This island near Ontario is absolutely magical during the winter season, and it looks like it belongs on a Christmas postcard. With snowy streets, twinkling lights, and old-time charm, it will whisk you away to another time.
Mackinac Island sits on the blue waters of Lake Huron and is part of Michigan. The spot of land has been dubbed the "Jewel Of The Great Lakes" and is a short trip from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
During the warmer months, the island is a bustling tourist destination. When the weather turns cold, things become very quiet, and the area transforms into a peaceful winter wonderland.
You can enjoy the "quiet beauty of the island" by snowshoeing, skiing, and hiking along the snowy trails. You can book a winter walking tour to learn more about the historic village and area. In January and February, there are lantern-lit ski and snowshoe trails.
At Christmas time, the island sparkles with lights, and, as there are no motorized vehicles permitted, horse-drawn carriages trot down the glistening streets. There are several holiday events such as the tree-lighting ceremony on December 2 and a theatre performance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
On New Year's Eve, there is a "Great Turtle Drop" outside the Lilac Tree Hotel, where a giant "festive turtle" is lowered from the top of the building.
A full list of stores, restaurants, and places to stay is available on the island's website. As for getting there, you can take the Mackinac Island Ferry from St. Ignace to the Island, weather permitting, but be prepared for a longer journey than the summer months. St. Ignace is less than an hour's drive from Sault Ste. Marie, so you don't have to go too far if you live in the area.
You can also take a plane ride with Fresh Air Aviation from St. Ignace to reach the island. Don't forget your passport!
Price: $41 round-trip ferry ride per adult
Address: Mackinac Island, Michigan
Why You Need To Go: This enchanting island looks like a Christmas fairytale and is a peaceful winter escape.
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.