Arnold Ferry w/ Your Dog
There are several choices in ferry line to get to Mackinac Island. (Boat and airplane are the only way to get to the island.) We chose the Arnold Ferry because their web site clearly stated that dogs are allowed and because there was an online coupon for $1 off adult fare. They have both fast Catamarans & normal (slow) ferries serving the island. They serve both St. Ignace & Mackinaw City. We rode from St. Ignace. The ride was about 20 minutes by Catamaran & 40 minutes by regular ferry.
- Family Travel
Horse Carriage Rides
Horse carriage rides cost a bit of money, but it's a pretty cool way to get around the island and learn more about its history from the guide. But it's kinda gross when you're sitting in the front seat right behind the horses and you gotta see them do their business!
The only practical way to get...
The only practical way to get to the island is via ferry. You can catch the ferry from St. Ignace in the UP or Mackinaw City below the bridge. Personally, I'd recommend you go from St. Ignace. The ride over is usually windy and can be chilly even in the middle of the summer, so bring a jacket. You can get gorgeous views of the Mackinac Bridge, the largest suspension bridge over freshwater in the world. The island is basically inaccessible during the off-season, unless you have a snowmobile and are willing to cross the ice bridge that forms each winter.
The only motor vehicles on the island are emergency, so forget about driving. Many tourists will rent bikes, which isn't bad as the island isn't really that big. Of course, it is quite hilly, so bikes aren't the best way to go if you want to go inland. You can hire a horse-drawn cab, and of course there are tours as well. All the major sites are very easily accessible.
The best (and ONLY!) way to...
The best (and ONLY!) way to get to Mackinac Island is by Ferry. There are a few different lines that run... unless you enjoy long not-so-smooth ferry rides, be sure to choose a line that offers the 'Hydro-plane' boat (try Shepler's or StarLine). Round-trip tickets run about $15.
Getting around Mackinac Island...
Getting around Mackinac Island is the fun part! NO CARS ALLOWED! You have your choice of renting a bike, hopping on a horse-drawn carriage, renting some horses, or exploring on foot.
I think everyone should take the carriage tour at least once, but if you're looking to see more of the island rent a bike. Mackinac Island has beautiful bike trails. Personally, I stay on foot.. not only is this the most cost-effective way to see the island, but the easiest if you plan to do some shopping.
Mackinaw Island Ferry
You can catch a ferry to the island from either sides of the bridge. They depart every half hour I believe.
Star Line Ferry
Star Line Ferry is one of the many ferry services that will get you from either St. Ignace or Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island.