Why October is a great time to visit Mackinac Island

You might already know that Mackinac Island is the USA’s Best Summer Travel Destination. That Mackinac Island is steeped in fascinating history, renowned for world famous Mackinac Island fudge and home to stunning natural features that led Congress to establish Mackinac Island as America’s second national park.

But did you know that many people visit Mackinac Island in the fall, too?

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 tour of Mackinac Island for a charming overview of the car-free paradise.

Two black horses lead a carriage tour down the street past fall colors on Mackinac Island

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.

6 Reasons To Visit Mackinac Island in October

Discounts on Mackinac Island Places to Stay – 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 offer lower, non-peak rates in the fall. You can book a room in the same historic places to stay on Mackinac Island as you can during the summer, only you benefit from Value Season pricing. Lodging deals and specials are aplenty in October.

Fall Shopping Deals on Mackinac Island – Speaking of deals, most of the businesses on Mackinac Island close for the winter. As they wind down operations in the weeks leading up to Halloween, Mackinac Island shops and galleries 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 holiday shopping. Remember, when the calendar says it’s fall, there are fewer than 100 days until Christmas!

Fall Fun on Mackinac Island – Costume parties and downtown trick-or-treating traditionally combine into a “last hurrah” for the visitor season during Mackinac Island’s Halloween Weekend. Plus, October is when you can experience the mother of all road races, Mackinac Island’s Great Turtle Trail Run & Half Marathon. The scenic route takes you right through the middle of Mackinac Island’s forest of fall color from Arch Rock across to British Landing and along the breathtaking shoreline.

Fall Activities in Mackinac Island State Park – In addition to all the activities in town, keep in mind that more than 80% of Mackinac Island is state park land. Fall is a beautiful time of year to hike, bike or ride horseback on more than 70 miles of trails that take you to iconic Mackinac Island landmarks that take on incredible new personalities amid blazing fall colors.

Fall Colors on Mackinac Island – Speaking of fall colors, they typically peak on the island in early October and then linger for the rest of the month. Whether you pedal a bike around Mackinac Island, hike the trails in Mackinac Island State Park or board a plane for an aerial tour of Mackinac Island, October gives you a chance to see fall colors like never before.

Crisp Fall Air on Mackinac Island – Let’s face it: As much as we love summer, it feels so good to break out some jeans and a sweatshirt. On many days in October, fall weather on Mackinac Island is still sunny and warm. Yet, the nights bring cool, crisp air that refreshes your body and 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 this year!


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