Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gorgeous Mackinac Island & The Grand Hotel

As many have requested for summer must go's in the west side of Michigan,
here's another re-post of a place that everyone finds
simply enchanting.

Do you remember the movie "SOMEWHERE IN TIME" ?
This year,
it's Richard and Elise's 100th Anniversary
since they first met in 1912.

If you were not born when they first released the movie in 1980,
I suggest you rent it.
The most Romantic Movie ever filmed.
Boy do I feel old!

Somewhere in Time was shot at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island.
A perfect setting!

The Grand Hotel is at the gorgeous Mackinac Island.
This hotel has plenty of rich history.
Presidents such as
Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy,
Gerald Ford , George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton,
other dignitary visitors such as Dmitri Medvedev
and Vladimir Putin.
Historical figures like Thomas Edison,
authors Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain.
Imagine yourself staying at the suites they slept in.
Just like what they say,
"If Only Walls could Talk."

The GRAND Hotel

The Grand Hotel has preserved
it's original architecture,
the romantic and relaxed atmosphere, and charm.

Like the hotel,

Mackinac Island (mah-kee-nah) has also preserved it's charm and old world beauty.

The only means of transportation here are horses, bicycles, and carriages.
Well except for one
motorized vehicle used by the emergency medical crew
The homes here span three centuries.
From Native American, French rustic, Colonial, Victorian to Arts & Craft and more.
All preserved and must comply to the guidlines set by
National Trust for Historic Preservation.

As we approach the island,
colorful sails from hundreds of sailboats greeted us.
It was the week of the Chicago Yacht Club Race.
You hear lots of laughter, water splashing from people diving off their sailboats.

When planning to visit Mackinac Island,
I suggest that you take the ferry from St. Ignace,
so you'll be able to experience crossing the bridge,
and it takes less time to get to the island.

As we got off the boat,
we were in search for the bicycles that we brought along.
My husband on the other hand,
had to rent one with a child's seat at the back of the bike.
It is an 8.3 mile bike ride around the island.


My cousins at beautiful flower lined Downtown

Stopped at the Arch Rock

Picturesque bike ride along the shore back to town for lunch

After our bike ride to The Arch Rock,
we went back to town and stopped for Lunch
They have been cooking delicious breakfast and lunches
for locals and visitorsfor over 60 years.
Their Bleu Cheese burgers with pretzel buns
are to die for.
Thanks to my cousin Pam's friend recommending this place.
We had a filling and delicious lunch.
Perfect to fuel up for another bike ride around the island.

While waiting for our seats at Chuckwagon's
we peeked next door at the Famous Murdick's Fudge

Famous Pretzel Buns at Chuckwagon Restaurant

After lunch we all decided to continue our bike ride around the island,
Which I opted out after biking about 2 miles,
I was huffing and puffing because my heart condition, my body can't take it.
It was too much for me with the heat.
If you have any medical conditions like me,
check with your doctor before doing any strenous activity such as this.

There are different trails you can take to see all the great historic spots.
My daughter, my cousin Pam, and her family,
did the 8.3 mile around the island.
It will take about 1 hour if you don't stop.
But there are so many beautiful spots,
that you are most likely to stop and take pictures.
If I remember it correctly,
Pam told me they stopped on one spot with a great beach area.

My husband and I,
decided to go to The Grand Hotel.

The bike up the hill
to the Grand Hotel on the other hand was quite a workout,
so my husband and I walked our bikes up.
But the bike down the hill was scary fun!

Stopped at Ryba's Fudge Shop to cool off
with some rainbow ice cream cones.
The Grand Hotel as our backdrop.

While the boys are busy with their ice cream,
I parked my bike next to the beautiful Little Stone Church.

Sitting at the hotel's front porch with my eyes closed,
was so relaxing.
The hotel's porch is the longest ever made in the world.

I sat on one of the rocking chairs lining the porch,
breeze blowing on my face, 
beautiful music coming from the harp echoing down the corridors of the hotel.
I can also hear the sound of trotting horses dragging carriages
full of hotel guests that just got off the ferry.
Despite of all the tourists walking around the grounds of the hotel,
there is a certain peace you feel when you are at the Grand Hotel.
I felt so serene.
There's a certain air of romance in this place.
It felt like I was transported in time.
So this is how Elise felt!

One can compare it to Hotel Coronado in California
 but the latter is far from comparison.
Nothing can compare to the romantic,
 peaceful, and the quite relaxed feel of The Grand Hotel.

Tea Time

Carriage for the Grand Hotel Guests

When you're at The Grand Hotel,
you will have a full view of Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge.
The Mackinac Bridge is the third longest suspension bridge in the world.
No, it's not the Golden Bridge.
Sorry California but we got this title now. 
The bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.
The southend of the bridge is in Mackinaw City, and the north end is in St. Ignace.

A shot I took from the other end of the Grand Hotel Porch.

We are missing one family member,
she's busy having fun biking around the island.

The grounds of the Grand Hotel

The beautiful interior of  the Grand Hotel

After the Grand Hotel we biked around more,
 and back to town in search for a good fudge.
The term of endearment for tourists in the island
 is "fudgie"
no need for any explanation on that.

Look what I found instead of a fudge.
Who would want to eat these cute shoes?!!!

We had so much fun in this island, that we decided to come back soon.
 We were told that it is best to come at FALL.
Less visitors, and for the beautiful fall foliage colors.
Can't wait!
There's so many beautiful pictures I took of the island
but I am afraid that this will be a very long blog if I post it all here.

To see more pictures go to our Facebook Page.

more related posts:

Vineyards, SLEEPING BEAR DUNES, Old Mission Traverse


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