There are a number of boats (ferries) that can take you to the island. Some are fast and some are not so fast. There are also chartered flights and boat slips nearby if you’re looking for something different. Most of the time you’ll be able to get free parking for the day at the ferry service of your choice with the purchase of a ferry ticket. Click for more info.
The Grand Hotel is just that…Grand. Staying at the Grand Hotel is not exactly cheap. So even if you’re not staying there, make sure to take it in by sight and bring your camera. This hotel is absolutely beautiful. To go inside the hotel or even go on the front porch, there is a $10 fee. If you don’t want to pay the fee, you can still get great photos of the outside.
Getting up to the fort requires a short up-hill hike and a fee. Fort Mackinac is definitely worth the fee. In fact, if you only wanted to select one attraction on the island to pay for, I would suggest the Fort. Not only does Fort Mackinac offer a great history lesson, but the fort also has the best views of the Island. The panoramic view is absolutely gorgeous and is the best way to capture the Island in photographs. The fort consists of original buildings from the 1880′s. Make sure to go inside all the buildings. Each building was preserved in its original use and contains displays and period furnishings.
Arc Rock and Skull Cave
The Arc Rock and Skull cave are main tourist attractions on Mackinac Island. Both attractions are set back on the island and require a good walk, bike ride or carriage ride. The Arc Rock is beautiful, but good luck getting any good photographs. This is a very small attraction with lots of people crowding around. If you are biking or walking over to the Arc, I suggest waiting for the carriage ride crowds to leave. The horse drawn carriages stop for about 5 minutes and then all the passengers board for their next attraction.
The Skull cave which once served as a site for human remains is historically interesting; however it’s not much to look at. So unless you pass this attraction while walking the trails this isn’t a “must see” site in my opinion.
Downtown and Fudge
The Island’s Downtown offers several boutiques full of souvenirs, Mackinac Island T-shirts, and fudge. The streets of Mackinac are bound to get you craving chocolate with the smell of their famous fudge around every corner. Mackinaw Island Fudge shops are famous for a reason…their fudge is DELICIOUS.
Mackinac Island is all and more than it’s hyped up to be. In fact, Mackinac Island is a place you can continue to go back to and make family memories year after year. The Island has something that will interest everyone in the family from the historical fort for Dad to the beautiful Colonial homes for mom, and fudge…well, that’s for everyone!