What’s so special about Mackinac Island? All of this!

Published on May 1st, 2019

Last updated on November 29th, 2022

Alright, so you’ve never been to Mackinac Island. Maybe you don’t even know where it is. But all you keep hearing is that Mackinac is the place to be. It is…

…one of the Best U.S. Islands, Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards

…the Hottest U.S. Summer Destination, TripAdvisor

…one of the Most Tourist-Friendly U.S. Cities, Expedia

…one of the Best Little Beach Towns, Coastal Living

…the Best Picnic Spot in Michigan, Readers’ Digest

…one of the Best Golf Experiences in Michigan, Golf Digest

…one of the World’s 15 Most Romantic Island Getaways for Couples, TripAdvisor

Those are just some of the honors from the past year alone!

But why is Mackinac such a celebrated place? You’ll have to come here yourself to really understand. Until then, here’s a glimpse of what makes Mackinac so special:

The Pace of Life in a Place without Cars –Motor vehicles have been banned from Mackinac for more than a century. That translates into a slower pace. The island isn’t the kind of place where your vacation is held hostage by the clock. Instead, it has the feeling of being timeless. There’s no hurry here. You can just relax.

Street Life on Mackinac Island – Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau Bicycles – With no cars to get around, Mackinac residents and visitors alike pedal bicycles to get from place to place. In fact, there are more bicycles per capita on Mackinac than anywhere else in the world! Many people enjoy a leisurely 8.2-mile ride around the outer rim of the island on M-185, the only state highway in the country that prohibits motor vehicles.

Horses – In addition to bicycles, horse-drawn carriages are another popular way to get around on Mackinac. Instead of the roar of 120-horsepower car engines, the island air is filled with the gentle clippity-clop of actual horses.

History – Not only does Mackinac sound like a place out of the past, it is home to historic Fort Mackinac. The British built the Colonial-era fort on the island’s bluffs high above the Straits of Mackinac. It was a pivotal point of control in the Great Lakes fur trade of the 18th and early 19th centuries. You can relive the past by touring the fort and other Mackinac State Historic Parks attractions on the island.Cannon Firing from Fort Mackinac – Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

Fudge – World-famous Mackinac Island Fudge has quite a history of its own. And that history is alive and well, because literally tons of fudge still gets made on the island each day. You can watch demonstrations at many of the island’s 13 fudge shops and taste free samples of the treat that has attracted so many “fudgies” to northern Michigan through the generations.

Those are just a handful of things that make up the quintessential Mackinac experience. We haven’t even mentioned ferry boat rides to the island, the extraordinary island restaurants and places to stay (no chain hotels here!), the beautiful state park that makes up more than 80 percent of the island or the iconic natural rock formations and landmarks that each have their own unique story.

That’s all just the beginning of what makes Mackinac amazing. Experience the island for yourself and see what all the fuss is about.