10 New Things on Mackinac Island This Summer

The Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau fills us in on new hotel renovations, a beautiful bed and breakfast, immersive Fort Mackinac exhibits, ferry updates and more, just in time for the summer season. 

The Mackinac House

The luxury, 19-room bed & breakfast is set to open June 13 on Market Street. Have breakfast on the large front porch, then walk downtown, explore Fort Mackinac and come back for afternoon snacks. Delightful. Rates starting at $165. 

Photos courtesy of The Mackinac House & J. Scott Smith Visual Designs, Inc.

Bicycle Street Inn & Suites, Waterfront Collection

Located directly on Lake Huron by the Shepler’s Ferry dock, Waterfront Collection South, opening in May, has 28 guest rooms. Many rooms have Main Street or water views and walk-out balconies. Waterfront Collection North has 13 guest rooms and opened in 2015. 

Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry

A new island dock will have a separate luggage pod and covered staging area. Departing passengers can wait in a climate-controlled area protected from the weather. The dock also has a new ticket office, lighting and speaker system and has been widened by 10 feet and extended 25 feet.

On the mainland, new buses have been added to the fleet and improvements to parking operations in both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace will be completed in time for the summer season.

Mission Point Resort

The debut of 133 newly renovated guest rooms and suites completes the resort’s long-term renovation of all 241 rooms within both the Main and Straits Lodges. Guests can also look forward to new additions on the menus at Chianti, Round Island Bar & Grill and Bistro on the Greens by Executive Chef Matthew Nelson, and the guest gardening program—Mission Point was recently selected as Proven Winners’ newest Signature Garden.

Grand Hotel

Four new Cupola Suites will be done in time for opening weekend bringing the guest room total to 397 and a new concierge desk on the parlor level will be available for all guest-related services. In the stables, meet five new Hackney horses (now eight total). Hole #2 on the Jewel’s Grand nine portion will be redesigned—a creek is planned through the fairway adding a unique challenge to the par 4 hole. 

Island House Hotel

New decor in each of the 94 guest rooms and suites add to the hotel’s charm. Located on Main Street, Island House also has two onsite restaurants, bicycle rental, indoor heated pool and hot tubs and evening bonfires. 

Fort Mackinac

The renovated office exhibit (formerly Post Headquarters) will feature two updated period settings and new gallery spaces interpreting the training and duties of Fort Mackinac’s officers. The new North Blockhouse exhibit will plunge visitors in an immersive multimedia presentation allowing them to step back in time to the War of 1812 and experience the confusion, fear and drama of the British capture of Fort Mackinac on July 17, 1812.  

New tours and demonstrations for the 2019 season include an updated “People of Fort Mackinac” walking tour, a “Women of the Fort” walking tour and a Bayonet Drill Demonstration.

Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry

Use the new Tesla full-size supercharger station for electric cars at the Mackinaw City dock.

Mackinac Island State Park

The new Mackinac Island Botanical Trail, located along the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail, includes seven turnouts featuring plantings and interpretive signs about floral life unique to the island. There will also be several trailside benches. Late last season, the state park also installed a new bicycle repair station at the British Landing Nature Center. This station offers an air pump and common repair tools for use free of charge.

The state park’s Mackinac Island Artist-in-Residence program debuts in 2019. Rotating artists will be housed on the remodeled second floor of the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center on Main Street.

The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum

A new juried exhibition, “Visions of Mackinac,” will celebrate the museum’s 10th anniversary and encourage artists working in all media to share their visions of Mackinac Island. Subjects may be people, places, gardens, buildings, landscapes—any subject that best captures the artist’s creative vision of the island.