A Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

So you’ve been to Mackinac Island, right? It was probably in the summer, somewhere between May and August. Maybe you visited in the fall for the color tour. Well, did you know you can visit Mackinac Island in the winter too?

It is everything you love about Mackinac Island, plus so much more. Imagine downtown without the crowds, no bicycles, just peaceful and quiet.

With a beautiful blanket of fresh white snow and snowmobiles lining the street, Mackinac Island is the perfect winter getaway.

Things to do

A couple bars and restaurants stay open throughout the winter months, such as Mustang Lounge and the grocery store, Doud’s Market is open year-round, as well. But – winter events on Mackinac Island are every reason to make the trip!!

The Christmas Bazaar is held in December each year. The extravaganza kicks off with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in the heart of Main Street, with singing Christmas carols and a community full of cheer. You can even enter the raffle and go home with a brand new Snowmobile!

How about ringing in the New Year, Mackinac Island style?

In years past, horse drawn hayrides were a hit, for information call (906) 847-6575. Several shops also open their doors for this event.

Enjoy live music or dancing with DJ’s downtown as you welcome the New Year. Dinner reservations are strongly suggested for Mustang Lounge or Huron Street Pub call (906) 847-9916.

Come February on Mackinac Island, the winter community celebrates with a Winter Festival at Great Turtle Park. Complete with a bonfire cook out, sledding, snow golf, archery, snow volleyball and broom hockey.  To find out more about the upcoming celebration, updates are added on the Mackinac Island Winter Festival page.

Once a month, you may enjoy the one-of-a-kind Fort Mackinac Twilight Turtle Trek. A lantern-lit cross country skiing and snowshoeing event, covering 2 miles of the island’s immaculately groomed trails. Bring your own skis and meet at Greaney Grove, located next to Fort Mackinac at 5:30pm. Dates are to be determined, check back to see what’s scheduled for this coming year.

St. Patrick’s Day is also time for celebration on Mackinac Island! Enjoy a dinner fundraiser at the Community Hall hosted by St. Anne’s Church, to include a cash prize raffle! Contact Ste. Anne’s Church at (906) 847-3507.

Transportation

On the Island

Remember trying to ride your bike up and down all those hills, well now you can do it on skis! There are tons of trails for cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

Mackinac Island Taxi Service (906) 847-3323 – reservations required for service before 8:00 am or after 5:00 pm.

Mackinac Wheels (517) 575-8585 – call ahead to reserve Fat Tire bikes.

Getting to the island

The ferry runs all winter, as long as the straits are not frozen. The schedule does not run as often as it does during the summer months but usually at least twice a day.

Star Line Ferry (800) 638-9892 – November thru April, weather permitting. Additional ferry scheduled during special winter weekend events.
Updates & notices posted on www.facebook.com/starlineferry.

If the straits are frozen, you may take a snowmobile across the ice to get to Mackinac Island but it can be dangerous and it is not recommended.

You can fly from St. Ignace and see the island from the sky for a whole new perspective!

Great Lakes Air (906) 643-7165 – Year round flights from St. Ignace, weather permitting.

Fresh Air Aviation (231) 237-9482 – Offering daily flights from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island.

Lodging

Pontiac Lodge (906) 847-3364 – Open All Winter*closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day and Easter Weekend.

Bogan Lane Inn (906) 847-3439 – Open November 29 – Winter

Cottage Inn (906) 847-4000 – Open November 29th thru December 20th; December 27th thru January 1st.

Lilac Tree Suites & Spa (866) 847-6575 – Open November 29th & 30th; December 29th – January 2nd.

Village Inn Suites (906) 847-8077 – Open through New Years Day*closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day.

Mackinac Island’s Best Kept Secrets

As soon as you arrive to Mackinac Island, a map will be your best friend. They’re easy to find at the Visitors Center, Tourism Bureau, your hotel front desk/concierge, stores and restaurants. Unless you’ve lived on the island your whole life, you’re going to be lost without a map. I highly recommend getting one before you head out.

Mackinac Island on a Budget – 22 Ways to Save

To really get the biggest bang for my buck, I like to travel on a budget. I like to save a little where we can and really have a great experience. Here are 22 tips for saving money when visiting Mackinac Island. 

1. Weekdays – Hotel rates during the week, Monday-Thursday are usually

Morning ferry on Mackinac Island

How to Plan a Mackinac Island Day Trip on a Budget

Mackinac Island is as incredible as everyone says, but it can be pricey to visit. Between food, accommodation and transportation, the costs can add up quickly.  It doesn’t have to break your bank to visit Mackinac Island.

Here are some tips to stay within a budget and see this amazing island!

Stay Off Island

Unless it is your dying desire to stay 1 night on the island, it’s going to save you a lot of money to stay on “the mainland.” The two cities that connect to Mackinac Island by ferry boat are Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, Michigan. Both cities have hundreds of hotels to choose from and several campground options. Accommodations on the mainland are…

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