Mackinac Island is hard to get to. After our exciting return trip from Edinburgh, we wanted something simpler. We flew from Memphis to Detroit with no checked bags and drove to Mackinaw City. We took the Star Line Ferry over to Mackinac Island. We bought tickets for the ferry online but we should have pre-paid for Self Park Secure parking as well.
The ferry ride is less than 30 minutes and you arrive in the center of the business district on Mackinac Island. The porters for the hotels will pick up your baggage and beat you back to your hotel. Take your time strolling down Main St. sampling the fudge.
We stayed at the Harbour View Inn. While it was a perfect location, I'll let you read my Tripadvisor review for the details.
We dined at several of the finer restaurants including The Pink Pony, the Carriage House, and the 1852 Grill Room. All three of them were exceptional. Reservations are pretty much mandatory.
We also dined at some of the more casual restaurants including Bill's Grill and Mighty Mac's. Like the finer restaurants, the food was great but no reservations were necessary. If you need incidentals, try Doud's Market.
We took the Mackinac Island Carriage Tour. That tour gives you insights into the island that you won't see from Main St. The waiting line looked long but it moved really fast. The tour is, of course, on a horse-drawn wagon. Once you get away from Main St., Mackinac Island is somewhat hilly so the horses kept getting swapped for fresh horses. There are a number of stops and 3 choices of how to exit the tour. Be sure and ask your driver where they're from. One of ours was from Romania and another was from Arkansas.
We elected to depart the tour at the Grand Hotel for ice cream and took a taxi back to our hotel.
The Grand Hotel is a destination in its own right and we returned the next day. There's a $10 charge for visiting it but it's well worth it. There are interesting shops and incredible views along the 660 ft. front porch. We had drinks in the Cupola Bar with a beautiful view.