Mackinac Island

6 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Mackinac Island

While the name sounds none too fancy, it is the place that has drawn travelers, dreamers and artistic individuals from all around the world. It is where you convinced the 10 year old in yourself those fairytale weddings and Disney romantic scenes took place. It wouldn’t be too far from the truth, as many pictures are evidence to the beauty and the impression of time standing still to give an old, underappreciated and mysterious charm to the island.

And if we didn’t mention it already, it is an island. That one word contains all the magic any avid traveler requires as inspiration to visit this island. Before you do, here are some things to keep in mind.


The island has a ban on cars, because of obvious reasons, so having a bike handy and polishing those rusty skills will be God-given. It becomes an effective mode of transportation and will allow you to better enjoy those biking tours. The simplest, yet most forgotten tip, would be to make sure your bike stands out to you, and only you. In a rush, it becomes easy to grab any bike and this becomes an obligation in itself.
In terms of other transportation available, you have the ferries that require an upfront amount to carry along your bike. If you aren’t willing to pay this fee (it is a small amount) or have other complications that requires using a lot of ferries, there are plenty of places around that offer bikes on rent by the hour or day.

Decide your stay wisely

You will get a lot of options, whether to reside in the city or take a campsite further away from the action or stay on the island itself. Staying in the nearby city means the entire day will be solely focused on doing event one after the other; this is erased if you stay on the island itself which allows you the leisure of more frequent yet shorter breaks before making sure to catch the last ferry off the island. Of course, if you plan to extend your stay for a few days and plan well enough for time off and on the island, you can enjoy your trip leisurely.

If your stay is at the nearest city and not on the island, you will need to use the ferry for transportation and might be interested in investing in multi-day ferry tickets – these can save a considerable amount of money, especially if you plan to visit the island multiple times during your stay.

Weather and Clothing

It’s a trip, and a fancy one at that, so of course you want to look your best. This appeal is to the version of you that will need some well-needed comfort and flexibility when trudging over bikes and travelling all around the island and off as well. Sports shoes and light coloured, loose fitting clothing suit your needs best. Some hotels have stricter dressing codes so make sure you’re aware of the same. If you do plan your stay on the island, you obviously have the luxury of time to change into event-appropriate clothing, so enjoy!

Not Mile-happy

There are a lot of miles to cover on this semi well-trodden path. Many sites that are of interest to tourists are spaced far and wide and that means a lot of travel. The downtown area has the best supplies for your basic necessities but the same cannot be expressed for the various routes and pathways you eventually end up on. This makes a backpack handy and necessary. That it should be lightweight and easy to carry around is a silent reminder for tourist. Cover all your miscellaneous requirements in this that you will require, short of a mattress to sleep on the road. Medicines (emergency and otherwise), sunscreen, wipes, extra clothing and any other essentials that is unique to your needs. Do not forget water. Please.

Also they provide as handy carriers of the many souvenirs you will eventually end up buying. Trot along, get yourself some fudge and be the ‘fudgie’ of the Island! (yes, tourists are referred to as ‘fudgie’)

The ferry ride itself

We talked a lot about the ferry being a major medium of transportation, especially to those deciding to stay off the island, but we must not forget to mention that the ferry ride itself is a beautiful and serene way to witness the vast expanse of scenery, the setting sun that throws light and shadows haphazardly across Lake Huron and Mackinac bridge. Listen carefully to the tour guide if you are interested in knowing the interesting details while the ride smoothly sails to your destination. If you are interested in the night skies, cool and chilly breeze and colorful cruises, remember to sign up for the same!

Have a go-to meal plan

This helps. Plan where and what sort of meal you are looking forward to – and make sure you get there early to beat the rush hour. The island offers a variety of cuisines for a variety of customers – sandwiches, burgers and grand buffets, depending on your preferences. You can utilize the green spots and the riverside to have an outside lunch or dinner – it’s an ideal time to see more of the island and truly soak in the colourful lights, shops, people and the general experience.