The Mackinac Blog

Welcome To Mackinac Island!

A trip to Mackinac Island is a journey to the best part of the past. Step off the ferry and you are immersed in a new world: horse carriages wait for passengers instead of taxis and families ride bicycles – yes, mom, dad and the kids, all together – through the streets downtown.

Some visitors to Mackinac Island come for the elegant places to stay, such as Grand Hotel or the Hotel Iroquois. Others for the rich history of Fort Mackinac. Still others come to shop and to hear the clip clop of the horses and take a scenic carriage tour or ride bicycles to the interior and around the shoreline of the island. And almost everyone, of course, wanders into one of the many sweet-smelling candy shops downtown for a taste (or more) of creamy Mackinac Island Fudge

One of the best ways to visit Mackinac Island is to find a place to stay on the island and experience the entire day – from sunrise to sunset – and watch the lights come on in the evening. Our Interactive Lodging Map will help you find your favorite resort, hotel or historic inn, or bed & breakfast on Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island News And Special Events

Mackinac Island Featured Lodging

Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel is situated on the southwestern bluff of Mackinac Island overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and – in the distance – the Mackinac Bridge. From the front porch – the world’s largest at 660 feet – guests can look down at the well-kept gardens and relax and enjoy the ambiance of “somewhere in [...] more...

Hotel Iroquois
Located on the waterfront at the western edge of town, the Hotel Iroquois is convenient to all the main-street attractions of Mackinac Island, yet far enough away to offer guests a bit of privacy from the downtown bustle. Stunning views of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge are the hallmark of a stay [...] more...

Mission Point Resort
Mission Point Resort is located on Mackinac Island, one of the most unique island destinations in the world. Guests are enchanted by Mission Point’s relaxed atmosphere, award-winning cuisine, rustic fireside ambiance, rich culture, arts and activities, broad lawns and lush gardens that together create the perfect setting for renewal, inspiration and meaningful connections. Nestled on 18 acres [...] more...

Chippewa Hotel
A stay at the Chippewa Hotel puts you right in the middle of all the charms of Mackinac Island. Choose a main street room and wake up to the clip-clop of the horse carriages passing along the street below. Stay in a Harbor View waterfront room or suite and enjoy the views of the harbor [...] more...

Lilac Tree Suites and Spa
With thirty-nine uniquely appointed suites, the Lilac Tree Suites and Spa reflects the French, English and American heritage of Mackinac Island. Each spacious suite has a living room and a separate sleeping room. No two suites are alike. The unique decor is accented with variations of wood, wicker and iron. Traditional antiques and modern fixtures combine [...] more...

Main Street Inn and Suites
Step back in time with an overnight stay on beautiful and historic Mackinac Island. Our well-appointed 18 rooms and suites provide comfortable elegance, perfect for honeymoon couples to large families. We offer affordable accommodations with many outstanding amenities, including a communal sitting room with pool table, cable television, and games. Our nightly turndown service includes a fudge [...] more...

Lakebluff Condos and Suites – Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island Lakebluff Condos at Stonecliffe are situated high atop the West Bluff on beautiful Mackinac Island. There are acres of bike trails, walking trails and roads throughout and around Mackinac Island. Our accommodations have panoramic views of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge with awesome sunsets on the grounds of Stonecliffe Estate. GOLF [...] more...

Metivier Inn
A small lovely boutique country inn, the Metivier Inn offers 22 charming guest rooms for your stay on Mackinac Island, each including air conditioning and private baths. The rooms are uniquely and tastefully decorated in a blend of English and French country style. Most of our rooms are ideal for couples or solo travelers, as [...] more...

Cottage Inn of Mackinac Island
Located on quiet Market Street, the Cottage Inn is just one block from the downtown area. Ferry Docks, Mackinac Island State Parks, historic Fort Mackinac and the Mackinac Island Marina are only a short stroll away . Featuring a large front porch for enjoying breakfast or just relaxing while taking in the clip clop of [...] more...

Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast
Cloghaun is one of the oldest Victorian homes on the Island. Thomas and Bridget Donnelly left Ireland in 1848, and completed Cloghaun in 1884. This lovely home has been preserved by their descendants and now offers guests a tranquil, romantic interlude from the demands of everyday life. Eleven guest rooms individually designed and decorated with antiques [...] more...


Joshua Davis – Music In The Park – August 20, 2015

Joshua Davis was raised in the folk tradition: the music, the social movements, the land. He writes songs that blend the roots of American music with gritty rock n’ roll and vintage soul. Performing Songwriter Magazine called the result, “Some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around.

For over 15 years Joshua has made his living sharing his songs, stories and knowledge across the US and Canada at festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses and dives – as a solo act, front man for roots ensemble “Steppin’ In It”, classic swing band “Shout Sister Shout”, songwriter showcase band “The Starlight Six” and frequently as a workshop facilitator, presenter or instructor.

7pm, Marquette Park, Mackinac Island – Free

With a spectacular backdrop, our summer concert series takes place on the lawn of a National Historic Landmark, Marquette Park, which is at the foothills of Historic Fort Mackinac downtown across from the marina. Bring a picnic and tune in for some great live folk, rock, country, blues–the best of Americana. All concerts are free. We do recommend bringing a blanket or lawn chairs for your comfort.


Visit Mackinac Arts Council Website >>>>



Mackinac Island Fudge Festival – August 21 – 23, 2015

Calling all Fudgies!!!

While fudge was not invented on Mackinac Island, Mackinac Island’s fudge has become the most popular fudge in America.

The Mackinac Island Fudge Festival celebrates the creamy goodness with events such as Dining Under the Influence of Fudge, Fudge on the Rocks, Michigan Craft Brew Beer Tastings, Great Turtle Slow Ride and the coveted “Daddy, I Want the Golden Ticket” vacation giveaway

Festival Events


Fudge on the Rocks

Island bartenders create frothy fudge-ilicious concoctions to tickle your inner fudgie. Ongoing all weekend.

Friday, August 21st

3pm-5pm Mackinac Island Beer Tasting at Pink Pony

Michigan’s own Arbor Brewing Company created Mackinac Island Fudge Stout especially for the festival. Try this amazing concoction alongside more of Michigan’s best craft beers at Pink Pony

6pm-9pm Mary’s Bistro Fudge Dinner-Ryba’s Fudge inspired dinner & desserts and don’t forget to get things started with their fabulous Ryba’s Fudge Martini!

Saturday, August 22nd

Fudge Making Demonstrations:

1pm Fudge Making Demonstration – Locations TBD

2pm Fudge Making Demonstration – Locations TBD

3pm Fudge Making Demonstration – Locations TBD

4pm Fudge Making Demonstration – Locations TBD

5pm Fudge Making Demonstration – Locations TBD
3pm-5pm Mackinac Island Beer Tasting at Pink Pony

Michigan’s own Arbor Brewing Company created Mackinac Island Fudge Stout especially for the festival. Try this amazing concoction alongside more of Michigan’s best craft beers at Pink Pony
6pm-9pm Mary’s Bistro Fudge Dinner-Ryba’s Fudge inspired dinner & desserts and don’t forget to get things started with their fabulously delicious Ryba’s Fudge Martini

Fun-Day Fudge- Day on a Sunday, August 23rd

10am Ryba’s Fudge Loompahs Golden Ticket Delivery

See the loompahs deliver the Golden Tickets to the select fudge shops on Main Street with Lars, the most magnificent Friesian Horse.

12:30pm Mackinac Island Fudge Giveaway!

First 100 kids to check in at Windermere Point receive a 1/2 lb box of fudge!

1pm – 3pm Draught House’s Beer and Fudge Tasting

Visit Mackinac Island’s first tap room for a Get Weird with Beer Tasting. 4 fudge inspired plated dishes will be available.

1pm Great Turtle Slow Ride

Hit the brakes! Go as slow as possible without setting a foot on the ground to balance. Prizes including an overnight stay at Windermere Hotel and Fudge Baskets! Windermere Point.

1:30 Sugar Relay

Teams of four compete at carrying bags of sugar on picturesque Windermere Point! Teams aged 15 and under will try to cross the finish line first with a 25 lb. bag of sugar while teams with participants 16 years old and up will carry a 50 lb bag of sugar.

2pm-4pm Daddy…I want the Golden Ticket!

Win a vacation by finding the Golden Ticket at select Island fudge shops. You may also fill out the entry form the Tourism Bureau on Main Street for your free chance to win the Golden Ticket. The last ticket will be drawn at the Tourism Bureau at 4pm (next to Mackinac Island Carriage Tours).


Visit Mackinac Island Fudge Festival Website >>>>



Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse – August 28 – 29, 2015

Festival of the Horse

Join us for Mackinac Island, Michigan’s Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse on August 28 – 29, 2015!

The 2015 Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse will be featuring Betsy VanDyke and her Danish Warmblood, “Tanner”

Festival of the Horse Quick Links

• Festival Events Schedule

• Videos From Previous Years

Please check back or click through to the Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse website for the latest information.

Interested in helping us preserve Mackinac’s horse culture? Become a sponsor of the festival.

Festival of the Horse News Links

• Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse – Part II (The Breed Show) 7/27/2010 (via Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog)
In a copy of the Mackinac Horsemen’s Association publication, “Mackinac Hoofbeats”, Phil Porter (Director of the Mackinac Island Historic State Parks) talks about the importance of the horse on the island. He says, “I don’t think people always realize the full impact of the auto ban,” referring to the 1898 prohibition of automobiles. “Because cars were banned so early, the island never changed to accommodate an automotive world.

• The Festival of the Horse – Part I 7/26/2010 (via Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog)
If you love horses (which I do), can ride them (which I can’t), and can’t seem to ever get enough of them (which I never do) – the next two days of this blog are for you!

Learn more about Mackinac and horses at our Mackinac Horsemen’s Association website.

Visit Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse Website >>>>


The Grand Garden Show Featuring Proven Winners – August 30 – Sept. 1, 2015

Announcing the 3rd Annual Grand Garden Show.  Join us as the world’s largest summer hotel and the world’s #1 plant brand, Proven Winners, bring you a one of a kind garden show in a spectacular setting. Grand Hotel provides the perfect location for exciting hands-on demonstrations and presentations from some of the nation’s foremost garden design experts presented by Proven Winners.

Jamie Durie

Announcing presenting speaker, Jamie Durie. Jamie is an International award winning designer, host of HGTV’s show Outdoor Room, and host of the longest gardening program on PBS, The Victory Garden.

During this two day event you will also hear from Mackinac Island’s own award winning garden designer Jack Barnwell and PBS talk show host, gardening and lifestyle expert P.Allen Smith. Representatives from Proven Winners will also be available to present tips and tricks for successful gardening as well as some of their best kept secrets. This package includes a full breakfast and five-course dinner daily, evening receptions, garden tours and seminars- including private garden home tours around Mackinac Island.  View photos from last year’s event and video from the inaugural year.

Package Includes:

    • Accommodations
    • Full breakfast and five-course dinner daily
    • Sunday and Monday evening receptions
    • Monday and Tuesday morning seminars
    • Monday and Tuesday afternoon exclusive tours of private Mackinac Island gardens
    • Free admission to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum
    • Special discount on ferry boat tickets
    • No tipping within Grand Hotel

*Worth 5 Master Gardener Educational Credit Hours

Subject to 2% Mackinac Island assessment, Michigan 6% sales tax and a $8.00 per person baggage handling charge. *Dates subject to availability.  Additional adult and child rates apply.


Visit The Grand Garden Show Package at Grand Hotel >>>

Visit The Grand Garden Show Website >>>


Stroh Cottage Remodel – Jack Barnwell Design (Mackinac Island)



Grand Hotel’s Labor Day Jazz Weekend – September 4 – 7, 2015

Experience Grand Hotel during one of its finest musical weekends of the year. Escape to America’s Summer Place for this holiday weekend and immerse yourself in the melody of beautiful Jazz music played by some of the country’s top performers.

For your listening pleasure, you’re invited to enjoy the mastery of top jazz virtuoso’s during daytime concerts in the Tea Garden and evening performances in the Theatre. Package includes evening cocktail receptions, cookout luncheon in the Tea Garden Saturday and Sunday afternoons, full breakfast and five-course dinner daily, and all entertainment.

2015 Labor Day Jazz Performers

Announcing the opening performance of  Arturo Sandoval Friday evening in the Grand Hotel Theatre.

Arturo Sandoval

Arturo is a ten time Grammy Award winner, Emmy Award recipient, and six time Billboard Award Winner. Arturo also is the 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Beginning at age twelve Mr. Sandoval began studying classical trumpet and has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer. He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time. Arturo Sandoval’s versatility can be heard on recordings with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Michel Legrand, Bill Conti, and Stan Getz to Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Rod Stewart and Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, and Justin Timberlake. He has performed with John Williams with the Boston Pops, and in the Super bowl with Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle. Get ready for a mix of jazz, Latin jazz or classical sounds from one of the most multifaceted and renowned musicians today.


On Saturday afternoon in the Grand Hotel Tea Garden take in the sounds of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Alex Graham and the Grand Hotel Orchestra.

Now in their 35th year of performing the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is sure to entertain with traditional numbers bridging the sounds of both old and new. While traditional numbers infused with a DDBB flavor have always been crowd-pleasing staples of the group’s repertoire, it’s the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s willingness to look beyond the New Orleans songbook and find connections amongst a wider range of music that has endeared them to critics, fellow musicians and a multi-generational, global audience.

Saturday evening enjoy the jazz and cabaret sounds of grammy nominated vocalist, Jane Monheit in the Grand Hotel Theatre.

Jane Monheit

“Everything I’m singing now is a reflection of my truest self,” says Jane Monheit. “After all this time in the industry, after touring for 13 years, it’s time to just be me, with complete and utter freedom.” As a woman, wife, and mother, in her second decade of performing Jane embraces the emotional appeal of her personal life in her lyrics and performances. Her music is truly remarkable and will leave you behind with an unforgettable impression of great sound and meaning.

New York Voices

On Sunday afternoon  the New York Voices will perform  in the Grand Hotel Tea Garden. The Grammy Award winning, internationally acclaimed vocal group has refined their musical story to its finest. They are known for their inspired arrangements and unparalleled vocal blend. With deep interests rooted in jazz, Brazilian, R & B, classical, and pop, their variety of jazz ensembles will certainly be a favorite.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings enjoy the late night sounds of Tuck & Patti at The Jockey Club at The Grand Stand, located directly across from Grand Hotel. Tuck & Patti will perform outdoors under covered seating where you can sit back and enjoy their duo vocal and and guitar jazz performance with a cocktail from the bar. To understand Tuck & Patti, start with the wellspring of love within them, then their music begins to make perfect sense. Married 33 years, Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart continue to stoke the fires, not only of their own love, but also of their love of life and their passion for making music together. They have a long-standing tradition: Minimalist arrangements featuring Tuck’s extraordinary virtuosity and Patti’s rich mezzo soprano. Without even blinking, Tuck-the-problem-solver brags, “Patti writes and arranges; I am just the orchestra.”

Tuck & Patti

Every evening in the Cupola Bar you can enjoy the bass sounds of Paul Keller.

Paul Keller

Paul is string bassist from Metro Detroit. Today, Paul is one of the busiest bassists in the Detroit area. He has earned the nick-name “The House Bass Player For The State Of Michigan” as each year, he logs so many miles traveling across the state to perform at various music venues. Mr. Keller is an integral part of Labor Day Jazz Weekend every year and we welcome him back this year.

Sign up for our eclub and watch our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.


Weekend sponsored by:

Package Includes:

  • Accommodations
  • Full breakfast and five-course dinner daily
  • Friday evening Welcome Reception
  • Friday evening performance
  • Saturday afternoon Tea Garden performance
  • Saturday evening reception
  • Sunday morning performance
  • All entertainment
  • Cookout luncheon in Tea Garden Saturday and Sunday afternoons
  • Free admission to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum
  • Special discount on ferry boat tickets
  • No tipping within Grand Hotel

Subject to Michigan 6% sales tax, 2% Mackinac Island assessment and a $8.00 per person baggage handling charge. Regular additional adult and children’s rates apply. *Dates subject to availability.

Arrive: Friday, September 4, 2015
Depart: Monday, September 7, 2015

Package Price:

$1,949 per couple, $1,659 single
$599 per additional adult


For Grand Hotel Lodging Packages Click Here!


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