You might already know that Mackinac Island is America’s top summer travel destination. That it’s steeped in history, world famous for fudge and home to stunning natural features that remain from its days as the country’s second national park.
But did you know that Mackinac Island attracts travelers in the fall, too?
Even though the seasons have changed and summer has passed, the distinctive characteristics of Mackinac Island are still bringing people here on the ferries. In fact, in some ways, October is the best time of year to visit Mackinac Island!
After all, you can still relive what it was like to be here in the 1800s by spending a day at historic Fort Mackinac. You can still enjoy free samples of Mackinac Island fudge and watch as the tasty treat gets made right in front of your eyes – and nose! You can still explore the rugged interior of the island in what is now Mackinac Island State Park. And you can still order up a horse-drawn carriage for a charming tour through a land without automobiles.
In October, you can still experience all of what makes Mackinac Island great. Plus, there are several benefits to visiting Mackinac Island this time of year:
Lodging discounts – While rooms can be hard to come by in the summer when everybody wants to be on Mackinac Island, many hotels, resorts and B&Bs offers lower, non-peak rates in the fall. You can book a room in the same historic places to stay as you can during the summer, only you benefit from Value Season pricing. Lodging deals and specials are aplenty in October.
Shopping deals – Speaking of deals, most of the shops on Mackinac Island close for the winter. As they wind down operations in the weeks leading up to Halloween, they markdown their remaining inventory in hopes of selling it before the end of the month. It’s a great opportunity to find fantastic deals on unique items, and maybe even get a jump on Christmas shopping.
Fall fun – Christmas may be on the horizon (and, by the way, you can celebrate Christmas and New Year’s on Mackinac Island, too!) but first comes Halloween. Costume parties and downtown trick-or-treating traditionally combine into a “last hurrah” for the year on Mackinac Island, and it’s a special feeling to be here as the ferry boats make their final arrivals and departures of the season. Plus, October is when the island hosts iconic events such as Macktoberfest, the Women’s Wellness Weekend and the mother of all Mackinac road races, the Great Turtle Trail Run & Half Marathon.
Fall colors – Let’s not forget the utter beauty of the Mackinac Island forest ablaze in red, yellow and orange. Fall colors typically peak on the island in early October, then linger for the rest of the month. Whether you pedal a bike around the outer rim of the island, hike up into the interior or board a plane for a tour from 2,000 feet above, October on Mackinac Island gives you a chance to see fall colors like never before.
Crisp air – Let’s face it: As much as we love summer, it feels so good this time of year to break out some jeans and a sweatshirt. On Mackinac Island, many days in October are still sunny and warm, yet the nights bring cool, crisp air that’s refreshing to your body and your soul. Plus, crowds on the island tend to be lighter in the fall, so there’s literally more room to breathe!
Yes, October is a great time to visit Mackinac Island. Come see for yourself!