Zach and I thought we would brighten your winter-blues a bit with a write up on one of our favorite summer-getaways: Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel.
We ventured to Northern Michigan this past summer to treat ourselves to a weekend of luxury on this very special Island and would like to share our recommendations with you along with some pictures worth a thousand words!
Let's start with getting there; we suggest taking Shepler's ferry to the Island, departs on the half hour! Once your ferry arrives to the island you'll disembark, baggage handlers will do the rest; enjoy a walk through the town as you make your way to the Hotel. There are no cars on the island, so bicycles along with horse and carriage rule the road!
Grand Hotel boasts the world's longest porch, and I can say from experience that spending time in a rocking chair with a good book, cup of coffee, - or in this case a glass of champagne! - with the view of the Straits Mackinac on a cool summer morning feels like paradise! The Musser Family opened the Grand Hotel in 1887 and the family-owned gem has kept its authenticity in style, service, and form since the beginning. I particularly love their dress code for dinner - jacket and tie required - keeping all of the guests dressed to the nines. Rich history and tradition radiates within this beautiful destination and you really feel it once you step foot on the island.
Now let's focus on the interior-vibes; I was blown away by the vibrant and timeless decor that defines this historical hotel. Carleton Varney is Grand Hotel's interior designer and helped restore the hotel back in it's day. As a huge fan of The Greenbriar in White Sulpher Springs and The Copley Plaza in Boston I could not wait to explore Grand Hotel's various rooms and take in my surroundings. Bright wallpaper and curtains adorn each room along with statement antique furniture that will leave you feeling inspired.
Lounge by the pool, explore the gardens, and be sure go on a bike ride around the island; taking in the exceptional water views and experience the nature. I loved admiring the view of the light house on this particular side of the island with the rocks below my feet. While taking in the landscape, don't miss the geological formations Arch Rock and Devil's Kitchen. There are many places where you can rent a bike for the day, and if you're staying at Grand Hotel there is a complimentary bike rack behind the pool!
My favorite part of our weekend at Grand Hotel was going for about a three hour bike ride around the island. The trail is a little over 8 miles, where you can take in the water-views and scenery from every angle of the island.
It had been years since I had spent time in Northern Michigan, and for Zach as well who has frequented Grand Hotel over the years. We're making this a summer-tradition and can't wait to return to that sun-filled (oversized) porch with a Bell's Big Porch Ale in hand!
P.S. we suggest you fly out of Traverse City and spend your last night of the weekend snacking on some of the best modern-Mexican food we've ever had at Mama Lu's. This adorable, super-small, super-cool taco-shop seats only forty people, so we grabbed a spot at the bar and split the guacamole, street corn, and a variety of tacos. And the craft-cocktails were equally as wonderful, Zach and I shared the Cucumber-Habanero and the High Roller! A really fun restaurant to end your weekend!