are creatively named in honor of Mackinac Island, such as the Rusty Fender Red Ale and “Shell Time” cocktail. Even the brewery itself is dubbed in honor of Mackinac Island’s legendary nickname, the “great turtle.”
Of course, those are just a few of the many places to get a drink on Mackinac Island. In fact, there are nearly 30 establishments on Mackinac Island with a liquor license including The Woods, home of the country’s oldest operating duckpin bowling alley, Winchester’s Whiskey & Bourbon Room, the Cupola Bar up high in Grand Hotel, the Mustang Lounge with its laid back vibe…the list of Mackinac Island bars and restaurants goes on.
On the one hand, it’s too bad that some Mackinac Island visitors never explore beyond Main Street and experience the incredible sights and sounds of Mackinac Island State Park. Then again, it’s not without good reason that travelers spend a lot of their time downtown.
After all, there’s so much to see and do right near the ferry docks where you arrive. And that includes getting a drink at some of Mackinac Island’s many unique bars and restaurants.
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