Mackinac Island 2014 Summer Preview

Enchanted weddings, Victorian hospitality, mouth-watering fudge, lilac blossoms, military and maritime history, romantic horse-drawn carriage tours the lure of Mackinac Island is absolutely mesmerizing. Known as one of the worlds best island destinations, Mackinac Island is one of the most unique tourist locations you'll ever experience.

Set majestically between Michigan's two peninsulas is the crown jewel, Mackinac Island. Known as one of the Top 10 Islands in the world, as noted by Conde Nast Traveler, and more recently as one of the Top 10 World Best Island Destinations by National Geographic Traveler, Mackinac Island is one of Michigan's most unique and popular tourist destinations.

Ft. Mackinac Tea Room, Mackinac Island State Park 
- Courtesy of Mackinac ISland State 

While most visitors think of Mackinac Island as a destination that closes for the winter, you'll be amazed to know this beautiful resort community is actually always open. However, the quieter, less populated winter months is when most construction and many property renovations happen. By May, horses return, ferries begin to run and businesses begin to open for the season. Here's a look at what's been happening on the island the new, the renovated and a few classic must-see attractions you'll want to experience this season.

Grand HotelWhere to stay...
Experience the magic of spending the night on Mackinac Island. No congestion, just the sound of soothing waves, freighters traversing the Great Lakes and the clip clop of horses transporting guests about the island. Step into a world of genteel hospitality and Victorian graciousness wake-up on this magical island and spend the day moving at the leisure tempo of a by-gone era.

A number of island hotels and resorts have spent the winter making renovations and getting ready to welcome travelers for this warm weather season. One notable addition includes the new Musser Suite at Grand Hotel. Named for Grand Hotel Chairman, R.D. Musser, the new addition will be the hotels first one-bedroom suite. Located at the west end of the fourth floor, the Carleton Varney decorated-suite features a king bed, a wet bar, and a separate parlor with spectacular views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac.

Where to eat...
The craft beer craze is sweeping Michigan and Mackinac Island will open its first taproom later this season. Located next to Marys Bistro downtown, the Draught House will offer 50 craft beers on tap. A majority of the beers will be Michigan brewed. The pub will also serve great homemade pretzels and bar cheese as the perfect compliment for its splendid beers.

Visitors to the Island will also enjoy the updated ambiance at the Island House Hotels 1852 Grill Room with its new seating, an expanded bar area, plus an expanded view of the Straits of Mackinac. The Grille Room offers casual fine dining in a cottage-inspired atmosphere.

The popular Goodfellows Italian Chop House--known for its pasta, chops, steaks, fresh seafood and fish, pizza, salads and soups has expanded to include a second location, the Goodfellows Bar & Grill, at the Bicycle Street Inn across from the Shepler dock. Both restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What to see and do...
Mackinac is known for its art galleries, featuring the works of Island residents as well as Mackinac Straits-area artists. This summer the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum will host the Places of Mackinac exhibit, which will feature artwork depicting the natural beauty, historic landmarks, iconic architecture, stunning vistas and other places that are uniquely Mackinac. Admission to the museum is free for overnight guests that stay at Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau-member properties.

This summer Mission Point Resort will host classes to reintroduce the art of flower pressing as an added-value for its guests. Participants will get instruction and create a stunning souvenir to take home to remember their visit to the island.

Arch Rock - Courtesy of Mackinac Island StateWith more than 80 percent of Mackinac Island located within Mackinac Island State Park, free of charge and open year-round, visitors can discover the natural gems of the island. Plan to visit the parkland by foot, bike, horseback or carriage to experience the geological wonders and unique historical monuments that can only be found on Mackinac Island.

Visitors are always amazed at the sight of the massive Arch Rock limestone formation located within the Mackinac Island State Park. The impressive rock formation was formed during the Nipissing post-glacial period and stands 46-feet above sea level on the Lake Huron shoreline.

Other favorite island attractions include:

Fort Mackinac
Mackinac Island Butterfly House
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
Mackinac Island Fudge
Bicycling & Bicycle Rentals 

June on Mackinac Island means one thing the lilacs are in bloom. Come celebrate this lovely flower at the 65th Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival June 6-15, 2014. Enjoy horse-drawn parades, concerts in the park, a lilac walk and talk, dancing and tours as the fragrance of lilacs floats through the air.

Music in the Park, Mackinac Island 
- Courtesy of Mackinac Island Tourism BureauThursday evenings come alive in Marquette Park located within Mackinac Island State Park with the popular Music in the Park summer series. Sit back and enjoy the delightful sounds and the spectacular view. Music in the Park, founded by the Mackinac Arts Council, has announced five unique acts for July 2014.

For a complete list of island summer events, visit the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau calendar of events.

So this season, leave the ordinary at home and set sail for this timeless and picturesque destination Mackinac Island awaits you!

More Late April 2014 eNewsletter Stories