Mackinac Island, MI

Mackinac Island: A Horse Lover’s Dream

Imagine a world that runs on real horsepower, where life moves along at a relaxing clip-clop pace. Mackinac Island is that place. It’s a car-free destination where the horse is king. Where the most popular visitor attraction is a horse-drawn carriage tour. And where horse lovers will find many more things to do with their equine friends. After all, horses aren’t just a way of getting around on Mackinac Island. Horses are a way of life.

Island Experiences You Will Love

Board a Public Carriage Tour

Mackinac Island’s most popular visitor attraction gives you a relaxing, narrated overview of Grand Hotel, Arch Rock and other top sights to see around town and in the state park. No reservations are needed for this horse-drawn experience. Just look for Mackinac Island Carriage Tours on Main Street downtown.

Take a Private Carriage Tour

Get the VIP version of the No. 1 visitor experience. Your own personal guide from either Mackinac Island Carriage Tours or Gough Livery Carriages will take you even farther into the wonder and magic of Mackinac, showing you sights and photo ops that are not part of the public tours.

Go Horseback Riding

Saddle up and explore miles of trails through the Mackinac Island forest. Both Jack’s Livery Stable and Cindy’s Riding Stable offer guided rides, or you can go off on your own. Lessons are available at the Mackinac Community Equestrian Center, too.

Drive a Carriage for a Day

Fancy yourself a coachman and take the reins of a horse-drawn carriage with Drive Your Own Buggies from Jack’s Livery Stable. No experience necessary. They’ll teach you all the instructions you’ll need to lead your horse wherever you want to go.

Hop on a Horse-Drawn Taxi

In addition to riding a bike or walking from place to place, horse-powered taxis are a delightful option for getting around on Mackinac Island. Taxis are available 24 hours a day in peak season (May-October) just call the Mackinac Island taxi service at 906-847-3323 to arrange a taxi ride.

Bring Your Own horse

Mackinac Island is pet friendly, and that includes horses! You can make arrangements with the Mackinac Island ferry companies to transport your horse. Reserve overnight boarding for your horse and find out more details at the Mackinac Community Equestrian Center.

Visit the Surrey Hills Carriage Museum

See antique buggies and learn about Mackinac Island’s transportation history at the Surrey Hill Carriage Museum. Along with a blacksmith shop and butterfly house, it’s one of several attractions in Surrey Hill where public carriage tours make a stop.

Tour the Grand Hotel Stables

Get up close and personal with horses at the Grand Hotel Stables, also located in Mackinac Island’s Surrey Hill. It’s free to meet the steeds and learn about their different jobs. There also are more than 30 antique carriages and sleighs on display.

Plan Your Visit During the Mackinac Island Horse Show

Take part in special events through the Mackinac Horseman’s Association and Community Equestrian Center. Activities include an annual Mackinac Island Horse Show, a Fall Colors Group Ride and day camps where kids learn about riding and caring for horses.

Where the Horse is King

Of all the unique attributes of Mackinac Island, it’s perhaps the car-free character and horse-driven culture that makes the longest-lasting impression. The stately steeds are among the first and most remarkable sights you’ll see when visiting. And it’s exciting to know that you, too, can partake in Mackinac Island’s historic tradition of horses. Whether you prefer to relax on a narrated carriage tour and browse antiques at the museum or saddle up and grab the reins for a drive-it-yourself excursion, Mackinac Island offers an extraordinary equine experience that’s just right for you. Come share in the charming transportation heritage of Mackinac Island, where the horse is king!


Now that you’re excited about spending time with the horses of Mackinac Island, don’t delay! Use the links below to plan the details of your trip and book your place to stay. All your new friends can’t wait to horse around with you!

Other Experiences You Might Like:

Horse lovers aren’t the only people who adore Mackinac Island. There are memorable things to do for visitors with a wide range of interests. Get a glimpse of other unique experiences that will make you fall in love with Mackinac Island.

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