Mackinac Island State Park encompasses over 80% of Mackinac Island. For a complete list of Mackinac Island activities visit mackinacisland.org.
Just a short stroll or ride away, Fort Mackinac is a National Historic Landmark and the sentinel of the Straits of Mackinac. With guides dressed in period costumes, witness cannon and rifle firing demonstrations, and explore the real history of Mackinac in 14 original buildings filled with period settings, exhibits and videos. Enjoy a panoramic view of the harbor and Grand Hotel service for snacks, afternoon tea, or lunch at the Fort Mackinac Tea Room.
Fort Holmes sits atop the highest elevation on Mackinac Island. The fort was constructed by British soldiers in 1814 during the War of 1812 and named Fort George in honor of Britain’s King George III. The fort was constructed to protect Fort Mackinac against an anticipated United States attack during the war. When United States soldiers peacefully reoccupied the island after the War of 1812 the fort was renamed Fort Holmes in honor of American Major Andrew Hunter Holmes who was killed in the 1814 battle of Mackinac Island.
Downtown Mackinac Island
Historic Downtown Mackinac Island features a variety of shops, restaurants, art galleries and world-famous fudge shops. Stroll through the quaint streets and enjoy the sights and sounds of this unique tourist destination.
Two butterfly conservatories offer visitors a chance to see native and exotic species up close: Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory is located at Surrey Hills across from the Grand Hotel Stables and the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World downtown.
The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum
The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum is located just outside downtown in the historic Indian Dormitory. The museum’s exhibits feature art inspired by Mackinac Island, from hand-beaded Native American garments to historic paintings, maps and photography from the mid-17th to the mid-20th century, including contemporary art and photography from local artists. Children can enjoy the Kids’ Art Studio which presented a variety of hands-on experience for all children of all ages.
A tradition since the late 19th century, Mackinac Island is famous for its fudge. Don’t forget to sample and take home the island’s most popular and delicious souvenir. Over 10,000 lbs. of fudge leave the island every day from over a dozen shops downtown. Grand Hotel fudge, made fresh daily on the premises, is available at Carleton’s Tea Store. For a list of fudge shops click here.
Mackinac Island Tours
Explore beautiful and historic Mackinac Island on foot, bike, or other transportation options including private or public guided carriage tours, drive your own buggies and horseback riding tours, both guided and on your own. See the Information Desk in the Parlor once you check in for pricing and options. Additional information can be found at mackinacisland.org.
Plan a day trip to nearby St. Ignace and Mackinaw City to visit the Father Marquette Memorial honoring the founder of St. Ignace. Experience Colonial Michilimackinac, an 18th-century fur trade and military outpost with a dozen reconstructed buildings and guides dressed as British redcoats, French voyageurs, colonial villagers and American Indians. Or visit the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse also located in Mackinaw City. Tower and walking tours open to the public. Climb the tower for a great view and experience living history.
Mackinac Island is a popular location for this outdoor activity in which participants explore the island using a GPS to both hide and locate containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”). For more information, visit geocaching.com.
Charter fishing trips can be organized with Capt. Dennis Gorsuch and E.U.P. Fishing Charters. Fish for salmon, lake trout and steelhead (depending on the season) in calm waters with views of Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Bridge. E.U.P. Fishing Charter’s 27′ sport fishing boat is fully equipped with the latest electronics, radar and fishing gear and features a hardtop cabin and private bathroom. For rates and more information call 251-504-1046.
Great Turtle Kayak Tours offers a variety of kayak tours around Mackinac Island. See some of the island’s most popular landmarks including Arch Rock, the Mackinac Island harbor, Round Island, the Mackinac Bridge and more. Tours vary in length and experience. For more information, visit mackinackayak.com.
Live Healthy Live Grand
Let Grand Hotel help you live the Grand Life. Look for healthy indulgences, exercises and healthy activity locations at Grand Hotel and around Mackinac Island marked with the Live Healthy Live Grand symbol . Click here to learn more.