Mackinac Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Michigan. If you are taking your first trip to the island, there are certain issues you need to keep in mind. Knowing about these issues before your trip can save you time, money, and from frustration.
Don’t expect to be behind the wheel while checking out the sites as cars are not allowed on Mackinac Island. This is done to preserve the old-style roads and streets, reduce noise on the island, and make a safer environment for walkers, horseback riders, and bicyclists. There is plenty of parking in Mackinaw City and around the other locations which offer boat rides to the island.
Watch Where You Step
Horse drawn carriages are one of the mainstays on Mackinac Island and the city workers are very good at picking up what the horses leave laying in the street. From time to time, a “little something” gets away from the workers and gets trampled underfoot. Also, horseback riders who attempt to venture out of the marked territories on the island can leave surprises for your shoes as well. Make sure you pay attention to where you walk.
Be Mindful of the Horses
I was on Mackinac Island recently on saw a girl walk out into the road while her mind was focused on a text message she was sending. She almost walked in front of a horse. If the horse had bucked, she could have been injured or killed. At the same time, this endangered the people in the carriage behind the horse and everyone else in the general area.
Don’t Expect Vacancies
If you are planning on staying at one of the hotels on the island, including the famous Grand Hotel, make sure you have reservations. The hotels on Mackinac Island book months ahead of time so it is very rare for there to be on-the-spot vacancies. You will have a better chance of finding an open room in Mackinaw City or in one of the surrounding tourist towns.
If the boats cannot make it to the island due to ice during the winter, the island shuts down. When this occurs, the only type of travel allowed is by commuter plane or by helicopter if there is an emergency. If there are high winds or the visibility is low due to a snowstorm, whoever is on the island will be stuck until conditions improve. Keep this in mind if you are planning on heading to the island during the colder months. If inclement weather is predicted, authorities will often evacuate the island so everyone can get home safely before the storm hits. I was once stuck on the island for two days and would rather have the opportunity to leave at will in the future.
Mackinac Island has been rumored to be one of the most haunted locations in Michigan for as long as I can remember. Countless amateur paranormal investigators trek to the tourist location every year in an attempt to capture some type of evidence of paranormal activity. If you are going ghost hunting on Mackinac Island, make sure you pay attention to all of the posted regulation signs as there are parts of the island which are off limits for one reason or another and restrictions are enforced and can result in ticket or worse. This includes the “haunted caves” on the island as climbing might be off limits at certain times of the year and is not advised in the evening.
Mackinac Island is one of the most beautiful locations in Michigan. Countless travelers traverse the island every year, and there is no end in sight for the island keeping a top spot on the Michigan tourism list. Make sure you are mindful of these rules and standards before you go.