Travel + Leisure names Mackinac Island No. 1 island in continental U.S.

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

The rest of the world is catching on to what Michiganians already know and have known: Mackinac Island is the best.

On Tuesday, Travel + Leisure named Mackinac the best island in the continental United States as part of its 2022 World's Best Awards. The annual awards are based on a survey of Travel & Leisure's 9 million readers of favorite destinations, hotels, properties and more. Hilton Head, South Carolina was last year's best island winner (Mackinac was No. 9).

“We are elated to be recognized by the readers of Travel + Leisure for this prestigious award,” said Tim Hygh, Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau executive director, in a press release. “Mackinac Island is a destination full of character that has made it a nostalgic place people keep coming back to time and time again. This accolade is not only a testament to the charm of the island, but the incredible community and businesses that make this destination so special.”

A horse-drawn carriage passes by the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island on June 19, 2022.

Measuring less than five square miles, Mackinac is known for its charm, horse-drawn carriages, natural landmarks, fudge and much more. Cars have been banned on Mackinac since the late 19th century and it was actually designated as the country's second national park. 

Other top islands in the continental United States, according to this year's World's Best Awards include Kiawah Island, South Carolina (No. 2); Nantucket, Massachusetts (No. 3); San Juan Islands, Washington (No. 4); and Golden Isles (Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, St. Simons Island), Georgia (No. 5).

The full list of Travel + Leisure's 2022 World’s Best Awards winners can be found in its August 2022 issue and at