Reasons To Travel to Mackinac Island: Michigan’s Coolest Destination

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A woman riding a bicycle along the oceanfront.
BetMGM Apr 24, 2023, 3:27 PM

Take a break from online casino games and travel back in time to a picturesque island in the Straits of Mackinac, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. This historic island has been a popular vacation destination since the late 19th century and is undoubtedly one of the most unique destinations in the United States. With its car-free streets, stunning natural scenery and wide variety of outdoor activities, Mackinac Island is the perfect destination for a memorable getaway. 

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast or just looking for a relaxing escape, there’s something to do for everyone on this charming Michigan island.

A Historic Destination With Something for Everyone

Mackinac Island is a small island located at the northernmost tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It’s home to just 500 permanent residents and is a popular summer destination for tourists from around the world. It was first settled by the Anishinaabe tribe and much later by French fur traders, giving it a rich and diverse history. Today,  Mackinac Island is best known for its distinct old-world charm that can be experienced in its Victorian architecture,  19th-century carriage rides, breathtaking views, unique shops and, yes, its delectable fudge. 

The Best Time to Visit Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is an idyllic destination, perfect for family vacations, adventurous getaways and all-year-round weekend trips. Most popular during the spring and summer months, visitors get to enjoy a range of activities including swimming, kayaking, sailing, biking and horseback riding. In the fall, the island is painted in vibrant colors as tree leaves change from lush green to golden hues – ideal for some envy-inducing Instagram pictures. The winter months provide a more peaceful atmosphere as snow blankets the island, which is perfect for cozying up with hot cocoa and a side of fudge to enjoy your favorite casino games online. 

No matter what time of year you choose to visit Mackinac Island, there are plenty of attractions to keep you entertained – from the historic Fort Mackinac and picturesque Grand Hotel to museums, art galleries and outdoor adventures. How to visit Mackinac Island? Of course, you can’t drive there but you have easy access by ferry, plane or private boat – how romantic!

Cool Things To Do on Mackinac Island

Explore Historic Sites

Mackinac Island is home to two historic forts, Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes. Both were built by the British during the American Revolution and offer amazing views of the island. Visitors can explore the forts to learn more about the island’s past while taking in the stunning panoramic views. If you’re visiting between June and October, you’ll have the opportunity to help clean, load, prime and fire the first cannon volley of the day at Fort Mackinac!

The island also boasts the oldest surviving church building in Michigan, one of the oldest active butterfly houses in the country and one of the oldest houses in the state, the Biddle House.

Get Creative With Transportation

Since you won’t be able to drive to your sightseeing destinations, why not take a horse? In 1989, automobiles were permanently banned from Mackinac Island and the law has remained in place. This creates a sense of peace and quiet along with incredibly clean air and the opportunity to enjoy regular horse carriage rides, biking and to keep clocking up your daily steps!

If that sounds daunting, you can relax knowing that the whole island covers only 4.8 square miles of land area. There is a stunning eight-mile shoreline highway perfect for sunrise or sunset bicycle rides – just bring your own over on the ferry or rent one from Mackinac Cycle.

Visit the Grand Hotel

You don’t get the opportunity to stay in a National Historic Landmark every day, so a visit to Mackinac Island would be incomplete without spending a night in the Grand Hotel. Established in 1887, this luxurious hotel offers stunning views of Lake Huron and the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in the hotel, relax on the 660ft porch (the longest in the world,) or simply take a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Film buffs will be pleased to learn that the hotel famously featured in the 1980 film “Somewhere in Time.”

Do a Photoshoot Among the Lilacs

Every year in June the island hosts a 10-day celebration of its looming lilacs. The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is the largest summer celebration on the island and features a six-mile run, parade, dog and pony show, wine and culinary tastings and events as well as a number of shows and concerts.

Discover Local Shops and Restaurants

Mackinac Island is home to a range of unique shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out the island’s signature fudge shops, where visitors can sample some of Michigan’s most beloved treats. More than 10,000 pounds of fudge leave the island every day and the oldest fudge store on the island dates back to the 19th century. The annual fudge festival is held in August and plenty of restaurants serve up classic dishes such as fish tacos and freshly made pizza. 

Experience the Great Outdoors

With the Mackinac Island State Park taking up most of the island, Mackinac Island is home to a number of stunning natural wonders – from dense forests and towering bluffs to sandy beaches and much more. 

Those who are looking for a more laid-back experience can enjoy a cruise around the island and relish the spectacular views of Lake Huron. Sit back and relax or use the quiet to enjoy some of the games on offer from your favorite online casino.

Take BetMGM With You Wherever You Go

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or an adventurous escape, Mackinac Island has something for everyone. With its abundance of historical sites, restaurants and activities, you’ll never run out of things to do at this beautiful Michigan destination.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.