Gardens Travel

5 Mackinac Island Secrets

Mackinac Island is beautiful, beyond the fudge shops and shops. I’ve collected for you my top 5 Mackinac Island secrets, my favorite stops, tours and activities. Here we go..

  • Ride bikes/walk around the island, not through the island. From the shore to the inside of the island is an upward battle, but the perimeter is pretty even. If you want to visit the inner island, get a ride on a horse-drawn carriage.
  • The north-side of the island has the most beautiful, quiet, and remote beaches. The best way to get there is by bike.
  • Paying money to walk The Grand Hotel porch is silly. Find The Grand Hotel tennis courts, south of the hotel, you will see a trail into the woods. Follow the trail and it will take you directly to the Grand Hotel gardens. The gardens are beautiful. You can access the porch from the garden if you like, no payment required – plus you feel like a ninja.
  • There are two butterfly conservatories on the island. Wings of Mackinac is the best. They are most liberal about how you are allowed to interact with the butterflies. The other butterfly house will only allow you to look, subscribing to the myth that touching a butterflies wings will cause it to die. It’s not accurate. With care, allowing the butterfly to stand on your hand is a sweet experience.
  • Plan your visit to Fort Mackinac to include the cannon firing demonstration. Check the daily events schedule to make sure you know the times. They do the demonstration a lot, but it’s quick and you won’t want to miss it or wait around for the next one.


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