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Mackinac Island is one of Michigan’s most popular attractions, especially during the nice summer months when its population increases from 500 to 15,000. Much of the reason for this is due to it being home to a relaxed atmosphere that causes visitors to feel like they’ve gone back in time. No cars have been allowed here since 1898, which adds to the place’s cool environment.

What is there to do on Mackinac Island? You have so many options, which may be surprising to some considering that this destination only consists of 4 square miles.

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours

If this is your first visit to the island, make sure to take advantage of the Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. Doing so provides you with a cozy, informative experience that allows you to see much of this quaint community while learning about its history and its presence thanks to the accompanied narration. The ride lasts about 1-3/4 hours.

Bike Ride on M-185

You’re most likely going to want to bring on the ferry or rent on arrival a bicycle to allow you to more easily make your away around this car-less island. If you do, consider taking the 8-mile trip on M-185, the highway that encircles the island. It’s the country’s only state highway that is never overrun with motor vehicles, and the ride is an especially relaxing one.


If you’re on a beautiful island, you’re going to want to go swimming. Well, maybe not. Unfortunately, the water surrounding Mackinac Island tends to be chilly throughout the year, but you should at least get your feet wet as you make your way as far into the water as you’re comfortable.

Sunset Watching

Few places in the world compare to Mackinac Island as far as sunset views go. Here, you get to see the sun dip below the horizon just after it passes Mackinac Bridge, the 5-mile overpass that has brought this state’s peninsulas together since 1957.

Grand Hotel

You may not want to spend all of your time outside although that will surely be tempting if you’re enjoying what Mackinac Island has to offer during the summer months. However, the Grand Hotel is one indoor destination that you should consider visiting, even if you don’t stay at this upscale attraction. It was built in 1884 and, in many ways, brings visitors more than 100 years into the past. Note that an admission fee is charged if you are not a guest of the hotel.

Main Street

Main Street is filled with shops that encompass architecture that was popular in the 1800s. In fact, some buildings even predate that time period. These stores sell things ranging from the expected touristic fare to higher-end items. One especially intriguing place is Great Turtle Toys.

Fort Mackinac

This fort was initially built by British forces during the Revolutionary War in an attempt to keep Americans from gaining control of Michigan while many of its current structures were built in the 1800s. It was also the location of two battles during the War of 1812. The views from here are spectacular.

Prior to making your way on the ferry to Mackinac Island, make sure that you’re wearing some Michigan-inspired apparel. Livnfresh.com has several high-quality options for you to peruse and purchase.