This Island Near Ontario Looks Like A Storybook & Is One Of The Best US Fall Destinations

It's car-free and full of horse-drawn carriages.

Mackinac Island.
Associate Editor

Mackinac Island.

Michael Deemer |, Courtesy of Mackinac Island

If you're planning a fall vacation then you'll want to pack your bags for this picturesque spot near Ontario. Mackinac Island, located on the waters of Lake Huron in Michigan was recently ranked the third best place in the U.S. to visit this fall.

On September 15, USA Today revealed the 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards for 2023 and Mackinac Island came in third for "the best places to visit in the U.S. during fall."

The enchanting, 4-square-mile island was praised for its "incredible vistas thanks to the region's high concentration of vibrant trees."

According to a press release, Mackinac Island is a "cherished" place for fall travellers and boasts "360-degree views of Lake Huron, scenic fall foliage, and quaint downtown that’s like something out of a movie."

The island is just a ferry ride away from Ontario with border crossings close to Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, and Sarnia. You can also visit the island by plane or cruise ship.

One of the most unique things about this destination is that it is car-free. Residents and tourists use bicycles, horse-drawn carriages and their own two feet to get around.

Mackinac Island was named the best summer destination in the U.S. for 2023 by USA Today as well, but fall brings a whole new kind of enchantment to the island.

You can indulge in free samples of the iconic Mackinac Island fudge, get spooked during Halloween Weekend, take in the crisp fall colours along the trails and enjoy deals at the local shops. You can also book a stay at the dreamy Grand Hotel or one of the island's other B&Bs, resorts and hotels, many of which offer lower rates during the fall.

The top fall destination in the U.S. for 2023 is Gatlinburg, Tennessee followed by Allegany County, Maryland.

If you're dreaming of vibrant leaves, a charming downtown and the sound of horses trotting along the street then this enchanting island is worth a visit.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Madeline Forsyth
Associate Editor
Madeline Forsyth is an Associate Travel Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Toronto, Ontario.