The 3.8-square-mile island is a throwback to a bygone era. You can only get there by ferry or plane, and a longtime ban on motorized vehicles means that folks still get around by horse-drawn carriage or bicycle.
Built in 1887, the Queen Anne-style hotel is still as grand as ever, and in the summer you can’t beat the setting on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. Make a point of spending quality time throughout the day on the hotel’s iconic colonnaded porch, greeting the sunrise with a strong cup of coffee and then savoring a lazy afternoon with a cocktail in hand, sitting in a white rocking chair facing the Straits of Mackinac. More than 650 feet long and lined with geranium-filled boxes, it’s said to be the longest porch in the world.
At some point during your stay, get out of your rocker and try the hotel’s signature dessert, the Grand Pecan Ball—a delectable sphere of vanilla ice cream rolled in pecans and placed atop a puddle of melted chocolate. More than 50,000 are served every season.
From the porch, you can best enjoy the sounds of waves lapping in the lake, horses pulling carriages with a clip-clop and carefree children playing bocce or flying kites on the grand lawn below.
No two of the Grand’s 386 guest rooms are the same, and there are still lawn games and an evening dress code, with predinner cocktails and after-dinner dancing. The property remains largely unchanged since the Gilded Age, when guests might attend a lecture by Mark Twain or attend a demonstration of a newfangled gizmo called the phonograph.
MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS
24) Lounge on the World's Longest Porch