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shutterstock, Mackinac Island

This Island in the Great Lakes Is Straight out of a Fairy Tale 🤩

Located on The Great Lake, Huron in Michigan, you'll find the most picturesque island known as Mackinac Island. This location feels like you've gone back in time with horse-drawn carriages, colonial architecture, and centuries-old forts. This island has been awarded as a top destination by many renowned travel publishers such as Conde Nast and TripAdvisor. Below, we've compiled information on the easiest and cheapest way to travel there and the best rates for accommodation on the island.

Published by
Sophie_Coderre·11/6/2023
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Getting to Mackinac Island

Unfortunately, you cannot drive to Mackinac Island via the roadway or even bring a car onto the island. You'll need to either book a ferry or a small charter plane to get here. On the island, you'll be able to rent bikes, ride in taxis, or take horse-drawn carriages around the island.

Closest Airport

Pellston Regional Airport (PLN) is the closest airport to the island. However, flights here are rather expensive and can only be booked through Delta. Alternatively, you can rent a car from Detroit Airport (DTW) and drive the four-hour journey to Mackinaw City or St. Ignace where you'd park your car for the length of your trip (free unsecured parking or $20 per day secured parking options) and grab the ferry from there on foot.

Where to Catch the Ferry

You can catch a ferry out of either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. The ferry only operates from April to October and costs roughly $34 one way.

Best Time to Visit Mackinac Island

The main tourist season for Mackinac Island starts in May and lasts through October, however, you can stay on the island year-round. In the fall, you'll find incredible foliage. In the spring, you'll find blossoming flowers. In the summer, you'll find incredible beach access to Lake Huron. In the winter, you'll find a town that looks straight out of a Hallmark movie.

*Please note that ferries to the island only operate from April to October. So the season outside of this, you'd have to look into small chartered flights to/from the island.

The Best Rates for a Stay on Mackinac Island

Usually, you'll find nightly rates for accommodations on the island to be $350+ and limited availability, however, we found a great early-bird deal on a hotel right on the island from $155 a night during late-April and early May. Come June, prices will more than double.

Our Recommendation:

We recommend staying at the Mission Point Resort. This well-rated & award-winning (4.5/5 on TripAdvisor and Winner of the 2023 Travelers' Choice Awards) hotel is significantly cheaper than other hotels on the island. We found great rates from April 2024, the island, in general, is a popular vacation spot, so this is an accommodation to book ahead.

Alternatively, you can stay off the island in St. Ignace or Mackinaw which offer cheaper accommodations.

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Additional Information

All of our deals are available at the time of publishing, but prices are subject to fluctuations and changes at any time.