mackinac island downtown scaled A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
· · ·

A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Mackinac Island is a beautiful little area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Accessible only by ferry, no cars are allowed on the island.  Instead, visitors must get around on a bicycle or by horse carriage.  It is a step back in time to visit, and well worth at least a two-day jaunt.

St. Ignace + the Ferry

There are two cities on the mainland of Michigan that you can catch the ferry to Mackinac: St. Ignace and Mackinac City. 

Since we’d already stayed in Mackinaw City last summer (see this post for those details), we opted to stay in St. Ignace this time.

Since we took our little Cairn Terrier with us, we wanted to stay in a dog-friendly motel. We stayed at the Bayview Lake Front Inn. We actually loved it.  Our favorite part was that there is a giant fire pit at night right by the water. It was so beautiful.

IMG 1085 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 2728 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

And they had the most unbelievable sunrise.  I stepped outside my motel door and this was the view right at sunrise.

IMG 2738 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 2730 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Can’t get much better than that!

Ferry to Mackinac Island

There are two ferry options: Star Line and Shepler’s. We went with Shepler’s. Tickets are $27 round-trip, and dogs are free! 

Since Mackinac doesn’t allow cars, we knew we’d be getting around on bike.  When I looked up bike rental prices, I quickly realized I am a cheapskate.  For a day’s rental, we’d pay at least $100. So opted to bring our own bikes.  For $12, they transport your bike and tag it with a license so you can use it on the island.  I would say $24 is a better deal than $200.

The ferries also provide a luggage transfer to your hotel. So they will actually tag your bags and get it to your place. We opted to keep ours since we only had backpacks. But, it would certainly have been easier to have them transport it for us.

Mackinac Island

IMG 1194 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Ah, the island of fudge shops, cycling, gorgeous sunsets, and horse poop. There are definitely a lot of pooper scoopers cleaning up the roads but get prepared to step in some.

By far the most popular Mackinac Island hotel to stay in is the Grand Hotel.  We had our dog, so we had to stay somewhere else, but we ended up loving the Sunset Condos. We had a great room, a little patio overlooking the woods, and a washer/dryer!

We spent the afternoon biking around the island. There is plenty to see.  We didn’t really have an itinerary other than just ride around and look.

IMG 1110 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 1127 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 1125 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
62E7771B A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 1108 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 1112 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Our dog Poppy didn’t love the ride so much, but we were glad to bring her. A couple of kids asked Jared what type of dog she was.  When he said “Cairn” they snickered and said “Karen? Can I speak to her manager?”

CFF770FB A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Sip n’ Sail Cruise

The highlight of the trip was the Sip n’ Sail Cruise.  They had live music, a cash bar (which they happened to be featuring my favorite that evening: Bourbon), and of course a sunset. It was one of the most unbelievable sunsets I’ve ever seen.  Pictures don’t do it justice.

IMG 1158 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
4F8285AB 6B9D 433B 8EF7 06887A24AD4C 8F25D525 1809 42E4 A24E 89B4F6C9C0AC A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 1167 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 20200721 211235 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
IMG 20200721 211252 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

My recommendation is to stay in the bottom of the ferry. Everyone goes to the top (which is freezing and more crowded), but we got the privacy of the view.  We just loved it!

IMG 20200721 210708 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Mackinac Island at Night

Not much is open after dark, but you’ll have the place to yourself. We got take-out from a restaurant and rode back to our condo after the cruise.

IMG 1187 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip
MVIMG 20200721 224015 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

The next morning was thunderstorms.  We had planned to ride around the island, but it looked like we had a short window of time to make it to the ferry in between rain showers.  We were able to make it, but not before we loaded up on fudge from the classic fudge joint: Murdick’s.

All-in-all, I’d say it was a great two days in Mackinac Island.

IMG 1103 A Dog-Friendly Visit to Mackinac Island | #MittenTrip

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. Have always wanted to see this beautiful Island and will some day! We have Balboa Island, also beautiful but loved the mini tour!

    Thank you Nina…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *