Mackinac Island’s Best Kept Secrets

While most people are going straight to the major highlights of the island, like Arch Rock and Grand Hotel; there’s an entire other side of the island to explore.

You should definitely get out and discover the shear beauty that lies just outside of Mackinac Island’s Main Street. There are no cars so you’ll need a bike or some good walking shoes!

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 map
Salle Manger - Grand Hotel Main Dining Room mackinac islan michigan
Salle Manger – Grand Hotel Main Dining Room

Arch Rock, Mackinac Island Arch Rock, Mackinac Island

Take the time to venture off the main path, there is so much to see and do. I’ve been around the island a time or two 😉

Go see the…


Hiking trails

Much of the land is preserved as part of a huge state park that encompasses over half of Mackinac Island. A good mix of forest, trails, and incredible views of Lake Huron, peaking and glistening through the trees. And the water is as beautiful blue as the Caribbean!


Horseback riding trails

Explore Mackinac Island on horseback! You can’t ride through the downtown area, but there are plenty of riding trails to discover!

Coffee Trail Mackinac Island Michigan horseback riding
Coffee Trail Mackinac Island Michigan

Gardens

Flowers and lots of more flowers, that’s a key ingredient in the Mackinac Island recipe! From wildflowers, to tulip gardens and lilac bushes galore.


Mansions

Mansion can be found just about anywhere on Mackinac Island but some of the homes with the best views are in the East and West Bluff!


Horse Stables

Many island homes have horses and stables along the roadside to admire.


Mackinac Island Airport

A public airport sits atop Mackinac Island, it is miles from downtown but such an awesome place to visit. From either end of the runway, you can stand on the road and watch planes fly over your head.

Mackinac Island Airport Michigan
Mackinac Island Airport plane

Nature

Lots of different limestone formations exist around Mackinac Island. These all-natural sites are fun for all.


Caves

There are also several caves worth exploring around the island! The easiest one to access is probably Devil’s Kitchen located on the perimeter road or Skull Cave next to the cemetery.


Sunset Rock

Locate the bike rack on the west end of the Inn at Stonecliffe. Walk along the trees to the back left trail and follow it for a rather romantic walk through an apple orchard. When the trail leads to the edge of the bluff, follow it to the right.


Anne’s Tablet

This spot is located right off Marquette Park in downtown. Behind the playground on the far-right side of the park, you’ll see a set of stairs. Follow the stairs all the way up to the East Bluff and then take the trail to the right.

Anne's Tablet Mackinac island michigan
Anne's Tablet mackinac island michigan lookout

Fort Holmes

The very top of Mackinac Island has another Fort! On a clear night, with the unobstructed view from Fort Holmes, you’ll be able to look up and see one of the many wonders of Mackinac Island – stargazing! Mackinac Island night skies offer a breathtaking lightshow, if you’re extremely lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!


There are great adventures to be had. Secret spots, that aren’t really secrets at all. And an added bonus, venturing off into untouched territory is as close as you’ll get to having the island all to yourself!

Work on Mackinac Island for the Summer and have the best of both worlds!

Did you come here hoping I would tell you where to find the hidden cars?

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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

Visit Strasbourg, France in the Fall

Timber framed homes scattered throughout the curving cobblestone streets and the River Ill is never too far away!

Strasbourg was one of those cities that came as a complete surprise. It turned out to be so much more incredible than I ever imagined and totally exceeded my expectations!

If all that hasn’t convinced you to visit this German border city, then these fabulous fall photos from Strasbourg, France definitely will!

A Visit to Switzerland in the Fall

Northern Switzerland’s best kept secret is a charming medieval city nestled along the Upper Rhine River, home to the Munot Fortress and several baroque style buildings. The city of Schaffhausen is just as much captivating, as it is beautiful.

Sunsets here are rather amazing! If you ever get the chance, you should go. Until then, enjoy my sunset photo tour around Schaufhaussen. Take a deep breath now because these images are quite incredible.

Work & Live on Mackinac Island for the Summer

Living and working on Mackinac Island is a dream come true for so many! The first step to living on Mackinac Island for the summer is to get a job or employment on the island. In order to keep business running smoothly Mackinac Island employees over 5,000 summer workers. I have worked a total of 9 summer seasons on Mackinac Island.
Jobs and employment are typically from 2-6 months, starting in April/May and ending November 1.

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