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?

Fort Hill Mackinac Island Michigan in the Winter

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

ferry dock Mackinac Island in the Winter

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

Visit lilac tree hotel balcony view Mackinac Island in the Winter

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!!

Visit Mustang lounge on Mackinac Island in the Winter

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!

downtown Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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

And Shopping! Several shops also open their doors for this event.

horse carriage Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

Enjoy live music or dancing with DJ’s downtown as you welcome the New Year. Dinner reservations are strongly suggested call Mustang Lounge ahead of time, (906) 847-9916.

christmas tree Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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.

christmas bazaar Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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. Dates are to be determined, check back to see what’s scheduled for this coming year.

snowmobile on Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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.

east bluff Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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.

taxi Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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.

starline ferry dock Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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.

ferry ride on Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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 (906) 285-6727 – Offering daily flights from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island.

ferry view st. ignace Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

Lodging

Pontiac Lodge (906) 847-3364 – Open all winter.

Cottage Inn (906) 847-4000 – Open November and December dates, as well as New Years Eve.

Lilac Tree Suites & Spa (866) 847-6575 – Open on specific dates for Christmas Bazaar and New Years Eve.

Village Inn Suites (906) 847-8077 – Open all winter.

Above Mackinac Condos (906) 847-3614
Open all winter

Small Point B&B (906) 847-3758 –
Open weekends in December, January, February

The Mackinac House (906) 847-3911 –
Open on specific dates for Christmas Bazaar and New Years Eve.

lilac tree lobby Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter
christmas decor lilac tree hotel Visit to Mackinac Island in the Winter

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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