Planning A Trip to Mackinac, Step 2: I’m Booked, Now What?


It feels good once you make that Mackinac Island booking official. You’ve researched the lodging options, made your choice, and made the reservation. You’ve even decided on your ferry plans and if you’re bringing your own bike or not. Whether it was the fairytale aura, the fact that there are no motorized vehicles, the timeless charm, or some other reason, the Island captivated you and you are now ready to go. “Bring on summer,” you enthusiastically proclaim.

Now that the sweet relief of warmer temperatures feels closer, the itch to get away certainly grows. Sure, your Mackinac trip is likely a couple months away still but let’s scratch that itch by thinking ahead and preparing for your soon-to-be memorable vacation.

If this is your first time visiting, you’re lucky! There are many people who’d love to experience Mackinac Island’s magic for the first time again. To make the most of that magic, there are some things to know before you arrive.

Like any trip, knowing what to pack directly affects how your trip goes. Summer months on Mackinac call for shorts and t-shirts, but we’d recommend throwing a sweatshirt and jeans into your suitcase as well – these garments can be useful for late night strolls, dealing with the lake breezes, and hey, it’s Michigan: you never know what the weather may throw your way.

Plotting your food strategy before arriving is another good idea. Mackinac is replete with diverse restaurants, bars, and cafes that appeal to any palate. Consider sifting through the offerings and familiarizing yourself. That way when your stomach growls, you have a good idea of where to go. Additionally, if you’re staying in a suite with a kitchen, Doud’s Market is readily accessible off Main Street and carries all the ingredients to prepare and cook your own meal. For people who want to ride their bikes somewhere for a picnic, you can also stock up there.

Formulating a game plan for activities is also beneficial. While one could amble around the Island and explore numerous trails and geological formations, you can truly make the most of the experience with an idea of the adventures that await. There are several walking and carriage tours that can make the Mackinac Island experience even more enchanting. Horse-drawn carriage rides can take you through narrated tours through downtown to Surrey Hills, Arch Rock, and more. Walking tours like Mackinac Revealed provides an insider’s perspective on all things Mackinac: the Victorian cottages lining the Bluff, winter lifestyles, Mackinac’s unique environment, hidden gems, and more. Meanwhile, Magical Mackinac Tours will guide you through the woods and discusses the fairies, giants, and other characters of native legend; and, Haunts of Mackinac showcases an entertaining nighttime journey into the realm of the unknown. And if you are really feeling adventurous, Jack’s Livery Stable offers Drive Your Own Buggies for cruising the shoreline and other areas of Mackinac Island State Park.

Mackinac Island teems with beauty, activities, dining and fun – providing a choose-your-own-adventure type of getaway. While you can arrive without any ideas of what you’ll be doing and still have a blast, put some thought in what you want to accomplish with your vacation. Whether you’re going for relaxation, romance, adventure, or family fun, you’ll find Mackinac Island comprises all the amenities you need.

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