Destination guide

Escape to Mackinac Island, jewel of the Great Lakes

Mackinac Island has been wowing Michigan’s vacationers for over a century. Its old-world charm, picturesque pastel-hued main street brimming with giftshops and charming cafes, and stunning golden beaches are a magnet for families and couples alike. If you’re lucky enough to snag a Mackinac Island vacation rental, leave the car in Mackinac City or St Ignace on the Lower Peninsula, and take the ferry to be transported to another, more genteel era. Alternatively, a beautiful lakeside home with views out over Lake Huron to Mackinac Island and neighboring Bois Blanc Island offers the perfect base for a day trip.

Things to do

Your Mackinac Island lookout

On the highest point of Mackinac Island sits Fort Holmes, a fortified defensive earthwork dating back to the War of 1812. Climb the meandering wooden stairway up the hillside under the broadleaf canopy for a view out over the glittering waters of Lake Huron. Close to the fort, Anne's Tablet is an Art Nouveau sculpture featuring stone benches and a bronze plaque, built in 1916 as a memorial to tragic local author Constance Fenimore Woolson. Follow up your stroll by enjoying a picnic on the beach, or take afternoon tea at the island’s impressive Victorian Grand Hotel.

Activities

Traditional seaside delights in Mackinac Island

The entirety of Mackinac Island is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and the pace of life demands a decidedly slower approach. Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are as fast as it gets around here. From your Mackinac Island vacation rental, cycle or wander the pedestrian-friendly streets to admire the quaint homes, boutiques, and independent shops. Be sure to treat yourself to a bag of the island’s famous fudge! Golfers can enjoy a bracing game of golf on one of the island’s numerous courses. Then watch the city transform at night, as you revel in its buzzing music and bar scene.

Weather

Enjoy Mackinac Island summers

Between May and September, you can expect high temperatures into the 60s and 70s; a pleasant clime for exploring. Although summertime might be the best time to visit Mackinac Island, renting a Mackinac Island vacation rental in springtime or fall can be equally, if not more, pleasurable, as you avoid the height of the crowds. With very cold winters, December through March can be freezing – but the wild, Great Lakes scenery is no less stunning. At this time of year, the ferries can stop running and the best way to get around town is by carriage ride or snowmobile.

Natural features

Explore Mackinac Island State Park

More than 80 percent of the island is preserved as Mackinac Island State Park. It was designated as the second national park, Mackinac National Park, in 1875, just 3 years after Yellowstone National Park was named as the nation’s first. The island is a great place to spot wildflowers, for birdwatching, exploring the golden, sandy coves sheltered by craggy limestone bluffs, or simply relaxing. Keen sailors will enjoy skimming across the glittering waters of Lake Huron. The island plays host to sailing races each year – there’s no better way to arrive than via the island’s pretty harbor.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Mackinac Island

Fly into Mackinac Island, MI (MCD), the closest airport, located 1.3 mi (2 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that's convenient for your trip, you could also fly into Pellston, MI (PLN-Pellston Regional), which is 20.8 mi (33.5 km) away.

Where to stay around Mackinac Island?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 173 vacation rentals near Mackinac Island. From 86 Cabins to 62 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Mackinac Island for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Mackinac Island?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Mackinac Island. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Fort Mackinac: 176 vacation rentals
  • The Greens of Mackinac: 177 vacation rentals
  • Haunted Theatre: 177 vacation rentals
  • Robert Stuart House: 177 vacation rentals
  • The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World: 177 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Mackinac Island listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Cabins in Mackinac Island?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 86 Cabins in Mackinac Island. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Mackinac Island include:

  • Houses: 62 rentals available
  • Cottages: 86 rentals available
  • Condos/Apartments: 18 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Mackinac Island?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 13 vacation rentals with pool available in Mackinac Island. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.