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“You learn a lot about the history of the Island on the Carriage Tour”

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
Ranked #1 of 12 Tours in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Narrated tours of this island that doesn't allow cars.
Michigan
Level Contributor
108 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“You learn a lot about the history of the Island on the Carriage Tour”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

I've been on two carriage ride tours on Mackinaw Island - one was a carriage that took 20+ people and the other was after I was married and we had a carriage that took 2 - 6 people. Both times I was amazed on the knowledge the drivers had about the island. The smaller carriage tour was better - we were able to tour the town and learned about the different homes on the island and who they belonged to and the history of different buildings. We learned about the fort and the church... It was pretty amazing! I would defiantly go on a carriage tour again when we go back to the island. It was GREAT!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank KLM1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
218 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Better ways to see the Island”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

This was our first visit to Mackinaw island. We had asked a couple people on the ferry ride over what was the best way to see the island and were told to take the carriage ride. Boy, were we in for a disappointment! Despite many carriages just waiting, we had an hour wait. Our first tour guide had a terrible script to follow but he at least made it tolerable. Part way through, we had to disembark, get in another line for another carriage for the rest of the tour. The 2nd tour guide was just flat out awful in his talking points. We didn't finish the tour and instead choose to walk back to town from the fort. Everything that we saw on the carriage tour is either walkable or an easy bike ride. Save your money. The carriage ride was a total rip off!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank casualtraveler2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
47 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Do this first thing when you get off the Ferry!”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

There is a lot to talk about at Mackinac Island so I will just focus on this tour.
This should be the first thing you do when you get to the island. (side note: Bring any map you have of the island with you since you will feel lost once you get off the boat) If you ask any of the numerous shop attendants where the carriage ride is located, they will all very kindly tell you that it is "right down the street". Head right. It is pretty far down and on the opposite side of the road. I had my slightly disabled Mother with me so it was a little hard on her with all the people walking on the sidewalk. Speaking of my Mom's trouble getting around, the workers on this tour were very accommodating and brought an extra step and a small platform to assist her.
The tour was a little expensive but well worth the money! After you pay, they will tell you to come back 10 minutes before departure and sit on the benches nearby. You will board a 2 horse carriage with numerous bench seats (roughly big enough for 4 adults) and the driver will introduce him or herself along with the horses. The drivers are all very kind, funny, and open. (Ours was Connor) They will take you through the historic streets pointing out buildings of interest including the Grand Hotel. They are knowledgeable about the islands history and will add jokes and stories when appropriate. The carriage will end at Surrey Hill. You exit the 2 horse carriage and are advised that, when ready, to meet and board a second carriage for the second half of the tour. At this stop, there is a butterfly conservatory. It was nice and only cost a few more dollars. My 13 year old daughter enjoyed having butterflies land on her. In the big green and red barn there are old time sleighs and carriages. There is no charge to view them. Now, here is the part that you MUST MUST MUST do......eat a donut!!! Oh. My. Goodness!!!!! The first building, where the carriage dropped you off, houses the MOST INCREDIBLE DONUT you will ever eat! I purchased glazed and a cinnamon for my Mom. They were small, warm, crispy and airy. We both agreed that we needed one more! I believe it was called Aunt Mary's or Saint Mary's. I don't even like donuts but the minute you walk into the building the smell of fresh sweetness hits you and beckons you like a siren to the rocky coast! Ok, ok, enough about that! :)
When you are ready, you will wait at the back of the building for a 3 horse green carriage to take you to the back half of the tour which ventures through the park areas and forests. You will get a new driver and new horses. (We had Katie) Again, the driver is funny and open and knows tons of history. It was very interesting and even held my daughter's attention. You will visit the beautiful Arch Rock. (No climbing but a great overlook) You will see the Fort and be given the option to exit the carriage and enter the fort for an additional cost (I think it was $16). As the tour winds down, you are given another option to depart the carriage and walk a short distance to the Grand. If you choose to stay on, you go back to Surrey Hill and get on a 2 horse carriage again and go back to where you started in town. The last driver doesn't do any talking but that's ok. Yes, the other drivers accept tips but they do not badger nor insist. Personally, I gave each one $2. If I could have afforded it, I would have given them more as they are very good at their job.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Cindy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Echo Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Really Disappointed”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

The whole ride was mostly about what The chambers own, rather then the island. You take a short trip up to another place were they drop you off. Push you thru a trinket shopping area, then get onto a bigger rig with three horses and take you out to arch rock, which is ok. Talking to island residents, they said that carriage tours don't own the rigs, they are owned by the 68 lease holders that get dividends for the year. We just happened to be on a tour that had a run away, were the horses bolted and they could not stop them. I felt really uneasy with that, and we had one person fell out of the carriage and had to be sent off the island to a hospital. The worst thing is all the carriages cluttering the roads and making traffic worst for tourist. And constantly be yelled at by carriage drivers to get out of there way. After checking into Mackinac Island laws, people have the right of way not the horses. But if you want a great horse and buggy ride go down to the park for the hourly tours. They give the best tour about the island, ask for Arrowhead Tours or Dale Golfs tour buggies. Those are the best tours on the island.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weaverville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
243 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“The Way to Go!!”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

The carriage tour of the island is the best way to see the place and learn its history and sights. The driver was funny and knowledgeable and kept the stops on schedule, which were just the right number. A great way to see main street and backstreets, the arch and more. Then plan your self-guided tour to spend time on what interests you.
The Star Line cruise was convenient going over and had a place to park our RV.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank going5star
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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