Mackinac Island is a place where leisure abounds and transportation is by horse-drawn carriage, bicycle, or your own two legs (the island is car free). And Mackinac Island is at its prettiest when the lilacs are in bloom. Arrive during the 75th annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival and participate in events such as “Walk and Talk with Lilacs,” wine tastings, and downtown entertainment.
At the pinnacle of this trip are two nights at the island’s crown jewel, the Grand Hotel, beckoning you to a bygone era of old-world hospitality and charm.
On the way to Mackinac Island, spend one night at the Thunder Bay Resort in northern Michigan and take a carriage ride to view wild elk followed by a five-course dinner with wine tasting. On the return route, stop in Charlevoix to view the unique architecture of Earl Young’s “mushroom” houses, and discover the quaint town of Petoskey.
- Mackinac Island during the Lilac Festival
- 2 nights at the elegant Grand Hotel
- Narrated carriage tour of Mackinac Island
- Scenic ferry ride
- Horse-drawn carriage ride through an elk preserve for a five-course dinner in a rustic lodge
- See Earl Young’s “mushroom” houses in Charlevoix
- Ample free time to explore quaint towns
- Roundtrip motorcoach transportation from Indianapolis
- 4 nights accommodations
- Breakfast daily
- 4 dinners
- Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
- Ground transportation
- Hotel baggage handling
Note: This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking is required.
Sun, June 11: Depart Indianapolis via motorcoach 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 and relate history of northern Michigan. Cross the Thunder Bay River over a wooden bridge and view wild elk up close in a preserve. Arrive at the Elk Antler Log Cabin to enjoy a delicious five-course dinner cooked frontier-style on twin antique wood stoves, accompanied by samples 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 the resort for the evening. (Meal: Dinner)
Mon, June 12: Begin the day with breakfast at the resort before heading to Mackinaw City where you’ll board the ferry to Mackinac Island. On the island, the ferry dock location places you in the center of town to have free time for lunch and exploring. Enjoy a narrated carriage tour of the island. Then transfer by horse-drawn carriage to the fabulous Grand Hotel and check in for the next two nights. A National Historic Landmark, the hotel has been visited by U.S. Presidents, world-renowned entertainers, and countless dignitaries. No two guestrooms are alike 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. Afterward, enjoy live music and dancing. (B,D)
Tue, June 13: Following breakfast in the Main Dining Room, enjoy a free day on the island. Enjoy Lilac Time! Rent a bike; take a stroll along main street and see all the shops, restaurants, and pubs; visit Fort Mackinac; hike through the woodlands or do some birdwatching; explore Arch Rock; or surround yourself with the grace and beauty of butterflies and tropical gardens in the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House. Or, stay at the Grand Hotel and enjoy high tea; swim in the 220 foot, heated pool; try your hand at tennis or pickleball; or enjoy the quintessential summer lawn games of bocce and croquet. Delight in another delicious dinner at your leisure at the Grand Hotel. (B,D)
Wed, June 14: 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)
Thu, June 15: Spend the morning at leisure in Petoskey, a resort destination for more than 100 years, overlooking the shores of Little Traverse Bay. Explore the shops, restaurants, 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. This charming resort is located on Thunder Bay River in a beautiful setting of pine trees and an 18-hole golf course. Highlights: spacious suites with kitchen, refrigerator and coffeemaker • restaurant • gourmet dinner and wine tasting • high-speed wireless Internet • hot tub.
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 maker and mini bar • 5 restaurants • 5 bars • tea room • spa • 18-hole golf course • Esther Williams Swimming Pool (heated, outdoor) • fitness center • 4 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). (Casual resort wear is appropriate during the day at the hotel, just avoid midriff tops, sweatpants, or cut-off shorts along with no sleeveless shirts for the men in all areas inside the hotel with the exception of the Cupola Bar. Because every night is special, after 6:30pm, a coat and tie are required for the gentlemen — no jeans or shorts, and for the ladies, dress slacks, dresses, or skirts and blouses are preferred.)
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 • 3 restaurants • pub • gift shop.
- Complete Package*
- Double (2 people sharing a room) – $1,499 per person
- Triple (3 people sharing a room) – $1,299 per person
- Single – $2,329
* Prices subject to change due to fuel surcharge.