Michael Does Mackinac!
To quickly introduce myself, my name is Michael and I typically cover all things Disney on Instagram. I grew up loving all things Disney and all things magical. I live in Chicago but travel quite a bit! I run an Instagram account called @michaeldoesdisney, where I get to showcase all of my fun adventures. For a 3 day period, I shocked a whole lot of people when my name on Instagram changed to “@michaeldoesmackinac”.
Earlier in July, I had the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of Chicago and head to a place that was unlike any other than I had ever been, Mackinac Island. My husband, Matthew, and I hopped in the car, did the 7 hour drive from Chicago to Mackinaw City, and found ourselves at the ferry dock on our way to one of the most beautiful and unique places that I’ve ever seen. When we boarded the ferry, we were asked “what hotel will you be at” and we were proudly able to say the Grand Hotel. They let us know that our bags would be waiting there for us when we arrived! Before we pulled up to the island, we saw the iconic Grand Hotel on our boat ride and looked at each other giddily saying that is where we are staying! We pulled up to the island and ended up on Main Street – taking us right back in time. We decided to walk around a bit and make our way up to the Grand Hotel, where we’d be spending the next 2 nights!
Once we walked up the hill and got ourselves to the hotel, we were greeted by the most professional and kind staff members who invited us to go check out our room and then come back out to the parlor for afternoon tea. We made our way to room 10, put the old fashioned key in the door, and opened it up to the most incredibly decorated bright and colorful room filled with every shade of pink and green that your heart could desire. After gawking over the room for a bit, we headed out to have our afternoon tea! We feasted on mini sandwiches and the most delicious sweet treats, while sipping on some lovely hot tea and admiring all of the beauty that this hotel has to offer.
That evening, we were so excited to get dressed up in our suits and ties, head to the Main Dining Room and have our dinner. When we entered the dining room we were both legitimately shocked at the sheer size of the space. There must have been 1,000 people in this room! We walked and walked and walked past hundreds of people and were seated at our table. This truly felt like something right out of a movie. We had the most incredible waiter who told us all about his many seasons that he has been coming back and working at the Grand Hotel. He also didn’t steer us wrong with our dinner choices!
The next morning, we woke up nice and early and had a very full day on Mackinac Island. We started out by going to breakfast back in the Main Dining Room – I opted for the buffet while Matthew ordered from the menu! Both equally as great. We then headed over to the bike rentals near the pool and grabbed two bikes. In full transparency, I haven’t ridden a bike in almost 10 years (apparently doing spin classes on stationary bikes DOES NOT COUNT). I hopped on a bike and immediately crashed into a tree. After some incredibly positive encouragement from the staff, screaming YOU’VE GOT THIS, I found myself flying down the hill and headed to bike around the island. Sure enough, I made it! We did the full 8.2 mile perimeter of the island and it was truly breathtaking. We stopped along the way to hike up to Arch Rock, Skull Cave and Fort Holmes (and take many pictures throughout the State Park).
Once we made it back to Main Street, we stopped off for a much needed iced coffee at Starbucks (the only chain on the island!) We then walked around a bit, snagged some fudge and made our way back up to the Grand Hotel where we returned our bikes and hit the pool. We were both thrilled to lay out on some wonderful lounge chairs and close our eyes in the perfect weather after our very adventurous morning.
That evening we experienced probably our favorite part of the entire weekend – eating at Woods restaurant. This was such an incredibly special experience for the two of us. We met our horse drawn carriage outside of the Grand Hotel which whisked us away into quite literally the middle of the woods. It was a beautiful 30 minute carriage ride where we got to see even more of the island than we had seen earlier in the day! We then pulled up to such an enchanted little spot that made us feel like we were transported into Hansel and Gretel’s world: Woods. We had the most incredible German dinner (the Baked French Escargot, the Steak Soup, the Lobster Claw Macaroni & Cheese and the Weiner Schnitzel were the true standouts for us). We even got to check out the oldest duckpin bowling alley in the USA. We then took a magical carriage ride back to the Grand Hotel.
On Sunday morning, our final day on Mackinac Island, we woke up leisurely (in one of the comfiest beds ever) and grabbed an early lunch at the Jockey Club. This was such a fun and amazing little place! We ate our burgers and fries while looking out at all of the people coming up and down the hill. We then sadly had to check out and head on home – as we had a long drive ahead of us! We said goodbye to all of the incredible staff at the Grand Hotel, made our way down to Main Street, bought fudge for every person that we know back home, and hopped on the ferry home. It was truly a weekend that we will never forget and we cannot wait to return to both the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island.
To see more of Michael’s stay visit him on Instagram at @MichaeldoesDisney