Mackinac Island Group Tours
Mackinac Island is a popular group tour travel location for our clients. Learn more about this gorgeous location below! If you are interested in booking a group tour contact one of our tour planners today.
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Traveling to Mackinac Island
Nestled on the eastern side of the Straits of Mackinac in Lake Huron, roughly 500 residents call Mackinac Island’s 3.8 square miles of beauty their permanent home. The thousands of visitors throughout the year can access the island through various forms of transportation: ferry rides accessible from both Mackinaw City on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula or St. Ignace on the Upper Peninsula, private aircraft charter directly to Mackinac Island Airport, or snowmobile rides across a frozen ice bridge from the mainland in the winter. Mackinac State Park encompasses about 80% of the island, which protects the island’s breathtaking bluffs, forests, and wildlife.
Mackinac Island truly has something everyone, at all times of the year. Each season delivers a completely different experience, though, with varying temperatures, precipitation, and number of other vacationers.
The most popular time to visit is during the summer months, June through September, when temperatures generally stay above 65 degrees, great for outdoor activities and shopping. Because of the abundant number of tourists, downtown shops and attractions host extended hours for maximum enjoyment.
Once selected as one of the “Top Ten Christmas Towns” by HGTV, Mackinac Island is still vibrant during the winter months. Although some of the shops and attractions remain closed for the winter, when the island’s temperature stays below 35 degrees, visitors can still experience the chilled, snow-covered terrain on cross-country skis or snowmobiles.
Trying to avoid crowds? The short spring season, April through May, may be the best time for you. Although the shops and attractions will not be in full swing, the mild 50-degree temperatures still provide favorable weather for a relaxing retreat.
Whether you are someone who enjoys hiking and exploring nature, shopping and trying new restaurants, or visiting historical sites and museums, Mackinac Island will surely fulfill your wishes.
Carriage rides around the eight-mile perimeter of the island are a must for anyone who wants to get a full perspective of all the island has to offer. Looking for something more active? Rent a bike and head out on the main loop or any of Mackinac Island’s 70 miles of trails and roads. Throughout the island, you will experience some of the island’s most coveted views – Mackinac Bridge, Grand Hotel, Arch Rock, and more!
- Most of the shopping can be found on the southernmost part of the island, outside of the state park. Local boutiques and gift shops line the downtown’s streets near lodging and restaurants for easy accessibility. Mackinac Island is most famous for its candy shops, where you will find one of its most prized possessions – fudge. A tradition dating back to the 1800s, the island crafts some of the best fudge in Michigan, if not the entire country, and all you need is a taste to understand why.
- Rich in history, Mackinac Island has preserved many sites and artifacts for you to take a step back into the past. History comes alive inside the boundaries of Fort Mackinac, where you can experience what life was like hundreds of years ago, but that is just the beginning. The island also has historical blacksmith shops, churches, and homes, making you feel like the 1800s was not so long ago.
Each with its own unique style and charm, Mackinac Island hosts a vast assortment of lodging options to ensure a comfortable vacation. Whether you prefer to stay at a luxurious resort, a quaint bed and breakfast, or one of the many historical inns, you will surely be impressed by the spectacular views and accessibility to restaurants and shopping. Each accommodation tells its own story of the island’s heritage, providing a truly one of a kind experience.
Most importantly, pack lightly. Whether you arrive to the island by ferry or airplane, you will be travelling the rest of the way to your lodging by horse-drawn carriage or foot.
Ideal attire varies depending on what time of year you intend to visit. However, no matter what time of year, plan on packing plenty of layers. Cool morning breezes blowing in from the straight may mellow out with the afternoon sun, but evenings will surely turn colder again as the sun sets, even in the middle of summer. Since the only modes of transportation on the island are by carriage, bike, or on foot, tennis shoes and comfortable active wear are recommended. The island’s simple, laid back lifestyle doesn’t require anything too fancy, but if you plan on staying in one of the upscale hotels or resorts, be sure to check evening dress codes for on-site restaurants.
First and foremost, if you plan on participating in any of the outdoor activities on the island, be sure to get a doctor’s clearance before the trip. Should you run into any health problems during your vacation, however, Mackinac Island Medical Center is available 24/7 for both minor and serious injuries and illnesses. Some of the most common safety concerns include the following:
- Swimming: Enjoying the island’s surrounding water can be a refreshing way to cool off during the summer months. Be sure to pay attention to any posted warning signs, though, as undercurrents and rough water can be treacherous.
- Getting Around: With the only traffic on the roads being bikes, horses, and people, everyone should stay aware of their surroundings to ensure safe day-to-day travel.
- Snowmobiling: For a brief period during the winter, an ice bridge connecting Mackinac Island to the Upper Peninsula opens for snowmobiling. Be sure to check signs and postings before heading out on the frozen water to ensure it is safe for traveling.
The relaxed nature of Mackinac Island, along with the hospitable natives, can make any visitor effortlessly feel right at home. It can be easy to leave the rules of the road on the mainland when there are no honking cars, but it is still important to keep basic traffic laws in mind when getting around the island.
- Just as in a car, always stay to the right when traveling on horse, bike, or foot.
- Treat the carriages just like cars, avoiding jumping in front of them or riding and walking too close to them.
- If you are biking in a busy area, yield to those walking on sidewalks.
Most importantly, though, relax, recharge, and relish your time on the island!
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