- Mackinac Island is in Lake Huron in Michigan and it feels like it’s part of a fairy-tale.
- The island has no cars and is filled with historic structures, sweet shops, and pretty cottages.
- The island’s Grand Hotel is famous and has fancy dinners, high tea, and some formal dress codes.
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Mackinac Island – pronounced “mack-in-awe” – sits in Lake Huron and is located directly between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.
To get to the island, you fly into the small airport, or take a ferry from Mackinaw City and get dropped off downtown. From there, you can walk on foot, rent a bike, or take a horse-and-carriage “taxi.”
Mackinac only has about 500 year-round residents and over 1 million people visit each year. It’s also home to over 500 horses because motorized vehicles have been prohibited since 1898 because they scare the horses.
Keep reading to see what it’s like.
There are a few places to stay, but the historic Grand Hotel is worth a visit no matter what
Grand Hotel is one of the few remaining wood-frame hotels in the US and is a National Historic Landmark.
The property overlooks the lake and its porch is said to be the longest in the world at roughly 660 feet (201.17m) in length.
The property, where no two rooms are decorated alike, was built by steamship and train companies in the late 19th century. Back then, the hotel catered to the ultra-elite, wealthy guests who would spend their entire summers on-site.
In honor of the historic site’s grand history, there’s still a dress code after 6:30 p.m. – guests must wear a coat, tie, slacks, dress, skirt, or pantsuit in the common areas.
If you spend a night on-site, you’ll have the chance to attend a spectacular three-course dinner in the grand main dining room.
There’s also a high tea in the parlor each afternoon.
There are also stables, museums, and outdoor attractions
Visitors can also check out Surrey Hill, home to attractions like the Grand Stables, where the Grand Hotel’s current working horses reside.
It’s also a museum with antique carriages and sleighs on display dating back hundreds of years.
Some have been previously owned by prominent figures of the 19th century, like William Vanderbilt.
Across the way is the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory, which hosts hundreds of native and tropical; butterflies.
The area also houses historic landmarks, like Fort Mackinac, the oldest building in Michigan that was founded in 1780.
The cluster of military buildings sits high on a coastal bluff and is no longer active, but it still serves as a historical attraction that’s open to the public.
The area’s also known for its fudge and live music
When you’re downtown, be sure to grab some famous Mackinac Island fudge at one of the sweet shops on the main street.
You can watch people make fudge, and the shops are pretty generous with samples.
It’s also worth visiting the Pink Pony, one of the island’s most popular restaurants, bars, and music venues that has fabulous views of the lake from its patio.