Another great family trip destination is Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Peak season begins in May and goes through Labor Day. You can also visit in September or October, but not as many businesses are open on the island and weather is more unpredictable. For 2021, it is anticipated that most businesses on Mackinac Island will be OPEN! Mackinac Island businesses will begin reopening at the end of April to prepare for high season. Shepler’s and Star Line Ferry summer schedules will begin running April 21. You can read about Covid restrictions here.
When we visited a couple of years ago we stayed in Mackinaw City for 2 nights and stayed on the island 1 night. One night on the island was plenty for us. In fact, some people just go over to the island for the day and don’t stay overnight. I would say it depends on the ages of your kids and the interests of your family as to whether you would spend the night on the island or not.
Mackinaw City is a really fun, touristy town. It has lots of great restaurants, ice cream and fudge shops, souvenir shops and plenty of family entertainment–mini golf, zip lining, a haunted mansion, light shows and more. They also have a fireworks show every Friday and there are festivals or special events going on throughout the summer. You can check their calendar of events here. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Dockside Waterfront Inn, which was great. It’s right on the beach with views of the sunrise and offers a great morning breakfast.
Mackinac Island is a beautiful, quaint island that is completely car-free. On the island we stayed at the Bicycle Street Inn & Suites, which is a relatively new hotel on the island and it was great. There are also lots of beautiful bed and breakfasts, but that didn’t seem as fitting for a family, so we went the hotel route. For activities on the island, we rented bikes and rode around island, which is an 8.2 mile bike ride. At the time, our youngest was 7 and our oldest had just broken her small toe and was in an orthotic shoe and they were both able to ride around the entire island on their own bikes. It takes about 60-90 minutes depending on how long you stop for sightseeing and breaks. You can bring your own bikes to the island or rent them. You can rent all kinds of bikes including tandem bikes or tag-along trailers for littler ones. There are several bike rental companies on the island. We rented from Ryba’s, which gave us a discount for staying at Bicycle Street Inn & Suites. One of the most beautiful sights when biking around the island is Arch Rock, which is a must see. You just park your bikes and walk up the steps for a breathtaking view.
Some other activities to check out on the island are Fort Mackinac, The Butterfly House, Carriage or Walking Tours, Maze of Mirrors, Haunted Theatre & Kite Flying. There are also abundant fudge shops. Mackinac Island is a great place to get an old-fashioned family photo. We had ours taken at Old Time Photography and ended up using it for our Christmas card photo–it’s still my favorite.
Our family had a great time visiting Mackinac Island and I hope yours does, too!
For other family vacation ideas, check out my other blogs about Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Creation Museum, The Ark, Kings Island Amusement Park, Bardstown, Kentucky, Disney, and South Dakota/Mount Rushmore. And here’s a blog with some general family road trip tips as well. Happy Traveling!!