I get asked this a lot. When is the best time to go? Honestly anytime is BUT there can be a lot said on that too.
Spring time you have to remember that not all the shops are fully opened or even staffed yet. You see college kids haven’t come to the island till about mid May so hours could be shorter or not open at all. That doesn’t mean to not go. You will almost feel like you have the place to yourself at times. During ferry hours the traffic may fill in gaps but not as much during peak season. Another thing is weather. Make sure to watch like a hawk leading up to your visit. This is also when you may think no I don’t need to pack this or that- if you have the room – do it. The weather can be such a different scale in 1 day. Spring is a fantastic time to see the island re-emerge after the cold months. Heck if the ice bridge happened in April they might have just truly broken up the ice 🧊.
Summer time. So as I shared before – when you stay on the island- each hotel, B&B, or resort will have various prices for different times of year. Peak summer doesn’t really start till end of June till Labor Day. A lot of it I feel is because Michigan schools get out later. Saying that doesn’t mean it’s not busy. It is starting to go into full swing. Here you will get everything open at normal times with full staff. NOW this past season, much like the rest of the world , staffing was hard. Canadian workers I know weren’t allowed to travel there- and there could have been other countries that this was an issue. So hopes by next season it’s all back to normal. If you are not a fan of busy crowds or waiting for food this isn’t the time for you. During the week in peak season might lighten a little but there could be a day that is full. So keep that in mind.
Fall visit. This has become my favorite time to go. I think because this is my favorite time of year. But mid August the staff loads lighten with college kids going back to school- and school kids returning as well. After Labor Day during the week is way less busy. Weekends could fill in but not like summer. The colors are so gorgeous you just sit and stare. Crisp mornings sipping coffee and hearing the horses clip clop by are just intoxicating. You also notice not as many horses. Why? A lot have left the island to go to a farm in Michigan for a few months of rest and fattening up 💜. Packing can be tricking but when in doubt bring it. Some shops have great sales to help unload inventory for end of season. The restaurants create fall inspired dishes that are mouth watering. I head back at the last full weekend everything is open and I cannot wait.
Winter time. Yes you can go in the winter. Know that there are bare places open. If you like to cross country ski or explore in snow- this is a perfect time. You have 2 restaurants or Doud’s Market along with 2 lodging choices. Pontiac Lodge or the baby Mission Point. NYE some places open for a fun filled event but then close back up. Know that if the lake freezes the only way over us either plane or snowmobile on the ice bridge (another blog on that later) I for sure want to go so badly at this time BUT here’s the thing. I am very clumsy. Being out on potential frozen paths is not a good idea. But if a weekend comes that it’s not snowy and I can go- trust me I will. I want to see it. You see pics of how quiet and remote it truly is blows my mind.