The Island Bookstore is one of my favorite stores on the island, even after working there for three months. People are often surprised by how up-to-date the titles are and how wide the variety is. The store is especially great if you want to learn about Mackinac. Island historical and fiction books are two of the most popular categories, and there are also many beautiful photography books. The store also carries all new general bestsellers and a tasteful sampling of most categories (including cooking, weddings, nature, children's books, magazines, westerns, and automotive, to name just a few!) Local authors come in to the shop regularly to sign books for customers. In addition, the bookstore sells many types of island souvenirs, from bookmarks to magnets. The homey atmosphere makes for a great store, and it's definitely one you don't want to miss.
What to pay: Book prices are the same as they are on the mainland.
Great Turtle Toys is more than a toy store. They are most famous for their kites, which are one of the first things that visitors notice as they come to the island (the shop flies the kites from Windermere Point most days). Aside from the biggest display of kites you've probably ever seen, they also have all sorts of games and oddities, puzzles and (of course) toys. It's worth a stop.
What to buy: Kites, of course! There are also a lot of interesting games that you won't find anywhere else.
What to pay: As with everything on Mackinac, it may be a little more expensive here than on the mainland. However, a lot of the items really are unique.
What to buy: Mackinac Island (and northern Michigan in general) is known for its fudge. They make the fudge in a variety of flavors and you can watch them make the fudge in most of the shops on Mackinac Island. To me, all of the fudge tastes the same (not a big fan of fudge), but I always buy some when I'm there. So - what is a fudgie? Anyone who buys fudge in northern Michigan who is not from there!
If you are stolling in the center of the island, and you are looking to get a bottled water or a roll of film, the Harrisonville General Store is just about the only place you're going to find. As you can tell by looking at the place, you are pretty far off the tourist-track here.