There are lots of fun things to do on Mackinac Island! From learning about the history at the fort to gazing at butterflies and visiting the state park, there’s plenty for your family to enjoy.
However, you could say the same things about nearly every destination. There’s always something fun to do, no matter where you go. What Makes Mackinac Island so different?
The Horse Drawn Carriages
One of the first things you’ll notice when you land on the island is that it’s covered with horses. People can be seen riding horse-drawn carriages on the main street, and plenty of people ride horseback throughout the town. That’s not something you see every day!
Seeing so many horses and horse-drawn carriages is unique for an American city, but it’s the absence of something else that your family is likely to never forget.
No cars are allowed on the island, aside from a few emergency vehicles and construction vehicles, when needed. There’s no honking horns, no one slamming on their brakes, and no exhaust fumes. The entire mood of the island is transformed simply because cars are not allowed on the streets, and it’s a mood you’ll remember experiencing for many years to come.
The Front Porch on the Grand Hotel
There are many things that make the Grand Hotel an unforgettable place to stop. They include:
- Multi-course meals with wait staff that comes to your table with the wave of your hand
- The dress code that requires everyone to wear their finest clothing in the evenings
- Nearly 400 rooms that are all decorated differently
- Décor that has changed very little since the hotel was opened in 1887
One of the most memorable details of the hotel is its porch. It is the longest in the world at 660 feet in length. Even if you aren’t staying in the hotel, you can find an empty rocking chair and gaze at the Tea Garden as the sun sets.
Mackinac Island may not be as warm as many other vacation destinations since it is located so far north on the Great Lakes, but you wouldn’t know it by looking around. Although it takes flowers a little longer to bloom in the spring, when they do, it gives you the feeling of being on a giant island garden.
What makes the flowers on Mackinac Island, unlike any others? Horse manure.
Fertilizing is important if you want big, beautiful blooms, and few other fertilizers are better than horse manure. Because the main mode of transportation on the island is horse-drawn carriages, there’s plenty of it to go around!
Flowers as big as your head and fragrant blooms are the norms on the island. They even have a lilac festival in the spring to celebrate the natural beauty of the many different varieties that grow there.
When you come to Mackinac Island, make sure you bring your sweet tooth. There are plenty of candies and cakes to be found on the island, but you can’t turn around without being offered a piece of fudge.
There is so much fudge on the island that it is unofficially known as the fudge capital of the world. They make a whopping five tons of the stuff every single day!
There are fudge shops located throughout the island, but many different varieties are also offered in stores as well as hotels. The kids will never forget getting to eat fudge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The Slower Pace
Vacations are a lot of fun, but they can also be quite hectic. You’ll enjoy a different kind of vacation experience on Mackinac Island.
There’s still a lot to do on the island, but you’ll enjoy doing everything on your schedule at a slower pace. Not only does the absence of cars make the island seem like it’s stuck in time, but the architecture of the buildings and bed and breakfasts do also too.
No one is rushing to do much of anything on the island, so you won’t feel rushed to do too much either. Sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch is just as much a part of the experience as touring the fort or shopping.
Vacations can be fun, but the memory of your time spent together can fade. That’s because many vacations are similar. If you’re looking for the kind of experience you’ll never forget, choose Mackinac Island, and your family will be talking about it for years to come.