Girlfriends getaway: Unplug and relax on Mackinac

Published on May 22nd, 2019

Last updated on December 7th, 2022

Time for a break from the routine? A place to unplug, unwind and relax?

Welcome to Mackinac Island!

It’s spelled M-a-c-k-i-n-a-c, yet pronounced Mack-in-awe. (It’s a French thing.) But however you say it, it’s how you experience Mackinac that matters.

Mackinac makes for a fantastic family vacation all summer long. It’s a charming place for couples and a popular wedding destination, too. It’s also an uber-relaxing spot for a girlfriends’ getaway.

To give you an idea of all the things you can do on the island with your gal-pals, check out this acrostic that spells Mackinac Island with an activity for all 14 letters:

Many sips of wine – From the full-service wine-tasting bar at Goodfellow’s to the iconic Pink Pony rum runner, you’ll find many distinctive Mackinac restaurants and bars to enjoy a relaxing beverage or two.

Around-the-island bike ride – We’re not talking triathlon training here. The paved road around the outer rim of Mackinac is mostly flat and it’s only eight miles long, so you can make it all the way on your rented beach cruiser in about an hour of leisurely pedaling. And the waterfront views are priceless.

Clip-clop of a horse-drawn carriage tour – Board a Mackinac “taxi” and travel around the island with some real horsepower or reserve a narrated carriage tour to see iconic sites including Arch Rock, Fort Mackinac and island cottages on the bluffs.

Girlfriends Enjoying Wine – Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

Gal-entine’s Getaway! Mackinac Island is open year-round. Regular ferry service runs from late April through October, but daily service continues all winter, weather permitting.

Kayaking the blue waters of the Mackinac Straits – Quench your thirst for adventure with a guided paddle that gives you a different perspective on the island’s beauty. You can see the sites from below on a single kayak, tandem kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

Insatiable appetite for world-famous Mackinac Island fudge – Embrace your inner “fudgie” and find your favorite flavor with free samples at 13 downtown fudge shops. Go ahead. Indulge.

No kids – Well, there are kids on Mackinac. Just not your kids. At least, not on this trip (although Mackinac is a memorable place to take your kids and you definitely should plan a family vacation here, too.)

Arch Rock photo op – Get that selfie to share with all your friends. Mackinac is full of incredible geologic features such as Arch Rock, Sugarloaf, Crack-in-the-Island and Skull Cave, and other cool landmarks including Anne’s Tablet and the “Somewhere in Time” gazebo.

Cruise around the island – You can tour Mackinac by horse-drawn carriage or bicycle on land, and you can get a different perspective of the island’s beauty by boat. Board the Isle Royale Queen III for a 90-minute Sip ‘n Sail around the island with a cash bar, live entertainment and incredible panoramic beauty.

Insect World – Walking through a garden filled with hundreds of insects might sound like an icky nightmare. But it’s really a dream because the insects are beautiful butterflies from four different continents. They’ll flutter right up to you and land on your shoulder! Mackinac is home to two butterfly conservatories.

Dog in Bike Basket – Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau Spa-ahhhh! – This just in: Mackinac gives you permission to be pampered. Massage, salon, sauna…repeat. Treat yourself at one of the island’s spas.

Livery stables – Since there are no cars on Mackinac, horses are everywhere. A horse-drawn taxi is a popular way to get around. But you can rent your own horse-drawn buggy for a personalized tour of Mackinac, too. Or, leave out the buggy and ride saddleback around the island. Whoa, boy!

Awww – Yes, Mackinac is pet friendly. Just keep these two things in mind.

No alarm clocks – Okay, we’re lying. There are alarm clocks on Mackinac (that never get used). Not all rooms on the island have TVs, though. We take this idea of being unplugged seriously.

Downtown shopping – Just like there are no chain hotels or restaurants on the island (with Starbucks being the lone exception), there are no chain stores on Mackinac. The island’s shops are truly unique and one of a kind.