Fri, June 15: Board your deluxe motorcoach in Indianapolis and head north to Hillman, Michigan. Check in to the Thunder Bay Resort. Travel through the resort by horse-drawn carriage as guides tell stories, facts and history of Northern Michigan. Cross the Thunder Bay River over a wooden bridge to view wild elk up close in the Preserve before arriving at the Elk Antler Log Cabin to enjoy a delicious five-course dinner cooked frontier-style on twin antique wood stoves, served with a sampling of locally produced wines. The owners will amuse you with stories about their family and how the elk preserve and resort got started. Then board your carriage for the short ride back to your evening’s rest. (Meal: Dinner)
Sat, June 16: Start with breakfast at the resort before heading to Mackinaw City to board the ferry to Mackinac Island. Transfer by horse-drawn carriage to the fabulous Grand Hotel, a National Historic Landmark that has been visited by U.S. Presidents, world-renowned entertainers and countless dignitaries. No two guestrooms are alike at the Grand, and each reflects the impressive style of old-fashioned American summer resorts as interpreted by New York designer Carleton Varney. Dress up for dinner this evening in the Main Dining Room (Salle à Manger) of the hotel. Afterward, enjoy live music and dancing. (B,D)
Sun, June 17: After breakfast in the Main Dining Room, enjoy a carriage tour of the island. Return to the hotel for time on your own. In the afternoon, consider attending the Lilac Festival Wine Tasting at Mission Point Resort or visiting Fort Mackinac. Don’t miss the Lilac Festival Grand Parade, considered a “Local Legacy” by the United States Library of Congress. Delight in another delicious dinner at your leisure at the Grand Hotel tonight. (B,D)
Mon, June 18: After breakfast at the hotel, head back to the mainland. Cross the strait by ferry to St. Ignace and board the motorcoach for the drive across the “Mighty Mac” bridge. Travel to Charlevoix for a tour of the town’s most historic locations. See the quirky Earl Young “mushroom” houses, built from 1918 to the 1950s, many of which have undulating stone walls capped by a mushroom-shaped cedar shake roof. Enjoy free time in town before transferring to Petoskey and checking in to Stafford’s Perry Hotel. Perched high on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, the Perry Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Have dinner at the hotel and an evening enjoying the beautiful lake views. (B,D)
Tue, June 19: Spend the morning at leisure in Petoskey, a resort destination for more than 100 years that overlooks the shores of Little Traverse Bay. From the hotel, it’s easy to explore the shops, restaurants, pubs, parks and art galleries of the Gaslight District. Visit the historical museum, hunt for Petoskey Stones along the waterfront or discover Stafford’s Gallery of Art & History featuring antiques, works by Michigan artists and an exclusive collection of historical photos and artifacts. Depart for Indianapolis in the early afternoon. (B)
Thunder Bay Resort, Hillman, Michigan
Located on Thunder Bay River in a beautiful setting of pine trees and an 18-hole golf course. Highlights: spacious suites with kitchens, refrigerators and coffeemakers • restaurant • gourmet dinner and wine tasting • high-speed wireless Internet • hot tub • hiking trails.
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
A classic American resort by anyone’s standards, the Grand Hotel has been named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as “One of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations” and a National Historic Landmark. Watch the sunsets over the lake from the world’s longest porch (600 feet). Highlights: each room is uniquely decorated • in-room coffee makers and mini bars • five restaurants • five bars • tea room • room service • spa • 18-hole golf course • Esther Williams Swimming Pool (heated, outdoor) • fitness center • four tennis courts • duck pin bowling alley • live music, including the Grand Hotel orchestra • horseback riding on bridle paths • family games, including bocce ball, croquet, putt-putt golf and a giant outdoor chess board • bicycles for rent • no tipping policy (fees apply for some activities).
Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Petoskey, Michigan
Perched high on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, the Perry Hotel stands as a proud symbol of the early 1900s when northern Michigan tourism was in its infancy. Built in 1899 as one of some twenty original luxury resort hotels, the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Highlights: individually appointed guest rooms • complimentary Wi-Fi • fitness room • Jacuzzi • library • three restaurants • pub • gift shop.