Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Probably one of the most famous places on the island is the Grand Hotel. It is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of Historic Hotels of America. The Grand Hotel first opened in 1887 as a summer retreat for vacationers who arrived by boat from Chicago, Erie, Detroit, and Montreal and by rail from across the continent. It has the longest front porch in the world - quite an impressive feat - and several movies have been filmed there: 1947's This Time for Keeps and 1980's Somewhere in Time. It was Somewhere in Time that solidified in my mom's mind that she really wanted to go to the Grand Hotel someday.

You can stay at the Grand Hotel if you want, but it's rather expensive. So my mom and I decided to just go there for lunch! We hired a horse-drawn taxi carriage to take us up to the hotel because we were wearing sandals and dresses and didn't feel like doing a lot of uphill walking.

The Grand Luncheon Buffet is served from noon to 2 p.m. and is $40 for non-hotel guests. (That includes a $10 admission fee just to go inside the hotel and explore. If you are staying at the hotel, it's only $30 for the buffet.) The carriage drops you off in the front of the hotel's front porch, a hotel employee will meet you outside and ask for your admission fee, and then you're off to explore and get lunch!


We were kind of surprised by how few people were there at lunch with us. We tried to get there a little before noon to guarantee that we could get in, but there really wasn't that much of a rush. There are several other places to eat lunch at the hotel, but we figured the luncheon buffet would be the most popular. It didn't matter to us, though! We were glad that we got a nice window table and first dibs at all the food. And boy was there a lot of food!


It was all delicious, and there were so many options! We tried to sample as much of it as we could. I think I ate too much.

After lunch, we went outside and explored the grounds. The sun, which had not been out earlier that day, finally shone high in the sky, giving us a gorgeous look at all the flowers and shrubbery around the hotel. It was really nice! I took so many pictures, but I think the below picture is one of my favorites.


If you've never been to Mackinac Island, it's definitely worth a trip. And if you go, you should totally check out the Grand Hotel. For more things to do on Mackinac Island, check out these previous posts (Butterfly House, Best Western Harbour Pointe) and stay tuned to my blog for more!

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