Touring Mackinac Island in one day may seem like a pipe dream, but it’s easier than you’d think. With proper planning, hitting the hotspots during a day trip to Mackinac Island is a breeze.
Skip the expensive island hotels and stay at Petoskey RV Resort. Located in the hills above Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey RV Resort offers upscale amenities less than an hour away from Mackinac Island.
Before you head off to the island’s attractions, keep these things in mind:
- You’ll need to take a ferry from Mackinaw City to reach the island.
- No cars are allowed, so you’ll have to travel by bicycle, foot, or horse-drawn carriage.
- Even in summer, the weather can be a bit cool. Pack accordingly.
- Island restaurants are expensive. Save some money by packing a picnic lunch and enjoying it al fresco in one of the island’s many parks.
What to Do on a Day Trip to Mackinac Island
1. Visit Mackinac Island State Park
Mackinac Island State Park is an incredible getaway, with plenty of trails for hiking and biking. It’s a quiet place to relax and take a break from the bustling downtown.
Be sure to visit Arch Rock, the park’s most famous attraction. Arch Rock is 146 feet tall and frames a spectacular view of Lake Huron. Though Arch Rock is the popular spot, you can find other great formations such as Sugar Loaf, Devil’s Kitchen, and Robinson’s Folly.
2. Explore Fort Mackinac
Another must-see when you visit the island is Fort Mackinac, which will whisk you back to the 1800s. The fort is the oldest building in Michigan and offers reenactments with real cannon blasts and rifle fire. Explore it on your own or join one of several walking tours that take place each day.
3. Tour the Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel is an icon of Mackinac Island, easily visible as you cross the lake by ferry. The hotel was built in 1887 and boasts a 660-foot long porch, the world’s largest! For a small admission fee, visitors can tour the hotel, explore the grounds, and relax in one of the porch’s rocking chairs.
4. Sample Mackinac Island Fudge
Mackinac Island is America’s Fudge Capital, and visitors can watch it being made daily in the quaint shops. The smell permeates the air and the creamy taste will have you hooked forever. Over 15 fudge shops call the island home, including Ryba’s, Murdick’s, and JoAnn’s.
Purchase the fudge to take home but remember that every shop offers free samples. If you sample at every fudge shop on the island, it’s possible to enjoy over a pound of decadent fudge for free!
5. Take a Horse-drawn Carriage Tour
Touring the island in a horse-drawn carriage is like a fantasy movie come to life. Mackinac Island Carriage Tours will take you through the forest to major sights like Arch Rock and the Grand Hotel. This is the fastest way to see the island’s most famous attractions during your day trip to Mackinac Island!
Petoskey RV Resort
Located less than an hour south of Mackinaw City, Petoskey RV Resort offers guests 26 acres of luxury RV living with an outstanding location on the coast of Lake Michigan. Spacious RV sites are available with views of northern Michigan forests, or sites with water views of the park’s river and mini falls.
A unique vacation awaits you at our Coach House RV site! We’ve reimagined the classic carriage house with a full kitchen, outdoor fireplace, and gas grill. No RV? No problem! Our upscale vacation cottages offer one bedroom and a cozy loft with space for up to six guests.
Schmooze with other campers at the expansive lodge, or play tennis on the courts. A 9-hole putting green winds next to the river and our spa provides the perfect way to unwind.
Make Petoskey RV Resort your home for exploring the sights of Northern Michigan, including a day trip to Mackinac Island.