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  • Bob Tagatz lecture

From guided hikes of the Island to historic tours and lectures on Mackinac movies and more, there’s always something different, something unexpected happening at Grand Hotel.

Outdoor Tours

Grand Hotel Garden Tour

A guided tour of Grand Hotel’s elaborate flower beds and staggering variety of plants and flowers, guests will experience the true passion our master gardeners put into each flowerbed. The Victorian gardens are a glimpse of turn-of-the century America.

Complimentary to Grand Hotel guests & day visitors | $500 private tour
• Garden tours are available on select dates throughout peak season.

Mackinac Island Cemetery Tour

Meet at the Island’s historic cemetery for a two-hour walking tour. Enjoy a peaceful stroll through this beautiful park-like setting where we will explore the four distinctive burial grounds: Native American, Catholic, Protestant, and the Fort Mackinac National Cemetery. We will pay our respects and learn the stories of some of the colorful characters of Mackinac Island, many of whom played a significant role in the history of Grand Hotel. So come spend a little time with the saints and sinners of Mackinac Island.

$50 per person | $750 private tour
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for this schedule and to sign up for the tour.
• Space is limited to 12 persons.
• Grand Hotel will provide transportation to and from the cemetery. Maps will also be provided.
• Please wear comfortable shoes and bring some bottled water.
• There are no bathroom facilities.

Carriage Tours

For carriage tours on Mackinac Island, please connect with your Event Manager and they will be happy to schedule your tour.

Historic Tours

Behind the Scenes Tour

Enjoy this two-hour walking tour while learning the history and stories of the hotel’s ever-evolving public space. Learn what it takes to make this large, historic hotel run smoothly and the unique challenges of being on an island. Plus, take a sneak peek behind the scenes at everyone’s favorite: the Grand Hotel kitchen. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of what it takes to make Grand Hotel truly Grand!

$50 per person | $750 private tour
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for this schedule and to sign up for the tour.
• Space is limited to 25 persons.

Architectural Tour of the West Bluff Cottages

Go on a two-hour walking tour of the Magnificent Summer Cottages of the West Bluff. See firsthand some of Michigan’s finest examples of Victorian architecture. Learn about this romantic period when success led to excess. Equally interesting, you’ll learn about the fascinating individuals who built these castles of summer and their place in history. On select dates, experience a rare inside tour of one of the most spectacular private cottages.

$30 per person | $750 private tour
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for this schedule and to sign up for the tour.
• Space is limited to 25 persons.

The Horse Culture of Mackinac Island

Discover why the horse is still king on Mackinac Island on this two-hour walking tour to Grand Hotel Stables. See firsthand how guests, luggage, food, and supplies arrive at the hotel. Stroll past the site of our original stables, then past the largest and oldest Carriage Livery in the US: Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. Upon arrival at Grand Hotel Stables, you’ll learn about some of the antique carriages housed there, and meet the real star of the show: one of our proud working horses.

$30 per person | $750 private tour
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for this schedule and to sign up for the tour.
• Space is limited to 25 persons.
• The tour starts at the east end of the hotel, outside of Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor.
• Restroom facilities are available at the Grand Hotel Stables.

Historic Lectures

History of Grand Hotel Part I

The lecture starts with a brief history of Mackinac Island and then delves into the fascinating
early history of Grand Hotel. We will talk about the American Industrial Revolution and how it
created the wealth, that created the guests, that created the need for Grand Hotel.

Learn the daunting challenges faced in the actual construction of the building, its opening in 1887, and the astonishing amenities offered to the Victorian traveler. Get to know the early owners and managers of the hotel and the amazing lengths taken to entertain their romantic patrons. Find out how the hotel was able to keep its doors open through recessions, the Great Depression, World War I, and Prohibition. We will end the timeline just prior to the start of World War II. Come along, the stories and the characters are truly captivating

Complimentary to Grand Hotel guests & day visitors | $750 private lecture
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for the weekly schedule of our History Tours and Lectures.

History of Grand Hotel Part II

This second lecture in a two-part series will pick up the story of Grand Hotel from just before World War II to present day. You will learn about W. Stewart Woodfill and how he came to the hotel as a modest desk clerk and worked his way through the ranks to manage and eventually purchase the property. He had an unwavering belief that he could make Grand Hotel into one of America’s greatest resorts. Armed with his vision of the future, a flair for showmanship and promotion, he was able to turn that dream into a reality.

Learn how sequential generations have successfully found a way to preserve an authentic historic, resort experience yet still offer all the modern amenities that enable the hotel to be competitive in today’s market. Come and enjoy the contemporary history of Grand Hotel.

Complimentary to Grand Hotel guests & day visitors | $750 private lecture
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for the weekly schedule of our History Tours and Lectures.

Prohibition & the Roaring 20’s at Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel has never closed its doors to the traveling public in over 130 summer seasons,
but it has come very close. Learn how the hotel kept the good times flowing during prohibition. Hear some of the fascinating stories about the hotel’s “back of the house” entertainment taking place in its very own speakeasy. Find out who ran the gambling operations, how all that liquor got here, and where it was stored. How were raids a bit different on Mackinac Island, compared to the rest of the country?

Meet some of the heroes and villains of this outrageous time and the part they played in keeping the doors open even after the stock market crash of 1929. Come and enjoy yourself, but remember to knock three times and quietly whisper, “Uncle Bob sent me.”

Complimentary to Grand Hotel guests & day visitors | $750 private lecture
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for the weekly schedule of our History Tours and Lectures.
• Maximum capacity is based on lecture location.

Movies on Mackinac

Beautiful Mackinac Island has long been a destination for rejuvenation and inspiration. It has also been the location for a number of movies, both large and small. Two of the more significant films, This Time for Keeps and Somewhere in Time, were filmed in and around Grand Hotel.

In this lecture, you will learn why Mackinac Island was selected, the filming process, and some anecdotal stories about the actors. We will share how the majestic Grand Hotel was not just a backdrop, but an actual character in the romantic movie Somewhere in Time. When these films were released, no one could have predicted the long-lasting impact they would have on Mackinac Island and in the hearts of their die-hard fans.

Complimentary to Grand Hotel guests & day visitors | $750 private lecture
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for the weekly schedule of our History Tours and Lectures.
• Maximum capacity is based on lecture location.

Art, Antiques & Interior Design of Grand Hotel

Who chose these colors? Take a saunter through Grand Hotel and learn why we look the way we do. Get the inside scoop on the design philosophy of Dorothy Draper & Co. Learn about the eclectic mix of antiques throughout the hotel and how they represent the best of many periods. We will spend some time in the Art Gallery interpreting a couple of the significant works and talk about the collection as a whole. You may just gain a little insight into the aesthetics of the Grand Hotel experience.

$30 per person | $750 private lecture
• Please visit the Concierge Desk for this schedule and to sign up for the tour.
• Space is limited to 25 persons.

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Grand Hotel Drone over water

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