How to Mackinac: A Guide to Visiting Mackinac Island

Published on January 19th, 2022

Last updated on December 3rd, 2022

With pristine waters, historical structures and unmatched natural beauty, it’s easy to see why Mackinac Island is a popular destination having more than 1 million visitors a year.Infographic showing list of Mackinac Island etiquette and safety guidelines

But it’s not just a place to visit. It’s a working, functional town with 500 year-round residents, a school, and a thriving community.

So, when you make it to Mackinac Island and step off the ferry, here are a few things to remember to experience Mackinac Island to the fullest.

1. Get started

Begin your trip with a stop at the Tourism Bureau booth located on Main Street for a free map. our information specialists are available to answer questions and provide up to date details on events and activities happening on Mackinac Island.

2. Stay aware on Mackinac Island streets

Safety is our #1 priority so remember, streets are for horses and bikes and sidewalks are for people. When you are crossing the street or riding your bike, horses have the right of way. Downtown Mackinac Island is busy during peak summer days so please be patient when walking on the sidewalks and slow down on the streets if you are on a bicycle.

3. Mackinac Island horse-drawn taxis

Mackinac Island taxis can be scheduled by calling 906-847-3323. Tell them where you are and where you’d like to go for drop-off. When your taxi is available a horse and carriage will pull up and shout out the destination. Taxis are available 24 hours during the May-October season and range from $6.00-$8.50 per person for a fare.

4. Not your bike? Please don’t move it or use it

Mackinac Island does not have a bike-share program. The bikes you see when you get off the ferry and throughout town are either personal bikes or are being rented by a guest. If you’d like to see Mackinac Island by bicycle, you can bring your own bicycle on the ferry (for a fee) or rent a bicycle from our The Mackinac Island marina offers picturesque views of boats and historic architecture at the foot of Fort Mackinac.Mackinac Island bike rental shops. If it’s not your bike, please don’t move it or use it!

5. Mackinac Island public restrooms

Downtown public restrooms are located behind the Tourism Bureau booth and next to the State Park Visitor Center across from Marquette Park.

6. Hills and steps are the only things you should climb on Mackinac Island

Many of Mackinac Island’s natural formations and historical structures are delicate and dangerous to climb. The natural formations are also a sacred place for the Indigenous Peoples in Northern Michigan. Please follow all signs and safety barriers and refrain from climbing on our natural and built structures.

7. Pick up trash on Mackinac Island, not flowers

Help keep Mackinac Island and our Great Lakes clean by throwing away trash and recycling in the Mackinac Island is known for sweet-scented lilacs, and the northern Michigan island is full of beautiful wildflowers, too.respective bins located throughout Mackinac Island. In addition to picking up trash, please do not pick or clip the wildflowers or lilacs on Mackinac Island. Read this blog post for more Mackinac Island State Park etiquette tips. We encourage leave no trace guidelines including refraining from stacking rocks or building cairns.

8. Drones are not allowed on Mackinac Island

Drones are not allowed on Mackinac Island. Drones can disturb the horses and affect the safety of our visitors and guests.

9. Mackinac Island Ferry Schedules

Don’t miss your boat! Mackinac Island ferry schedules can be found at their respective docks, online, or at the Tourism Bureau booth.