There is no shortage of idyllic locales for a lunch al-fresco on Mackinac Island. From rock formations formed over hundreds and thousands of years to parks filled with activities for everyone in the family, you’re sure to find the picnic spot that’s right for you. So pack your baskets, and get your blankets, we’re going exploring.
If you don’t want to stray too far from downtown, Marquette Park is located just on the edge of Mackinac Island’s harbor. Just outside of Fort Mackinac, Marquette Park was originally used as a vegetable garden for the fort. Today, the park makes the perfect spot to lay out a blanket, watch the water, and stop and smell the lilacs.
This park makes a case for one of the best views on Mackinac Island. Fort Holmes is located on the highest point of the island. It was built during the war of 1812 and kept watch over Mackinac Island. Today, after climbing a decent number of stairs, you can see the reconstructed fort and an unparalleled view of the Straits of Mackinac. If you’re even the slightest history buff, this is the park for you.
Great Turtle Park
This park is a little off-the-beaten path, but completely worth the hike. Great Turtle Park boasts one of the largest picnic areas on the island including a covered pavilion. While you’re there be sure to check out the nine-basket disc-golf course, sand volleyball court, soccer field, and basketball court. It’s the perfect location for families and friends wanting to spend some quality time together, toss some frisbees, and gather around a picnic table.
This natural curiosity, formed by over thousands of years of wind and water eroding layers of soft rock, stands strong 146 feet above the water. Take the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail toward the shoreline and make sure to pack plenty of protein — you’ll need it. From the observation deck Arch Rock beautiful frames the natural beauty of Mackinac Island in a way that we can only describe as #puremack.
Along the southwestern shore of Mackinac Island, Devil’s Kitchen is a group of small sea caves formed into the limestone over the past few centuries. Today the area is a secluded escape by the water where you can sit on the rocks and just stare for hours. In the distance, on a clear day, you can even see the Mackinac Bridge.