After crossing the ferry, you'll find a vacation worth wagging about in the pet-friendly charm of Mackinac Island, Michigan! The majority of the island is made up of the Mackinac Island State Park, but the downtown area hosts a "ka-fido-scope" of the quintessential Michigan vacation. You can sail out into the Straits of Mackinac on a modern cruise ship or a vessel decked out from the 19th century. Or you can head into the mainland to explore the state park punctuated by the elms, cedars, and pines that make for furrific views while you hike with Fido. Looping the island is a 7.9-mile trail that walks the perimeter of Mackinac — the beach on one side, the park on the other. It's Fido's dream come true!
Dog owners love living and visiting Mackinac Island. There is a veterinarian and a pet groomer right on the island, so you won't have to hop on a boat to take care of your dog. Any toys, treats, or dog food you can grab at any of the local grocery stores! If you're vacationing with the dogs and still want to enjoy the fine dining that Mackinac is famous for — no worries! There are 7 dog-friendly restaurants where you can sit outside and enjoy the trade wind breezes blowing off the lake! Fido can't wait to explore Mackinac Island!
Do your dogs bark with delight when you turn on historical documentaries? Sometimes Fido gets bored of watching from the window for squirrels and the mail-person! If your dog wants to get a piece of the historic action, then exploring the trails of Mackinac Island State Park is definitely the day-outing for you two! Over 80% of the island is made up of the state park, which means plenty of land to explore. You can hike the Native American Cultural History Trail to traverse the same lands the natives did hundreds of years ago or any one of the other 50 pathways of the Mackinac Island State Park Trail System. You can see where ancient seas, Ice Age glaciers, and 10,000 years of fluctuating lake water has morphed the land. Fido's got his leash and his travel guide ready!
Does your dog sit right at your feet as you eat dinner, waiting for a tiny morsel to fall to the ground? If your dog's an opportunistic eater, you can take him to some of the pet-friendly restaurants around Biddle Point. There's the aptly named Doghouse at the Windermere Hotel. Here, you can enjoy dogs of a different nature, like Polish sausage, brats with kraut, or a chili cheese dog! If your actual dog is not so much of a hot dog type of canine, you can check out the seafood at the Cawthorne's Village Inn. This pet-friendly spot serves dishes like The Yopper Whitefish Sandwich or the famous Mackinac Planked Whitefish. Bone A-Pet-Treat!
Does your dog have more energy than you know what to do with? Well, if you live off Astor Street, you can load up on sugar and caffeine to keep up with your perky Fido on long hikes across the island! If coffee's your "fur-st" choice, head over to the Lucky Bean Coffeehouse for a cup of gourmet coffee that will wake you up in the morning! If you're craving something sweet, you can also visit Murdick's Fudge. This sweet spot has opened their doors to furry ones since 1887! There are 21 flavors of homemade fudge at Murdick's, like Salt Toasted Double Coconut Chocolate and Michigan Maple Walnut. Both places on Astor Street are pet-friendly! Don't forget to bring treats for Fido so they don't get too jealous!
Does the way your dogs jump from your couch to your recliner make you think they reincarnated from birds? What about butterflies? If you visit Mission Point with your flighty four-legged fur-balls, you can visit the Butterfly House. You'll get your fill of eye-candy in the form of gorgeous flowers and tantalizing species of butterflies. The other half of the Butterfly House is devoted to the Insect House, where you can get up close and personal with animals like Guacamole, the Senegal chameleon. Or, if you're really daring, you and Fido can meet some of the Madagascar hissing cockroaches. No doubt, you'll probably have a huge "ap-pet-tite" after all the bugs! You can head down to the pet-friendly Round Island Bar & Grill for a burger and a cocktail! Fido's always invited!
Do your dogs wake you up with wet noses and even wetter kisses? If you live off Lake Shore Drive, that means it's time to grab the leash and head over to Marquette Park for an exploratory romp of the landscape. This park is developed, unlike the Mackinac Island State Park, so you won't need hiking boots to visit this one! Here, you and Fido can throw a picnic or explore Fort Mackinac! The park was the area where the soldiers of the fort used to grow their vegetables and potatoes in the 1800s. The fort itself sits on the bluffs behind Marquette Park and is open to the public to check this architectural relic of the past! Fido's will wag their tails in awe of Fort Mackinac!