There are probably many under-rated vacation spots across the country and one of them is definitely Mackinac Island, Michigan. Mackinac is a beautiful island reached by ferry from the Mackinac Bridge and surrounded by amazing scenery.

Automobiles have been prohibited from the island for over 100 years and the effects of that are breathtaking. It is such a refreshing change to get a break from everything from fumes to vehicle noise to the overall hurried feeling that goes with that.

Bikes are a common method of transportation and you can either bring your own bike over on the ferry or they are available for rent. Horse and carriage is another popular choice. The entire island has maintained its Victorian feel over the years and hasn’t lost any of its sense of charm.

Once on the island there are many different activities to keep you busy. There are hiking and biking tours, golfing and guided tours. In the winter snow shoeing and cross country skiing are popular choices. There are also several museums to visit and Ft. Mackinac which is a Revolutionary era fort. The island has many local artists who work there and exhibit their work at the many galleries on the island. Another popular attraction is the Butterfly Conservatory full of beautiful butterflies and flowers. Available water recreation includes fishing, ferry cruises, yacht races and more.

The available dining covers almost the entire spectrum from casual to formal. A good thing to do is to stop at the Tourism Bureau to pick up a free dining guide which will give you all the current specials and guide you to restaurants with children’s meal deals and other dining information.

Many of the islands hotels have their own restaurants which is very convenient. The shopping on the island is full of many diverse choices. From baskets to scrimshaw to the ever popular Mackinac fudge there is a never ending selection of great shops to peruse.

Mackinac Island offers many lodging choices. There are many quaint hotels, luxury hotels and resorts, historic inns and cozy bed and breakfasts to choose from. One attraction that can’t be missed is the amazing Grand Hotel. It is a truly beautiful place to visit and has shops and dining available as well.

There are several festivals that occur on the island and each provides good entertainment for all ages. These include the Lilac Festival which kicks off the summer with food, horse shows and more while celebrating the island’s wonderful lilac.

Also there is a Fudge Festival, Festival of the Horse, Music Festival, Healthy Fair and a celebration of the island’s Native American heritage called the Binaakwe Giizis Festival of the Falling Leaves Moon. The festivals range from early summer to late September.

Mackinac Island was named by Conde Nast Traveler as “one of the top ten North American Islands,” and is a truly amazing experience. The summer weather in Michigan makes it an enjoyable outdoor experience both on the water and on land, and the beautiful scenery of the leaves changing color make the island picture perfect in the fall. You will not be sorry you visited this beautiful and unique vacation destination.

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