Mackinac Island Travel Itinerary
Sample Itinerary, Weather Guide & Packing List
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Headed to Mackinac Island? Here’s what to bring and what to do on the Island!
When packing, layering with sweaters and jackets is recommended, especially in the spring and fall. Comfortable shoes are a must for all of the walking and exploring to be done on the Island. And since it is an Island, swimsuits, sandals, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also advised. Finally, don’t forget your camera to capture all of the fun!
Summers on Mackinac Island are moderate with cool mornings and warmer afternoons with some humidity. The warm season runs from June to September with the average daily temperature just over 65° F. Average temperatures for the Spring/Summer months are May (50˚ F), June (64˚ F), July (70˚ F), August (71˚ F), and September (63˚ F).
With many great places on the Island to watch both the sunrise and sunset, here are the approximate times for both throughout the season: May (6:00 am / 9:00 pm), June (5:45 am / 9:30 pm), July (6:00 am / 9:00 pm), August (6:45 am / 8:30 pm), and September (7:15 am / 7:30 pm). In between the beautiful sunrises and picturesque sunsets are the long, magical days of summer, including a few extra long, sun-filled days like June 21, where there are more than 16.6 hours of daylight!
On Day 1 of your visit to Mackinac Island, take one of three ferries to the Island–Arnold Ferry, Shepler’s Ferry, and Star Line Ferry. Once you step foot on the Island, be sure to stop by Mackinac Island Tourism Information Booth across from Arnold Ferry for maps, guides, and all of the information you will need to make the most of your stay. Next, start exploring the Island! With over 70 miles of trails crisscrossing the Island, see how much ground you can cover and how many sights you can take in via rented bike or horseback. Once nightfall sets in, enjoy a delicious meal at one of our restaurants or cafes. With over 40 options, there is something for everyone. Close out the day with a Sunset or Lighthouse Cruise on one of our many ferry boats, then keep the good times rolling into the night with live music downtown.
On Day 2, experience and discover all that Mackinac Island has to offer. Start your day off right with coffee and sweets from one of our downtown coffee houses and bakeries, and then take one of our famous narrated, horse-drawn carriage tours. Next, take in some of the history of the Island at Fort Mackinac (founded in 1780) and visit some of the downtown area’s historic buildings, such as the Blacksmith Shop and American Fur Company Store. Also, while downtown, be sure to take advantage of the various shopping options lining Market and Main Streets. There is also plenty for kids to do downtown, including playing in Marquette Park, several interactive attractions, or a trip to one of Mackinac Island’s Butterfly Houses. Later, recharge with some of our amazing, famous fudge–available in one of the Island’s 13 fudge shops. And finally, end everything on a high note by dancing downtown or dressing up and dancing the night away at the Grand Hotel Ballroom.
On Day 3, enjoy life on the water! Take an adventurous fishing charter, a relaxing sail on the Straits of Mackinac, and capture a unique view of all the local sights via kayak, paddleboard, or parasail. End the day by taking in the gorgeous sunset view over Mackinac Bridge, and then enjoy dinner with a view at one of our restaurants that overlook the lake.
On Day 4, it is time to relax and rejuvenate. Start your day off right by enjoying salon, spa, and massage services. Next, hit the links for a rousing round of golf. Then, take some quiet time to enjoy one of the Island’s many museums and rent your own buggy to explore the Island one last time. Finally, end your amazing vacation by star-gazing from Fort Holmes, the highest point on the Island!