A Mackinac Island Honeymoon for a Peaceful Getaway

See why travelers love this historic, peaceful island retreat in the US.
Aerial view of Mackinac Island, Michigan
Photo: Wiltser | Getty
Holly Riddle - The Knot Contributor.
by
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle - The Knot Contributor.
Holly Riddle
The Knot Contributor
  • Holly is a freelance contributor for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on travel, honeymooning and wedding planning.
  • Holly has been a travel, food and lifestyle freelancer for her entire career.
  • Holly also works for a range of publications and brands as a ghostwriter and marketing copywriter.
Updated Apr 29, 2024
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In the Northern Hemisphere, a Mackinac Island honeymoon awaits with romance, culture and history. This US honeymoon destination in Michigan (pronounced Mack-i-naw, for the uninitiated) is a somewhat-isolated Michigan Island situated in Lake Huron.

With its all-natural beauty, Victorian vibes and a no-motor-vehicles policy, you'll wonder why this romantic getaway wasn't on your radar sooner—especially since it could be the perfect anniversary destination for years to come.

Here's everything you need to know about planning a honeymoon in Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Island Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    A meadow filled with spring flowers paints a gorgeous pictures on Mackinac Island
    Photo: Gary Ennis | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Mackinac Island

    Given Mackinac Island's location in Michigan, a winter honeymoon isn't recommended to couples. Temperatures are frigid, plus most hotels are closed for the season. To enjoy the full range of the island's amenities, as well as spectacularly sunny weather, the best time to visit is between June and September. This island shines during the summer months (with mildly warm temperatures and crisp mornings).

    Best weather: June to September.
    Festival highlights: The Lilac Festival in early June celebrates the blooming of lilacs with parades, concerts and garden tours; the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August, with fudge-making demonstrations and tastings.

    Mackinac Island Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Mackinac Island is incredibly laid-back, while still remaining upscale. It serves as a lovely destination for those seeking a remote, outdoorsy getaway that still retains its material comforts.

    When planning your honeymoon on Mackinac Island, consider booking well in advance, especially if you aim to visit during peak season. Choose accommodations that offer special honeymoon packages, like spa services, romantic dinners or bike rentals. Also, check the local event calendar to align your visit with festivals or quieter times, depending on your preference.

    The stateside locale is just a bonus, for those wanting a quicker travel time or for those who'd like to save a little cash with an affordable destination.

    Entry requirements: You won't need your passport, but be sure to bring ID.
    Language:
    English.
    Location: Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron, between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.
    Currency: USD.
    Flight time to Destination: Flight times to the nearest airports (Pellston Regional Airport or Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport) from Chicago are approximately 1.5 hours, followed by a short drive and ferry ride to the island.
    Getting around: The unique charm of Mackinac Island is that no motor vehicles are allowed. Transportation options include walking, renting bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, and electric scooters.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your team of vendors. Find travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Mackinac Island honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Best Mackinac Island Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    Mackinac Island offers a range of honeymoon accommodations, from historic hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. Many will provide special romantic packages tailored for honeymooners. Here are our top picks.

    Mackinac Island Walkway
    Photo: Wiltser | Getty

    The Inn at Stonecliffe Mansion & Suites

    With its 1904 mansion setting, The Inn at Stonecliffe delivers true charm, and it's upping the ante even more with recent revisions in preparation for a 2023 reopening. Book a stay in one of the mansion rooms for the best views, and check out the grounds if you're considering a destination wedding. The property is a popular pick for couples seeking a lush setting with lake views for their reception. It's a perfect honeymoon spot for a relaxed getaway too.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

    For a more resort-style experience, book a stay at the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island. Likely the island's most recognizable property, the Grand Hotel includes a scenic and vast veranda that welcomes its guests. Around since 1887, this property is a National Historic Landmark and proudly boasts the nickname of "America's Summer Palace." With an elegant parlor, croquet on the lawn, fine dining options, a tea garden and its own orchestra, the Grand Hotel definitely delivers a grand honeymoon experience.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Mission Point Resort

    This award-winning property right on the waterfront offers plenty to keep couples preoccupied, including yoga, cycling and spa treatments. Set within a historic resort-style setting, Mission Point Resort boasts five restaurants on property, as well as two separate lodging options. With loads of greenery on its sprawling grounds, couples will feel like they're truly on their own little island. Plus, it's close enough to Mackinaw City.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for Mackinac Island accommodations that'll provide you more privacy or lower prices, you may want to consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Mackinac Island Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    Admire the Island's Natural Beauty

    We've already mentioned it a few times: Mackinac Island is a destination for nature lovers. Couples will want to plan a visit to Mackinac Island State Park (among the top-rated spots in the world) for thick forestry and jagged cliffs overlooking the water. At Arch Rock, hike to the lookout point for a beautiful perspective of the water. If you'd rather enjoy the flora and fauna, without the need for bug spray, visit the Mackinac Island Butterfly House. It's a magical experience that features hundreds of these whimsical insects.

    Discover Mackinac Island's Historic Side

    One look at Mackinac Island's architecture and you'll easily identify the island's Victorian heritage. Take a Mackinac Island carriage tour to see some of the island's best architecture, at a slow trot (because what's more romantic than a carriage ride?). For a tour that's a little more on the spooky side, try a Haunts of Mackinac tour, which blends history with haunts for a fun little nighttime diversion. For historic touring at your own pace, pay a visit to Fort Mackinac, founded in 1780, for not only history, but also lovely water views and a charming dining experience in the Fort Mackinac Tea Room.

    Enjoy a Tasty Treat

    Fudge is serious business on Mackinac Island. Prepare your sweet tooth (and your sweetie) ahead of time, because you'll be chowing down on a lot of this sugary treat during your trip. The world-famous fudge is wildly popular with summertime visitors on annual Mackinac Island vacations, who flock to the downtown shops to enjoy their portion of the more than 10,000 pounds of fudge made daily during the summer. Beyond just buying your favorite flavors, stick around to watch the shops making their fudge. Favorite fudge hot spots include Ryba's and May's.

    Pro tip: Add Mackinac Island honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so that loved ones can give you one of these memorable couples activities. Make sure to post a few photos to your wedding website—this way all of your guests (even those without Instagram) will be able to see what you're up to.

    What to Pack for a Mackinac Island Honeymoon

    Snow settles in the early morning over the peaceful and scenic Mackinac Island.
    Photo: Layne Kennedy | Getty

    Along with honeymoon basics, your packing checklist should include comfortable daytime wear for walking around the island and sightseeing.

    Most will want to include hiking boots and athleisure clothing in their honeymoon luggage, especially if exploring nature or visiting the state park is on the itinerary. Plan to bring something a little dressier for evening meals. Additionally, pack layers to greet the moody temperatures that filter through the Straits of Mackinac.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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