Lilac Time on Mackinac Island
With Thunder Bay, Charlevoix, and Petoskey
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 annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival where you may participate in festival events such as “Walk and Talk with Lilacs,” wine tastings, and downtown entertainment.
At the pinnacle of this trip are two nights in a lakeview room 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, cross the Mighty Mac bridge, stop in Charlevoix to view the unique architecture of Earl Young’s “mushroom” houses, and discover the quaint town of Petoskey.
This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking is required.
The rooms included in this package at The Grand Hotel are lakeview accommodations.
Fri, June 7: Depart Indianapolis for Hillman, Michigan and check in to Northern Michigan’s most unique travel destination, Thunder Bay Resort. Travel through the resort by horse-drawn carriage and hear tales of Northern Michigan’s rich history. Cross the wooden bridge over Thunder Bay River to the elk preserve for up close elk viewing. Arrive at the Elk Antler Log Cabin for a delicious five-course dinner cooked frontier-style on twin antique wood stoves, accompanied by samples of locally produced wines and stories of the elk preserve and how it all began! Then board your carriage for the short ride back to the resort and nestle in the for the evening. (Meal: Dinner)
Sat, June 8: Begin the day with breakfast at the resort before heading to Mackinaw City to take the ferry to Mackinac Island. Arrive at the dock in the heart of the island’s main street and town center where you’ll have free time for lunch and exploring on your own. Next, enjoy a narrated carriage tour of the island, before checking into your lakeview room at the fabulous Grand Hotel, known as a destination itself, honored in time and tradition, where past meets present, and where history lives in the now. This National Historic Landmark 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, then live it up with live music and dancing. (B,D)
Sun, June 9: Today is your day your own way on Mackinac Island! Check the event roster for the Lilac Festival and discover all the “goings on” around town. Rent a bike, take a stroll, shop along main street, 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 Mackinac Island Butterfly House. Kick back at the Grand Hotel and enjoy a historical tour and 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)
Mon, June 10: After another hearty breakfast at the hotel, head back to the mainland. Cross the strait by ferry to St. Ignace and drive across the famous “Mighty Mac” bridge. Travel to Charlevoix and tour of the town’s most historic locations. See the quirky Earl Young “mushroom” houses, dating back to 1918 featuring undulating stone walls capped by a mushroom-shaped cedar shake roof. Enjoy free time in town before transferring to Petoskey where your home for the night will be Petoskey’s only grand turn-of-the-century resort hotel still in existence, Stafford’s Perry Hotel, built in 1899. 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 spend an evening surrounded by breathtaking lake views (B,D)
Tue, June 11: Spend the morning at leisure in Petoskey. Explore the shops, restaurants, parks, and art galleries of the Gaslight District. Visit the historical museum or hunt for Petoskey Stones along the waterfront. For the art buffs, discover Stafford’s Gallery of Art & History featuring antiques, works of art by Michigan’s very own, 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 Preserv
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).
DRESS CODE: 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 apart from 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.
* Prices subject to change due to fuel surcharge.