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Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

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Atlanta, Georgia
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143 posts
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Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

We are planning to stop at Mackinac Island on our way from Traverse City to Munising on the 4th of July. If possible we would like to take the 10am Might Mac ferry. Here are my questions:

1.) Which is better to catch the ferry: St. Ignace or Mackinaw City?

2.) Approximately how long is the drive? Is googlemaps pretty accurate on their time estimates? It gives an estimated time of 2 hours 9 minutes from the Cherry Tree.

3.) Should I pre-purchase ferry tickets seeing that it is July 4th? Are the tickets time specific?

4.) Will rental bikes on the island be hard to come by considering the holiday?

Thanks

RamblingRose

Atlanta, Georgia
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281 posts
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1. Re: Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

Here are my suggestions:

Drive across the Mackinac Bridge and catch the ferry in St. Ignace. It's usually a little less busy there, but both Shepler's and Star Line are running departures every half-hour with a couple of Mighty Mac trips. I'd suggest the 9AM departure to help get you to the island earlier. Arnold Line is running once an hour.

The drive time sounds about right, but traffic and how often you stop could slow you down.

Purchase your tickets online and print them before you leave home. They are good for the entire season, not day or time specific. You will save $2-$3 a person by purchasing online. We travel on Shepler's and they make buying online easy. I'd also suggest not paying for any parking, just lock your car.

We were on the island last 4th of July and it's pretty crowded. The earlier you arrive on the island, the better. The bike shops can usually handle the capacity, but sometimes it may take a short walk to the next shop to find a bike.

There are several events downtown between 1PM and 3PM at Windermere Point, so be sure to visit if you're bringing kids.

Have fun!

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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2. Re: Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

That early in the day, I would guess at a minute or two under two hours to the docks in Mackinaw City, with another 10 minutes - 12 minutes to the Docks in St. Ignace.

I think the views are better departing from Mackinaw City. even on the departures that pass under the Bridge, but particularly on those that do not.

I've never seen a shortage of bikes.

Although the 4th will be busy, it isn't the peak. That is mid July to mid August.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

Do the ferries quickly meet their maximum capacity, especially the early MM ferries, where we would have to wait for the next one? What is the parking like (i.e. 20 minutes to park & walk to the dock)?

I think we'll definitely try for one of the earlier ones.

Thanks

Atlanta, Georgia
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281 posts
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4. Re: Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

If you take the 9:00am Shepler's Mighty Mac departure, you'll get the bridge view close-up and arrive on the island before the heavy crowds...which won't be far behind, time-wise. Only a few times have I ever seen a line not completely seated on the upcoming departure.

Arrive at the dock 20-25 minutes prior to your departure time as you'll need to park and get your e-tix exchanged for paper tickets prior to boarding the ferry. Those few extra minutes also mean you will likely be toward the front of the line for the next boat.

5. Re: Ferry to Mackinac Island on July 4th

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