Mackinac Island vacation rentals
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Your guide to Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island, a former Ojibwe trading center and French and British military base, evolved into a popular vacation destination after the U.S. government took it over in 1812. Located on Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, the tiny island may be best known for banning cars and making fudge — if there’s a connection between the two, you’ll have to make it yourself. You can stay overnight here or return to the mainland to sleep in towns such as Mackinaw City, Petoskey, or Harbor Springs. During the day, many visitors rent bikes and coaches to circle the eight-mile-long perimeter. There are enough outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and golf, to keep you occupied for several days. Or simply spend a few hours perusing the shops in the Victorian downtown and the historical sites.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mackinac Island?
Peak tourist season on Mackinac Island runs from late May through early October, when the climate is the most appealing. In July and August, the temperature ranges from the 70s to the low 90s Fahrenheit, whereas the spring and fall months are comfortably cool, even brisk. Summer and fall are the two wettest seasons, and the humidity on clear days is noticeable, so you’ll want to pack breathable, light clothes and rain jackets.
Most of the visitors, as well as the horses, leave the island during the cold, snowy winters, which the Great Lakes supplements with heavy fog. But some prefer to stay in one of the island’s vacation rentals during the off-season. If you’re one of them, dress for sub-freezing temperatures and deep snow.
What are the top things to do in Mackinac Island?
Mackinac Island State Park
This state park takes up four-fifths of the island, and trails for pedestrians and bikes crisscross the hilly interior. The densest woodlands can be found in the north and center, but the southeast quadrant draws many people to marvel over Arch Rock, a limestone formation high over the lake.
Climb the bluffs above the ferry landing to get to Fort Mackinac, the oldest standing structure in Michigan. You can check out the military barracks and historical reenactments, fire a cannon, or simply wander along the cliffs admiring Lake Huron.
Horse-drawn carriages, which range in size from two-seaters to large taxis, circle the island throughout the day, stopping at major attractions or allowing you to enjoy the island at a leisurely pace. Some stables rent out horses to experienced riders.