Mackinac Island has a downtown hotel, another restaurant that will remain open this winter

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI — One of the most well-known downtown hotels has announced it will stay open all winter, and another popular restaurant will do the same starting in December, giving Mackinac Island off-season visitors more options for the first time in years .

The Bicycle Street Inn & Suites will continue to take reservations at its Main Street location throughout the winter and will open 43 hotel rooms and larger suites to guests, General Manager Melanie Libby said.

“Accommodation options range from our beautiful yet simple rooms to our largest suites for up to six people. You get that gorgeous snowy downtown panorama from your balcony and you’re right in the middle of all the fun.

Winter on Mackinac has a much calmer vibe than the overcrowded summer season. Locals trade their bicycles for snowmobiles, and only a handful of horse teams remain to keep supplies and people moving through the streets. Unless there’s a winter event going on (you can check the list here) or a local street hockey game, the downtown area has a hush that only an island in the Strait of Mackinac can achieve.

Libby believes winter guests will find it a great way to disconnect and enjoy some quiet time. “Especially in winter for someone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s a wonderful way to do that.”

Planes still land at the island’s airport in the winter, and Star Line/Mackinac Island Ferry Company’s “Mighty Huron” winter ferry runs daily to and from the mainland when lake ice conditions permit.

Most of the island is state park, which means there are miles of trails for winter hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Stargazers will also find the night sky quite incomparable here.

Bicycle Street accommodations include a continental breakfast and afternoon snacks. Look here to make a reservation.

St. Anne’s Catholic Church, against a winter sunset in Mackinac Strait. Photo provided by Bicycle Street Inn & Suites.

Just down Main Street from the hotel, winter guests will also find The Mustang Lounge which is open year-round for food and drink. And this winter, The Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn will also be open for lunch and dinner from December. Chef Shawn Fearon, who has been running the vibrant restaurant here since 2019, said he wanted to try serving meals to locals and out-of-season travelers this winter. He’s already put together a winter menu, featuring some of his signature Jamaican flavors and some more Americanized dishes.

“I tend to cook for my audience,” Fearon laughed. “And I have the ability to be patient. Before winter, I patiently introduce my winter customers to Caribbean Jamaican cuisine.”

Fearon, who has been a staple of the island for over 20 years, believed this season would be a good season to test the waters with winter hours. “This is winter,” he said. “We’ll probably do it every year in the future.”

You can see Fearon’s delicious winter menu here.

Shawn Fearon

Shawn Fearon is executive chef at The Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn on Mackinac Island. Photo provided by Shawn Fearon.

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