Close this search box.

The porch at The Grand Hotel. | Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

Activities & Attractions on Mackinac Island

Not only is Mackinac Island rich in history as both a place where fur trading took place and where a fort was built to protect nearby territories, but it is filled with beauty and lots of activities and attractions to explore.

Here’s a sampling of the many activities and attractions Mackinac Island has to offer:

The Grand Hotel

The majestic Grand Hotel is one of the first sights to visitors as they head into the harbor on one of the ferry boats. The hotel, which is perched on the bluff and overlooks Lake Huron, has been a draw to Mackinac Island since it was built in 1886. The Grand Hotel has 365 rooms and a famous front porch- the world’s largest at 660 feet long.

The Mackinac Bridge

The Mighty Mackinac Bridge opened to traffic on November 1st, 1957, and connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsula over the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. Nearly 500,000 vehicles cross the bridge during the summer, with that number dropping to a mere 169,000 in a typical January. Annual vehicle crossing is approximately 4,000,000. The bridge is a gateway to the serene beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but it is also a necessary link on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. 

Activities & Attractions on Mackinac Island
The Mackinac Bridge. | Photo by the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac, part of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, is open from May-October and includes buildings restored to how they looked during the later years of the fort’s occupation. Park interpreters depict US Army soldiers from this same period complete with distinctive Prussian-inspired uniforms.

Visitors can walk through buildings filled with interactive displays and period furnishings while listening to bugle music, and cannon and rifle firings. A long sidewalk leads visitors up to the Fort from the park below or horse-drawn taxis or tour carriages make stops at the rear entrance of the Fort atop the bluff.

Activities & Attractions on Mackinac Island
A tour carriage delivers visitors to the base of Fort Mackinac. | Photo by Mackinac Associates.

Arch Rock

This geological wonder is a natural limestone arch formed during the Nipissing post-glacial period when high Lake Huron levels and wave action created openings in the rock. Arch Rock stands 146 feet over the Lake Huron shoreline- nearly 15 stories tall. Like nearby Devil’s Kitchen and Sugar Loaf, Arch Rock’s limestone formation took thousands of years by wind, water, and receding glaciers to be created. The views from Arch Rock are dramatic. Sweeping views of Lake Huron and Canada make this a great place to enjoy.

Scroll below for more articles about the Mackinac Island area.

Experience the Mackinac Island Area

Downtown Mackinac Island

Get off the ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace to Mackinac Island and the first thing you’ll see is the historic downtown area.