7 reasons to rise with the sun on Mackinac Island

Published on October 29th, 2015

Last updated on December 3rd, 2022

Fully tapping Mackinac Island’s distinctiveness requires a commitment to staying on the Island. Since it’s reached only by ferry, if you don’t stay overnight, your access to this timeless playscape is stifled by a ferry’s schedule.

Think of the hours of fun missed if you retreat when it grows dark, unable to return until the ferries start running again later the next day. You’re missing the Island sunset views, the nightlife filled with live music and tasty drinks and perhaps the greatest of all: awaking with the Island.

Mornings here are special. It’s quiet and calm as the Island prepares to teem with people and other excitements later in the day. Below are seven reasons why a morning here before the ferries arrive is a staple of the true Mackinac Island experience.

  1. The Sunrises

Our robust scenery is awe-inspiring alone, but pair it with the rising, glowing sun and it’s an enchanted moment. To wake with the Island is to wake with magic.

  1. Peace

Waking up already here means no rush in prepping yourself and family for the day’s itinerary or worrying about getting to the ferry on time. Your transition into the new day is a fluid one. Wake up, pour that coffee and enjoy the tranquility of the quiet morning.

  1. Kayaking

Starting your day with a Sunrise Kayak Tour from Great Turtle Kayak Tours sets the mood for the rest of the day. It’s a relaxing trip to Arch Rock and the Rock Maze for full immersion into the sun’s newfound presence.

  1. The Island Breakfast

Whether directly from your hotel or by means of a walk over to one of the many restaurants, you can sate your hunger pangs before the crowds arrive. And just think — shorter lines for that necessary coffee.

  1. Morning Tee Times

Staying overnight ensures the opportunity to be one of the first to tee off the next morning. Golf is a relaxing day starter, and paired with our nature it has the potential to be one of the most serene rounds of golf ever. Furthermore, the Wawashkamo Golf Course is located on a War of 1812 battle site, making it an even more unique round.

  1. Early Morning Bike Ride or Run

For those who like beginning their day with some exercise, the 8-mile loop around the Island is the perfect path for a morning ride or run. Enjoying the loop before the ferries start running means less weaving around other M-185 patrons. Even Olympian runner Dathan Ritzenhein co-signed Mackinac Island as a great spot for a morning run.

  1. Witnessing Mackinac Wake Up

One of the most underrated aspects of staying overnight is witnessing how the Island all comes together in the morning. From watching horses deliver goods to the restaurants to seeing in the distance the approaching ferries, you feel like you’re part of the Mackinac team by being there before all the bustling truly begins.

Mornings on Mackinac means embedding yourself into the Island’s livelihood. An overnight stay allows for new opportunities in a place already abundant in them. Whether you want to explore, or just sit and watch it all come together while you enjoy a cup of coffee, our mornings here are special.