Mackinac Island Carriage Tours & Taxis

7278 Main Street
Mackinac Island, Michigan 49757
(906) 847-3325

May 5 - late October 2023
Adults & Seniors:  $39  5 - 12 years:  $16

Carriage Tour Hours       Private Carriage Tours
Mackinac Island Horse Drawn Taxi
Mackinac Island Home

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Carriage tours of Mackinac Island, Michigan officially began in 1869 when the first city carriage license was issued. Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, Inc. was established in 1946, and is the oldest and largest horse and buggy livery in the world. It has approximately 100 freight & passenger carriages powered by over 400 horses. Mackinac Island Carriage Tour horses consume over 1250 tons of hay, 370 tons of oats and 250 tons of special feed supplements each season. All but a few of the horses spend the winter on the mainland.

The carriage tour is a good way to orient yourself and start a day trip or extended vacation on Mackinac Island. The Carriage Tour ticket office is located in the center of downtown Mackinac Island, across from Star Line Ferry dock #1. Unless it is a very slow time, your ticket will have a time stamped on it and you will have some time to shop before returning to the the street in front of the ticket office when your tour is scheduled.

Tours take about 1 hour and 45 minutes and start with a pass down Main Street and back along Market Street past the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, Mackinac Island City Hall, John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company Office and other Mackinac Island attractions. The tour will turn up Grand Avenue past the end of the Grand Hotel.

No reservations.

Mackinac Island pictures
Mackinac Island

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery

Mackinac Island in Winter

Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island, Michigan
The Grand Hotel

The narrated carriage tour continues inland and most of the year it stops at the Surrey Hills Carriage Museum where you will leave the two horse hitch carriage which brought you from downtown. Very early or late in the season, the museum may be closed and you will take the entire tour in the smaller carriage, but most of the year this is your opportunity to visit the carriage museum. The Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory is next door for an additional fee.

The Carriage Museum has a neat display of historic carriages, including a horse drawn hearse that is still used for Mackinac Island funerals today. There are also gift shops and a place to have a snack before starting the main part of the tour.

Surrey Hills Carriage Museum - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Surrey Hills Carriage Museum

After the break at the Carriage Museum, you board a larger 35 passenger, three hitch carriage to travel through the interior of Mackinac Island and Mackinac Island State Park. Along the way, your driver will point out wild flowers and other island feature such as the three cemeteries, Skull Cave and the Fort Holmes Rifle Range.

Three hitch carriage - Mackinac Island Carriage Tour
Three hitch carriage

Aboard a Mackinac Island three hitch carriage
Riding through the boreal forest of Mackinac Island State Park - Mackinac Island was the second US National Park,
but was transferred to the State of Michigan and became the first Michigan State Park in 1895.

Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery
The earliest burials in the Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery date to the 1820s

Skull Cave was the hiding place for English Fur Trader Alexander Henry during Pontiac's Uprising

The next stop on the tour is at Arch Rock for a 5-10 minute visit of the beautiful natural limestone arch. Arch Rock is at the top of a bluff, 145 feet about the Straits of Mackinac and offers a spectacular view. This is also a chance to take a rest room break.

Arch Rock - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Arch Rock - Mackinac Island State Park

Mackinac Island shore from Arch Rock
View from Arch Rock - notice M-185 passing along the shore - no automobiles may drive on this state highway

You reboard the same carriage to continue your tour. Near the end of this stretch of the drive, you will pass the Scout Barracks which accommodates up to 54 Michigan Boy and Girls Scouts participating in the Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp and Governor's Honor Guard. The program began with eight Eagle Scouts in 1929. one of whom was Gerald Ford, who became the thirty eighth President of the United States. Over 30,000 youth have participated over the years and the two story barracks was constructed in 1935.

The next stop is at Fort Mackinac, where you may leave the tour to visit the 18th Century Fort (fee) without having to climb the hill from the city below. Following a tour of the Fort, you may rejoin the carriage tour as space is available or continue on your own.

Fort Mackinac - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Fort Mackinac Avenue of Flags

19th Century US solider on Mackinac Island
Costumed guide making a pitch for tourists to visit Fort Mackinac

The carriage tour continues past the 1902 Governor's Summer Residence. The three story 1902 mansion has been the summer residence of Michigan governor's since 1945.

Your carriage will now return to the Surrey Hills Carriage Museum where you transfer back to a smaller carriage for the return to downtown Mackinac Island. As that carriage passes the Grand Hotel, you may disembark to go to the hotel. If you leave the tour at the Grand Hotel, that will be the end of your tour.

2022 Public Tour Hours
    May - mid June.........................9AM - 3PM
    Mid June - Labor Day..............9AM - 5PM
    Labor Day - Late September...9AM - 3PM
    October......................................9AM - 2PM
Private Carriage Tours

Private tours are also available, using carriages which will seat up to 8 people. The pricing with Mackinac Island Carriage Tours is $200 per hour for 4 people or less and $50/hour for each additional person. Private Livery reservations are taken on the same day only. Call the ticket office at (906) 847-3325 after 9:00 on the day of your tour and ask for the Private Livery department in order to make a reservation.

Private tours are also available with Gough Carriages (906 847-1053) starting May 15, 2023 mid until mid October. You can have this tour take you places that are not as heavily visited and enjoy getting to know the driver, who will probably be a Mackinac Island native. The price for these tours also starts at $200 per hour for up to 4 people with additional fees for additional passengers. These tours depart from the street in front of Marquette Park below Fort Mackinac and you will see the surreys lined up during business hours. Many people stop by the front of the line to schedule their tour or you can reserve a tour at (906) 847-1053 on the day of the tour.

Here is is what we experienced during a private tour. This is a neat way to have a different experience on Mackinac Island and is worth doing even if you have taken a standard carriage tour. The hours may very depending on the amount of business. That tour was with Arrowhead Carriages, who were since absorbed into Gough Carriages. 

Cough Carriages also has wedding carriages available.

Arrowhead Carriages on Mackinac Island
Private Carriage Tours of Mackinac Island

Sugar Loaf on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Private tours let you visit things that you wouldn't see on a public tour, such as Great Turtle Park, Harrisonville
(where many year around residents live), Sugar Loaf, or Fort Holmes (highest point on the Island

Horse Drawn Taxi Rides

Don't have the time or budget for a carriage tour, but you would like your family to ride a horse drawn carriage while they are on Mackinac Island?

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, Inc. provides radio dispatched horse drawn taxi cabs year around. During the summer season they are available 24 hours per day. November through April the taxi is by appointment only. 

Between downtown locations and the Grand Hotel, the fare is $7 with a two person minimum (Children 5-12 riding with an adult are half price). With longer rides the fare goes up and a ride as far British Landing on the far side of the island is $9.50 with a four person minimum, so $76 would permit a party of 4 to ride to the far side of the island and return.

Call (906) 847-3323 to request a taxi. No bicycles permitted. Cash only.

 Mackinac Island home Mackinac Island in winter

Lighthouses of the Straits of Mackinac     Mighty Mac Home

Copyright 2008-2023 by Keith Stokes