The Insider's Guide to Vacationing in Northern Michigan

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Get our insider tips on what to see and do during your stay in northern Michigan.

Right in our own backyard awaits a magical journey back in time. Slow down and unwind on Mackinac Island, located about 36 miles north of Harbor Springs. After a 16-30 minute cruise to the island, these are your five must-dos to experience island life on Mackinac to the fullest.

1. Take an Island Tour on Horseback

Mackinac doesn’t permit motorized vehicles, so slow things down and experience Mackinac with a Cindy’s Riding Stable guided horseback tour of the island. Located on the historic Mackinac Island State Park’s 2500 acres, venture off on your own for a self-guided ride or follow the lead of a guide who knows the island best! Saddle horse rentals are $45 per hour, with options for a horse-drawn carriage from Jack’s Livery Stable, ideal if you have little ones in tow.


2. Set Sail

Cruise around the Straits of Mackinac with Captain David of Wild Honey Sailing Charters at the helm, or join Captain Dave of Sail Mackinac for a real adventure aboard his 50 foot offshore racing sailboat. Mark your calendars to hop aboard to watch the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, the world’s longest freshwater sailing event!  Lather up the sunscreen and bring an extra sweater for those brisk lake breezes! Take a cooler of refreshments and toast to what is sure to be unforgettable adventure!


3. Rent a Tandem Bike or Beach Cruiser

Grab your pal for a two-man island tour on a tandem bike. The most popular way to navigate Mackinac, nothing says summer like hoping on a beach cruiser to head into town or cruise the spectacular scenic shoreline. Hop off the ferry and head to Mackinac Island Bike Rental, located right off the ferry docks.


4. Sip N Sail at Sunset

Hop aboard the Island Royale Queen III, a  81″ vessel with room to spread out, sip on cocktails, and soak in unforgettable sunsets with a cruise under around the Mighty Mac. Arnold Line offers a wide variety of cruises offering sightseeing, cocktails and live music, and fireworks displays. Seating goes fast, so reserve first thing!


5. Mix and Mingle with the Locals at the “Pony”

The famous Pink Pony is the island go-to for locals and island visitors alike after a day of adventure around the island. Enjoy a casual dining experience with waterfront dining, unforgettable live music, and fresh, savory tastes.Mackinac-Island-The-Pink-Pony

About Kelsey Crawford

Kelsey Crawford is a reservation specialist and marketing manager for Holiday Vacation Rentals. A Michigan State University graduate, Kelsey has had the pleasure of working to create memorable Up North experiences for our guests. Outside of HVR, Kelsey enjoys ski instructing at Boyne Mountain and doing just about anything in the outdoors. View all posts by

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The Insider's Guide to Vacationing in Northern Michigan

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