When you think of summer traveling you might be thinking of exotic beaches in Mexico, great resorts in Cancun but you might be missing one great opportunity. An island travel adventure! Michigan’s best island, Mackinac Island is a one great travel adventure destination.

For the last decade, I have been visiting this island every summer for few days and absolutely enjoy every bit of it. I knew a little about the area the first few times. Each time, I find myself doing something new and thrilling. This article is about the finest activities that I found are the best to do on the island. 

Mackinac Island Arch Rock
Credit: Arkuda Photography

Mackinac Island is an island in Michigan and also a resort area. It covers 3.8 square miles in land area and it is located in the Huron Lake at the end of the straits of Mackinac, between the upper and lower Michigan peninsulas. To get to the island there are several ways. One way is from Mackinaw City and another way is from St. Ignace. Each way requires a ferry. There are three operational ferry companies that run back to back every half hour. They are: Star Line, Arnold and Shepler’s ferry. I have been aboard all of them. I can say that if you want to get there fast you can use the Star Line ferry. If you want to enjoy your view more when getting on the island use the other two ferries. The prices are about the same for all of them. Tickets can be either purchased online for few dollars with a discount or from their office by the dock. 

Activities in Mackinac Island

Carriage tours, walking tours, saddle horses, and bicycle riding.

Carriage Tours

Riding in your own private carriage with an informed tour guide for a more intimate way to see Mackinac Island. It is a thrilling experience in this no car island. Mackinac Island does not allow any cars to be driven on the island besides the fire station trucks that protect the island from fires. This island has the oldest and largest horse and buggy livery and the official tour of Mackinac State Park offering narrated tours through downtown to Surrey Hills, Arch Rock, Fort Mackinac and Grand Hotel.

Grand Hotel
Credit: Arkuda Photography

Walking Tours

There are several different kinds of walking tours available on the island. The Haunts of Mackinac has all the options available. If you don’t like walking tours it is also fun and adventures to explore on your own and walk and hike the island trails. They are just amazing!

Mackinac Island
Credit: Arkuda Photography

Guided & Unguided Trail Riding

Horseback riding is a very exciting experience for all kinds of people, beginners or novices. You can enjoy this ride with a guide or on your own. There are several stables on the island where you can rent out horses. 

Horses from Mackinac Island
Credit: Arkuda Photography

Bicycle Rentals

If you don’t like walking much or horseback riding you can always rent out bicycles and ride around the bicycle trail that leads around the whole island. This trail is just a paradise. There are several kinds of bicycles available, this include the following: single-speed, three-speed, five-speed, ten-speed, tandems, mountain bikes, fat-tire bikes, kids bikes, beach cruisers, burly carts, tagalongs, child carriers and more. Disabled scooters are also available for those with disabilities or medical conditions. 


Yes, you guessed it! The island has very great golf courses available. The Grand Hotel’s Jewel golf course is one of the most unique courses in the United States. The Wawashkamo golf course is a nine-hole links golf course. The course was laid out by Alex Smith in 1898, and is as of 2015 the oldest continuously played golf course in Michigan. Mission Point Resort/The Greens of Mackinac is an 18 hole putting course. 


Mackinac Island sailing charters offers a very great on the water experience aboard their 50 foot custom offshore racing sailboat. This is a very thrilled ride. 

Mackinac Island Bay
Credit: Arkuda Photography


Parasailing is one unique experience because you get to see the straits of Mackinac from a very new perspective. The image below was captured during my visit on the island.

Mackinac Island Parasailing
Credit: Arkuda Photography


Explore the straits with single kayak, tandem kayak, or stand up paddle board. This is also a fun adventure because on this island in the summer days there is barely any waves around the shore and this makes it a one great opportunity to have fun. 


Fishing is also available on this island aboard the Osprey III 27″ sport fishing boat with a hardtop, cuddy cabin and a clean private bathroom. 


Mackinac Island offers a great variety of activities and every year a lot of tourists visit the island. As many as 15,000 tourists per day during peak summer season. One of these can be you. Mackinac Island is a family friendly and adventurous destination with a very fascinating history and spectacular scenery. So keep this place in mind when you plan your next vacation. I mention some of the activities on the island but feel free to explore other activities that you might find fun. Remember that this island will leave you a great experience to remember for a lifetime.