The secret to a happy family vacation is equal parts preparation and flexibility. With kids in tow, there’s no telling what a day on Mackinac will bring so we’ve compiled a kid friendly guide that lets families spend less time planning and more time enjoying the magic of Mackinac.
Where to Stay
Mission Point Resort
Recently renovated, Mission Point Resort welcoming escape for families looking for a little more room to stretch their legs. The resort is fitted with a fully loaded arcade, historic movie theater, a unique 18-hole putting course, pool/hot tub, and so much more. Looking for some much needed, me time? Drop your kids off at the resort’s Mackinac Island Kid’s Club and let the trained staff tire them out by teaching them how to play classic games from the past. Then head over to the Lakeside Spa and Salon, the island’s only full-service health and wellness retreat, and enter into a state of deep relaxation with a Lilac Facial & Body treatment. That’s a win, win only available at Mission Point Resort.
Mission Point Resort | (906) 847-3000
Bicycle Street Inn & Suites
Conveniently located on Main Street, directly across from Shepler’s Island Ferry, the Bicylce Street Inn & Suites, plus the brand new Waterfront Collection, covers all of your essential amenities and more. They’ve been taking in tourists since 2013 and continue to add on and make improvements. Guest benefits also include discounted ferry tickets and complementary baggage handling.
Chippewa Hotel Waterfront
A stay at the Chippewa Hotel will keep you and your family on their toes. Accommodating guests for over 166 years, you won’t find any two rooms that are alike here. You will, however, find yourself between a gorgeous marina out front filled with all sorts of boats to look at and the historically famous Fort Mackinac behind you. Watch out for pink as well! The famous Pink Pony is located inside of the hotel and has been serving up some of the best food items and drinks the island has to offer since 1948. Be sure to checkout Chippewa Hotel’s package specials for the best savings!
Chippewa Hotel | (906) 847-3341
Don’t let The Grand Hotel’s historic exterior fool you into thinking they aren’t a family-friendly option. This is one of the islands most talked about establishments and is a consistent tourist favorite. It was selected as one of the 10 Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts in the U.S. for 2019 along with numerous other awards given throughout the years for a variety of things. It’s been standing since 1887 and offers perhaps the most amenities out of any hotel on the island. Kids 9 and under stay and eat free while guests 17 and younger are offered significantly reduced rates. They have a plethora of activities to partake in from golf and tennis to pickleball and horseback riding. The team at Threads assures you that you and your family will always have something to do if you choose to stay at the Grand.
Grand Hotel | (800) 334-7263
What to do
Photo Credit - @haans1830innkeeper
Fun Fact, 80% of Mackinac Island is considered a Michigan State park .Adventure past the outskirts of Main Street and let the trails take you and your family to some of the most magnificent views the island has to offer. If you’re looking for ideas on where to hike to or what activities are going on you can visit Mackinac Park’s website for more information. If you can’t decide which part of the island your family would like to explore, we recommend that you stop at Doud’s Market, grab some picnic supplies, some bikes, and hit the trail that outlines the perimeter of the island. The perimeter of the island is 8 (relatively flat) miles and takes 90 minutes in total depending on how many stops you take. Don’t forget to bring, or rent, bike locks! There are several picturesque places to stop along the perimeter of the island such as British Landing or Chimney Rock that you’ll want to stop and check out!
Mackinac State Historic Parks | 906-847-3328
Mackinac Island is full of fascinating history but none more fascinating and popular than Fort Mackinac. Here, history comes alive quite literally. The original fort is over 225 years old and some of its remains are still standing and available to be toured. You and your family will come to take in the history and exhibits but you’ll stay for the demonstrations and tours given by costumed interpreters. From open to close there are several rifle and cannon firing demonstrations that you can watch that are put on by interpreters dressed in full costume. If somebody in your family is feeling a little more patriotic than usual you can sign up to help clean, load, prime, and then fire the cannon.
Mackinac State Historic Parks | 906-847-3328
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
If you still don’t know where to start, this is the tour for you. You’ll purchase your tickets, take your seat on the horse-drawn carriage, and embark on a scenic journey that showcases the best parts of Mackinac Island. Along the narrated tour you and your family will make approximately five stops before you return to where you began. The first is Surrey Hills Museum where you can hop off, eat some lunch, rest and then hop back on for the rest of the tour. Then you’ll click-clack all the way to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory, stop by and take pictures at the iconic Arch Rock, walk down the Avenue of Flags at Fort Mackinac and then finally return back to downtown Mackinac. There is also an option to end your tour at the Grand Hotel.