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4 Best Mackinaw City Campgrounds for Enjoying Michigan Summers

You’ll find great places to stay in Mackinaw City campgrounds during your trip to where Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas meet. You’ll have plenty of things to do and see on water and land, from views of the famous Mackinac Bridge to biking around Mackinac Island.

And, of course, there’s all that fudge. You heard us right; keep reading to learn more!

Pure Michigan Month of Travel! | VLOG #54
You’ll see us crossing the Mighty Mackinac Bridge in this short early vlog from 2016.

Why You Should Visit Mackinaw City

Mackinaw City is on the northernmost tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It’s the gateway to the Upper Peninsula. It’s also where the five-mile-long majestic Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas and separates Lake Michigan from Lake Huron. When you drive across the bridge, you can look to the west to see Lake Michigan and to the east to see Lake Huron. 

It’s a busy little town in the summer months. It has a variety of shops, restaurants, and fudge shops. Mackinac Island, a popular tourist destination accessible by ferry from Mackinaw City, is famous for its fudge. You can choose from chocolate fudge, peanut butter, mint chocolate chip, coconut, and the list goes on. It’s a right of passage to purchase some from a local shop.

View from Mackinac Island of a boat in the water.
Treat yourself to some famous fudge by taking the ferry from Mackinaw City to the stunning Mackinac Island.

 Adventures, historians, and beachgoers will find many activities in the area. Mackinaw City was part of the fur trade industry and was the home of Fort Michilimackinac, occupied by the British in the 1770s. You can visit the fort and observe re-enactments. 

With water surrounding the city, you’ll have many beaches to choose from to soak in the Michigan summer. You also have options for hiking and biking nearby or take a day trip to Mackinac Island. You can take a ferry from Mackinaw City and enjoy a day on the historical island without any cars. It has shops, restaurants, beaches, and bike rentals.

Pro Tip: Crossing over the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula and need a place to stay? Why not try out one of these 9 Best Campgrounds in Upper Michigan State Parks.

Home in Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.
Spend a day exploring the historical Fort Michilimackinac while in Mackinaw City.

The 4 Best Mackinaw City Campgrounds

Mackinaw City is the perfect place to base yourself for all things northern Michigan. From biking, hiking, shopping, and beach-going, you may love staying for a bit. We’ve identified four campgrounds that we recommend.

#1. Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground

Address: 9730 US Hwy 23, P.O. Box 728, Mackinaw City, MI 49701

About Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground: Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground is one of the largest and most popular Mackinaw City campgrounds. It lies on the shores of Lake Huron, surrounded by a beautiful forest.

You can take in the stellar views of the Mackinac Bridge from the shoreline. It’s worth a peek at night when it’s all lit up. In addition, it has a golf course and a free shuttle service to the ferry terminals going to Mackinac Island.

Top Amenities: The campground has a one-mile beach, a heated pool, hiking and biking trails, mini-golf, hayrides, and more activities. It also has a dump station, bathhouses, a dog park, and they offer RV storage. It has over 200 full hookup and big rig-friendly RV sites and seasonal options. They also have rental cabins for visiting guests.

Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping

#2. Mackinaw City KOA Campground

Address: 566 Trailsend Road, Mackinaw City, MI 49701

About Mackinaw City KOA Campground: Mackinaw City’s KOA Journey is next to the northwestern bike trail. The trail connects you to the town, Fort Michilimackinac, and the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. You can find a heated pool, some pull-through sites, and everything you would expect from a KOA.

Top Amenities: Campsites have full hookups with 50 amp max electricity, and the largest sites are 70 ft long. You also have cable, Wi-Fi, a dog park, bathrooms, laundry facilities, and free shuttle service to the Mackinac Island ferries. You can also purchase firewood and propane in the campground.

Camping at Mackinaw City KOA | Mackinaw City, Michigan

#3. Tee Pee Campground

Address: 11262 US-23, Mackinaw City, MI 49701

About Tee Pee Campground: Tee Pee Campground, a small family-owned campground, sits on the shores of Lake Huron. It provides views of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island, a free shuttle service to the ferries, and discounted ferry tickets.

This campground may be small, but its customer service is excellent. Depending on the weather, they provide a nightly bonfire on the beach for their guests to enjoy. You might even see some fireworks!

Top Amenities: Campsites have water and 30 and 50 amp electricity. The campground also has a dump station. Sites include a picnic table, fire ring, and Wi-Fi.

Tee Pee Campground, Mackinaw City, MI

#4. Wilderness State Park

Address: 903 Wilderness Park Dr., Carp Lake, MI 49718

About Wilderness State Park: Wilderness State Park lies eight miles west of Mackinaw City. It provides incredible views of Lake Michigan with a beautiful pet-friendly beach. The park also has over 20 miles of hiking trails.

Top Amenities: The state park’s campground offers some RV sites with 50 amp electricity. It has a dump station and vault toilets. You can swim from a designated beach, and you have opportunities for kayaking from the park.

Wilderness State Park, MI West Lakeshore Campsite Tour

Why Summer Camping in Michigan Is Amazing

Summer camping in Michigan allows you to experience the Great Lakes in a limited window of warm temperatures. Outside the summer season, Michigan becomes a freezing place.

In our opinion, Mackinaw City campgrounds provide the perfect base for exploring northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. You can indulge in touristy towns or go off the beaten path for a day trip into the wilderness. 

→ If you venture north of the Mighty Mac (which we recommend), be sure to check out our Complete Guide To Camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Mackinaw City aerial shot of town.
Michigan explorers can find touristy towns or off-the-beaten-path adventures while exploring Michigan and Mackinaw City .

Tips for Enjoying Michigan’s Summers

July through September are typically the best months to visit Michigan. While weather is unpredictable in a state surrounded by lakes, this time of year typically brings sunshine and temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with a breeze coming off the Great Lakes. 

Michigan summers can be hot, humid, and buggy. Come prepared with sunscreen, a fan or air conditioning, and bug spray. Plus, you’ll have lower temperatures near the lakes.

If you like to stay active, Michigan offers watersports, hiking, and biking. You can typically find a lake or trails within 30 minutes of wherever you are. Besides the Great Lakes, Michigan has hundreds of inland lakes. This means if you want to put your feet up and relax, it’s pretty easy to find a beach.

Making reservations to camp in Michigan is essential. All types of campgrounds fill up at least six months in advance. People favor summers here for a good reason, so we highly recommend being on top of the booking window for the campground you want.

Pro Tip: Unsure where in Michigan to explore? Why not check out The Best National Parks In Michigan.

Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.
The famous Mackinac Bridge will help you to explore both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.

Time to Book Your Campground

Are you ready to book a stay at one of the Mackinaw City campgrounds? We hope you get there soon. And we promise to save some Mackinac Island fudge for you!

Michigan is a beautiful state for a summer RV trip. There’s something for every age and type of traveler. Whether you want to stay for a weekend or months at a time, we hope you can make wonderful memories.

What campground could you see yourself spending time at? Drop a comment below.

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