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Best shuttle over to the island

Birmingham, Michigan
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63 posts
45 reviews
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Best shuttle over to the island

We are staying on the island ... arriving Friday and leaving Sunday over this coming weekend (4th of July). Seems to be different places to catch a ferry over to the island. Any recommendations on the best place to catch the ferry, best place to park, should we get tickets for the ferry in advance on line or when we arrive? We are taking bikes on the ferry as well.

Thanks!

Indianapolis...
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407 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Best shuttle over to the island

There are 3 different ferry lines to the Island. You will get different answers on which one is the best from folks here. I really think there isn't much difference between them, but my preference is for Shepler's out of St. Ignace.

We come from the south and like to go across the Mackinac Bridge and catch the ferry from the other side. We find it much less busy, and we have never had any problems. Everyone is always very friendly and eager to help. We use the free parking on site and never have experienced issues with that. If you want to have valet parking, that might be nice to have your car waiting for you, but we haven't needed it. They tag and load your luggage and bikes for you.

You don't have to purchase your tickets ahead of time, but you might save a few dollars if you do. I've seen many online specials for the ferries this year. Best place to find them all is to go to mackinacisland.org and click on the "getting here" tab at the bottom of the screen. It gives you links to all 3 lines, and other useful information as well.

Have a great time!

Mentioned in this post
Mackinac Bridge
Mackinac Bridge
950 Reviews
Mackinaw City, MI
Saint Ignace
Saint Ignace
Mackinac County, MI
Kansas
Destination Expert
for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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4,991 posts
263 reviews
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2. Re: Best shuttle over to the island

Cost and speed is about the same for all of the ferries. Parking is safe and (unles you want special service) free at all of them. I like to take Shepler's, but that is personal preference.

Going from the Mackinaw City side is 4 or 5 minutes longer, but gives you a better view of the Bridge and Straits of Mackinac.

You save a couple of dollars off a ticket if you buy it online.

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Mackinaw City
Mackinaw City
Cheboygan County, MI
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac County, MI
Manistique, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Manistique, Curtis
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1,799 posts
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3. Re: Best shuttle over to the island

Click the link below to go to the web site that kdets89 spoke of -

http://www.mackinacisland.org/

Atlanta, Georgia
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281 posts
22 reviews
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4. Re: Best shuttle over to the island

Everyone is right on target with their answers, so I'll mention just two other things.

If you can't buy your tickets online (where you'll save $2/ticket), be sure to ask if they offer discounts to AAA members. Last month the person ahead of me in line at Sheplers received a discount when they asked.

Second, the Arnold Line dock is closer to the east end of downtown, next to the Chippewa/Murray/Lilac Tree Hotels.

Sheplers and Star Line are toward the east side of downtown, close to Main St. Inn, Windermere and Iriquois hotels. If you do need to pull your luggage to your destination, you might as well try to be close as possible.

I agree that driving across the bridge is nice if you haven't done that before and St. Ignace is generally not as crowded. Mackinaw City offers a shopping area and more restaurants, but when we go it's simply the place to park the car for a few days.

Have a great trip!

Mentioned in this post
Murray Hotel
Murray Hotel
280 Reviews
Mackinac Island, MI
Saint Ignace
Saint Ignace
Mackinac County, MI
Mackinaw City
Mackinaw City
Cheboygan County, MI
5. Re: Best shuttle over to the island

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