I just came back a few days ago from a fantastic weekend on Northern Michigan’s Mackinac Island. World renown for its wild beauty and Victorian style, Mackinac provides the perfect weekend escape to forget your everyday worries and relax in style. My parents and I stuck stayed at the Grand Hotel, famous for being the film location for Somewhere in Time and This Time for Keeps, as well as being visited by numerous US presidents, political envoys and artists. The hotel didn’t disappoint, with its grand parlor and historic atmosphere, but my weekend journey begins a bit before arriving at the hotel. It was the perfect setting to celebrate Father’s Day and the Mackinac Lilac Festival (the island was blooming, you could smell the flowers everywhere!).
Getting to the island is quite easy–just hop on a ferry from Mackinac Island or St. Ignore. Or if you want to arrive in style, grab a charter plane to the island small airport. My parents and I opted for the ferry, as it’s a quick and cost-efficient way to reach Mackinac. We took Shepler’s, since the ferry service offers discounts for Grand Hotel guests. The ride to the island is always a highlight. With views of both Michigan Peninsulas and two great lakes (Huron and Michigan) as the wind blows through your hair and fresh water sprays your face, the quick trip over delights everyone–from the youngest to oldest passenger. And Friday was no exception. Once we got onto the island, my parents and I hopped on a horse-drawn carriage taxi and headed up to the hotel! The evening was spent grabbing food from one of our favorite island restaurants, Goodfellows (check out their pizza!) and strolling along the boardwalk while watching the sunset. Nothing beats a Michigan sunset, trust me.
The next morning, we awoke from our Geranium-room filled slumber and rushed down to the dining room to catch breakfast. We tried a few dishes but my favorite was the Smoked Norwegian Salmon–topped with caviar and served with fresh dill cream cheese and miniature bagels, the breakfast filled us up for the first part of the day. Now, if you’ve ever been to Mackinac, you know a bike ride around the island is a MUST. It’s not very long and it’s mostly flat, so it shouldn’t take more than an hour or two. Taking the stairs up to Arch Rock is another must. Once again, the scenery is beautiful is its seemingly untouched glory, with views of the lakes and surrounding islands/mainland. Once we finished up our bike ride, my family and I headed to for an afternoon mass at St. Anne’s Catholic Church (check out their page, they’re hosting so many fun activities and volunteer opportunities) and then dinner at the Grand Hotel.
Our five-course dinner in the Grand’s main dining room was a steal–only $70/person for exceptional food, service and atmosphere. I got the vanilla-champagne salmon with caviar, some oysters, soup, etc; my parents got an order of lamb and an order of chicken. Once our food babies settled, I heard music coming from a room down the hall. The orchestra! How could we forget? Although it didn’t end up being quite an orchestra, rather a swing band, we still danced the night away to “Respect” and “Dancing in the Street” with our newfound 30 friends.
The next day was met with heavy morning thunderstorms, so we spent most of the morning eating brunch, packing and exploring the hotel’s many shops. Stopping by the florist, my mom came across these beautiful pink roses called Pink Floyd’s from Colombia. Her excitement about how amazing they smelled was obvious, so much so that the florist gave her one to take one. We still have it blooming on our kitchen table!
Once the rain let up, we walked down to the town, bought some treats from Joanne’s and balsam fir goodies to take home and hopped on the ferry back to Mackinaw City. The trip was the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day and the Mackinac Lilac Festival!