Mackinac Island hottest US summer destination

The Detroit News
Doug Saul, left, and Jason Barnes of Advanced Awnings place an ice cream parlor awning at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel.

Mackinac Island has been a summer mainstay for Michigan travelers since the Victorian era. But don't be surprised if more than Michiganians are looking to bask in its lakeside beauty. 

Travel planning and booking website TripAdvisor chose the old-timey seaside escape as its top hottest US destination for Summer 2018, calling it a "charming" throwback. 

The island beat out popular destinations like Ocean City, Maryland, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

"Mackinac is world-famous for its homemade fudge and travelers can work off sugar highs by exploring the limestone bluffs of Mackinac Island State Park," the site said in it's announcement. 

According to bookings on the site, the average cost for a person to spend a week on the island in the summer is $2,905.

TripAdvisor also highlighted some of the offerings available to travelers, including the average summer nightly hotel rate of $347 and round trip airfare to Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City for $476. Also mentioned: 

  • Least Expensive Summer Week and Savings: June 4 (8% savings)
  • Best Value Hotel: The Inn at Stonecliffe from $297 per night on TripAdvisor  
  • Fun Experience: Mackinaw City Sunset Cruise from $24 per person on TripAdvisor
  • Great Place to Eat with Family and Friends: Pink Pony

Mackinac Island first became a popular summer travel destination during the post-Civil War industrial age before the automobile, when vacationers traveled by large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit. To this day, cars are not allowed on the island.

By the 1890s, wealthy industrialists began building their own summer cottages on the island. It is also the location of the Michigan Governor's summer house. 

TripAdvisor determined the rankings by identifying the greatest increase in booking interest from spring to summer. 

Here are the top 10 US travel destinations this summer, according to TripAdvisor: 

  1. Mackinac Island, Michigan
  2. Bar Harbor, Maine
  3. Block Island, Rhode Island
  4. Lake George, New York
  5. West Yellowstone, Montana
  6. Ocean City, Maryland
  7. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
  8. Anchorage, Alaska
  9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  10. Nantucket, Massachusetts