When looking for places to stay on Mackinac Island, it can be overwhelming to select among the many options to find the room you’re looking for.
Location, amenities, style, size, and price are all top factors to consider when planning your trip. One could easily spend hours sifting through online reviews from a variety of sites, reading testimonials from guests who’ve stayed there, or asking for recommendations from personal friends or online travel groups.
I’ve taken the time and guesswork off your plate and will tell you about the different types of properties you can book a stay at on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
“The Jewel of the Great Lakes”, Mackinac Island is a haven full of unique, small town wonders, boasting a slower pace and generous hospitality. The Island is home to two large resorts, several smaller hotels, some cottages and rental homes, various condominiums and suites, and a great number of bed and breakfast properties.
One of the most unique facets is that no large-scale, franchise hotels have their footprint on the Island. While this may derail your plans to book a room by redeeming reward points, I truly believe Mackinac Island is worth your time.
I would strongly argue part of the charm of the island is that no two lodgings are the same or replicated from anywhere else. Read on for a variety of accommodations fitting any vacationer’s budget and taste.
Places To Stay on Mackinac Island: Resorts
With immeasurable views of Mackinac Island sitting atop the appropriately named Grand Hill, you’ll find the stately Grand Hotel, a staple on Mackinac Island since 1887.
USA Today once named it the Best Historic Hotel, and with rocking chairs scattered along the expansive front porch (they claim the world’s largest!), you will think about rocking back and forth for a relaxing afternoon before you even arrive on the Island.
Just like any opulent resort, the Grand Hotel is no exception when it comes to a bevy of luxurious rooms to select from when booking your stay. Each of their 397 guestrooms has been individually decorated, and many from the Named Rooms and Suites collection have been curated with a historical touch.
Each guestroom includes individually controlled air conditioning, complimentary WiFi, nightly turn-down service, and many more amenities, including many wonderful activities to choose from.
Rates include a “Full American Plan” with full breakfast and dinner daily; rooms start at $345 per person, per night. Featuring a color scheme of bold and bright hues, the more spacious suites (think Lilac, Commodore, Lord Astor, as well as a selection of First Ladies) start at $515 per person, per night.
The Grand Hotel boasts a sensational Afternoon Tea in the Parlor. Even if you book your accommodations elsewhere on Mackinac Island, this is a special treat not to be missed. Take a step back in time and enjoy tea, champagne, finger sandwiches, scones, and many delicious snacks while you enjoy a live music recital.
A fascinating destination with luxury amenities, stellar views, a variety of activities, warm hospitality, and plenty to offer for any traveler, the Grand Hotel is a resort worth your consideration when traveling to Mackinac Island.
The team at the Grand Hotel has considered all the finer details, ensuring you’ll enjoy a relaxing, enriching stay on their property.
Fun fact: The front porch of the Grand Hotel is the largest in the world coming in at 660 feet and arguable one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset. Treat yourself to a stay at the Grand and take a step back in time.
Mission Point Resort
Lush greenery and wraparound lakefront views are the amenities that nature provides to stir up anticipation for your stay at the Mission Point Resort.
Located on the sunrise side of Mackinac Island, this “Storybook Location” boasts a full service salon and spa, health club, 18-hole golf putting course, and much more to make your stay an unforgettable one. With its location away from town, it is one of the more secluded places to stay on Mackinac Island.
With five unique restaurants, you won’t need to leave the resort grounds to enjoy all the culinary offerings of Mackinac Island.
Enjoy house-made Italian pasta and wine at Chianti, casual sandwiches and burgers at the Round Island Bar & Grill, gourmet salads and Steak Frites paired with gorgeous views at the Bistro on the Greens, handcrafted lattes and lemon bars at Boxwood Coffeeshop & Café, or a custom selected meat and cheese board with private cellar vintages at Reserve Wine Bar.
Mission Point has 241 guestrooms situated in two separate lodges on their 18-acre property. The style is comfortable, understated, and inviting, with wood features and warm colors. Traditional Rooms start at $122 per night, while more expansive options, such as the Straits Lodge Hot Tub Suite, begin at $292 per night.
Mission Point is your ideal resort for a family getaway, professional function, romantic celebration, or even a special wedding. With recent awards from Conde Nast Traveler, The Knot, Trip Advisor, and Wedding Wire, you’ll see why everyone can’t stop raving about their World Class experience on Mackinac Island at Mission Point.
Mission Point is one of two paces to stay on Mackinac Island that is a true resort. Located on the east coast of the island and boasting the very best sunrise views, this resort should not be missed if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown and find some more downtime. One of the many wonderful amenities that Mission Point offers are the Adirondack chairs on their lawn overlooking the lake.
Hotels on Mackinac Island
Not looking for the amenities and activities of a large-scale resort? You’ll find all you need in a mid-sized hotel, with many desirable options found on Mackinac Island. Below is a snapshot of three excellent hotels on Mackinac Island that offer a stellar experience:
Bicycle Street Inn & Suites Waterfront Collection is located in the middle of Downtown Mackinac, situating you between shops, the waterfront, activities, nightlife, and much more just a brief walk or, fitting with the name, bike ride away. Bicycle Street Inn is one of the newer places to stay on Mackinac Island.
All 56 guestrooms on the property have air conditioning, and many include a balcony with panoramic waterfront views. All rooms are modern, updated, and spacious at this newer hotel, with suites garnering over 700 square feet. Continental breakfast and WiFi are complimentary, with room rates starting at $165 per night.
Interested in experiencing historic charm without sacrificing modern luxuries? Look no further than the Island House Hotel. Designated a member of the Historic Hotels of America as well as a State of Michigan landmark, this property was built in 1852, but has been well maintained by the Callawaert family since they purchased the hotel in 1969.
Located within the central Marina District, the Island House has 94 air-conditioned rooms, including several suites that have kitchenettes and dining spaces perfect for a traveling family. Notable amenities include a heated indoor pool and hot tubs. There’s even two restaurants on site: the Ice House BBQ for a relaxing lunch or afternoon cocktail, and the 1852 Grill Room to enjoy formal dining with a live pianist. Room rates at the Island House Hotel start at $109 per night.
While the Island House looks small from the road, it is rather large on the inside and has an elevator for guests who are staying on the higher floors.
A boutique hotel with sophisticated décor, Hotel Iroquois is located downtown with stellar waterfront views to match its pleasant setting. High-end furnishings are found throughout the property and its 45 guestrooms, with bold colors and traditional pieces blending together for a unique experience.
Envision yourself savoring your favorite cocktail at the Iroquois, either in the lounge enjoying a live piano, or on the veranda listening to the water gently crash.
Room rates start at $245 per night, including complimentary WiFi and premium bath amenities from Beekman 1802. With a stately Victorian style and custom designed suites and guestrooms, it’s no wonder the property has been named Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Small Hotel in the World”.
Pro tip – the Hotel Iroquois also offers one of the best areas to head out for a view of the sunset and the Mackinac Island bridge. If seeing those sunsets is something you want to do from your lodging, this would be one of the top places to do it from.
Great For a Group: Cottages, Rental Homes, and Condominiums
When traveling with your family or perhaps a larger group of friends, you can enjoy more amenities and share more space with a stand alone rental as opposed to several hotel rooms. Whether a long weekend or a few weeks in the summer are on your mind, there are many desirable options to consider when looking at places to stay on Mackinac Island.
You’ll find properties on Airbnb that offer the comforts of your home on Mackinac Island, but if you’re seeking the guidance of a local before booking your group’s stay, check out Mackinac Vacation Rentals. The company manages bookings for a number of homes and cottages, with options for groups large or small.
The Sunset Lake House is a prime option, with beautiful views of Michigan’s stunning sunsets on this oceanfront home. The five bedroom, three and a half bath cottage comfortably sleeps 14 people, perfect for a large group looking for places to stay on Mackinac Island. Contact Mackinac Vacation Rentals to book this property, or learn more about the group of homes they manage on the Island.
There are several condominiums available for rental on the Island, with shorter and longer-term rentals available for your group.
Check out Downtown Harbor Suites & Penthouse, with gorgeous waterfront views from an exclusive rooftop deck, this property includes air conditioning and either a kitchenette or full kitchen for your group, with Suite rates starting at $230 per night and the Penthouse starting at $560 per night. Your group will enjoy the space and location at any of these prime options on Mackinac Island.
Places To Stay on Mackinac Island: Bed and Breakfasts
Many book a trip with the desire to “live like the locals”, and Mackinac Island is the perfect backdrop to slow down the pace of your life.
With many family-owned bed and breakfast properties available, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the options. All include a lovely complimentary breakfast, but each unique property varies in what the owners/operators provide their guests.
A lot of guests return to the same place year after year because they say it is one of the best places to stay on Mackinac Island and have come to know the owners.
Mackinac Island boasts a tranquil atmosphere, outstanding hospitality, and luxury amenities with a small town feel. There are many charming accommodations to choose from in meeting your travel needs.
When you book one of these exceptional properties found on Mackinac Island, you’re only a quick stroll or bicycle ride away from perusing the Island’s local shops, famous fudge, waterfront marina, lake views, and gourmet cuisine.
While there are many more places to stay on Mackinac Island that we have not covered, we hope this article serves as a stepping stone in finding your perfect lodging on the island.
The island is seasonal and places to stay on Mackinac Island can book quickly. Make sure to book in advance to guarantee you get to stay where you want. Although no place is a bad place on the island to stay – you just need to decide what amenities you are after when booking your lodging on the island. If having a pool is a requirement for you or your family, then you will want to make sure you book a hotel that has one, and there are not many on the island.
Planning to stay more than just a couple days? I would recommend trying out a few different places to stay on Mackinac Island. As someone who has stayed in many places on the island, they all have their own charm and history about them. You might find that you love an unexpected place too.
Example: try a resort and a bed and breakfast. Get the large scale feel of the resort and the small town charm of the bed and breakfast.
IF all the places to stay on Mackinac Island are booked for your exact dates, play around with only staying one night at various places. I know it sounds like a hassle but the island is not that big and you spend most of your time exploring and doing stuff downtown. Alternatively, you could stay in Mackinaw City or St. Igance for a day or two and get day passes on the ferry until the lodging you want becomes available and you can move onto the island.
If you are looking for a selection of places to eat on the island (and I am well versed in eating all the things): read more
You will find there is no shortage of variety in terms of dining on the island. Want sushi one night? Go to Sushi Grand. Looking for something cheap and delicious? Hit the Mustang Lounge or Might Mac Burger. Planning a special event or night out and want an upscale meal? Look no further than The Woods. And if you love sweets just as much as I do, definitely plan to stop in all the fudge shops and try all the flavors before deciding which flavors you are planning to take home.
When you arrive to the ferry with your luggage, you will get it tagged and the dock porters will ask where you are staying on Mackinac Island. If one of your locations has luggage transferred from the dock when you arrive to the island, you will not need to worry about picking it up when the ferry gets there. Most of the big properties have this arrangement. Otherwise, after the ferry unloads, you can grab your luggage and either walk to your lodging or get a tax(a horse and carriage).
The Grand Hotel and Mission Point Resort both offer a shuttle to their respective properties and they do charge for this service. You will see their horse and carriage clearly labeled when you get off the ferry. You do not need to call ahead for this service and during peak season they run very often, so you will get to your place in no time.
Getting around the island is done in three ways: by foot, by horse or by bike. The island does not allow cars on the island and the only way you will see one is if there is an emergency. Since the island is just over 8 miles around, it is a popular route for those looking to rent bikes and get our and explore. Otherwise, you can easily walk the downtown areas or even around the island (I have done it) or take a taxi for around $5 per person each way, wherever you are headed.
Please note: bikes have been stolen on the island. It is not common and does not happen often, but it does happen. Make sure and lock your bike up so this does not happen to you.
Also – since there are no cars on the island, bikes are treated as the mode of transportation. Do NOT drink and drive on the, as you can get ticketed for for a DUI. It sounds crazy, but that is how it is on the island and its designed to keep you and all the other people and horses safe.
The island is home to amazing events that tend to keep things busy. Plan in advance if you are going for the Lilac Festival or the Yacht races.
Some of the top things to do on the island include: shopping on Main Street, eating fudge and white fish, taking a carriage tour, seeing Arch Rock, doing a sunset sail around the island, afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, watching a sunset or sunrise, doing a bar crawl, biking around the island, taking in a spa day, visiting the Butterfly House, and relaxing – because there are no cars on the island!
If you are looking to get married on the island, both resorts and various places on the island can accommodate your needs. Since the island is rather small and most of the tourist stuff is focused in the downtown area, your guests can really stay anywhere for your special day. However, if you want to keep everyone together and have a larger party, I would recommend a larger scale lodging. Also – book well in advance for this – maybe two years, but call to confirm.
As far as lodging views go, most of the places to stay on Mackinac Island are within the downtown region. The Grand Hotel is on the west side of the island back a couple blocks from the Main street and offers the most breathtaking views of the sunset and Mackinac Bridge. Alternatively, Mission Point Resort is located on the east end of the island and gives you the best sunrise views from their front lawn. I don’t think you could find a better sunrise location on the island, but I am up for the task when I return.
Lastly, weather happens. Summer months tend to be nicer with a breeze, but the early spring and fall can bring brisk temperatures, rain and even snow! My trip last October rained 90% of the time and most of the stores were sold out of sweater and warm weather selections because it was the tail end of the season. While you can find sweaters and warmer gear on the island, if you are coming during those time frames, plan to pack warmer clothing just in case.
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