Five Reasons That Will Inspire You To Visit Grand Hotel This Summer

Every year since 1887, Grand Hotel has welcomed countless guests to historic Mackinac Island, where cars are not allowed and bikes and horse-drawn carriages are the favored modes of transportation. Thanks to its picturesque location, beautiful accommodations and various activities and dining options, Grand Hotel has been named as one of the Travel+Leisure 500 “World’s Best Hotels”. Here are the top five reasons to visit America’s Summer Place this summer:

Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel

#1 Getting there is just part of the fun

Mackinac Island is located just a quick ferry ride away from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. When approaching the island by ferry, Grand Hotel’s famous 660-foot front porch is visible high on a bluff above town. After arriving to the island, luggage is transported directly to the hotel. Enjoy a scenic walk through downtown Mackinac or a horse-drawn carriage ride up Grand Hill to Grand Hotel.
Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel

Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel

#2 Grand family activities

Grand Hotel’s activities make it a perfect destination for families. Guests of all ages can enjoy swimming in the heated pool, bocci ball and croquet in the Tea Garden, delicious treats at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor and golf on The Jewel. The complimentary children’s programs entertain younger guests with butterfly conservatory visits and arts and crafts. Or tour the Grand Stables for an up-close visit with the Grand Hotel horses and over 20 antique carriages.

#3 Dining and dressing up

Dining has always been an exceptional feature of the Grand Hotel experience. Evening wear is required for dinner and in all areas of the hotel after 6:30 p.m. Most guest room rates include a full breakfast and five-course dinner daily. In addition to the legendary Main Dining Room overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, other casual options are located around the island, including The Gate House, Cawthorne’s Village Inn, Woods Restaurant and The Jockey Club at the Grandstand.

Grand Hotel has the longest porch in the world.

Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel

#4 Every room is different

At Grand Hotel, no two of the 390 guest rooms are alike. Each guest room has been tastefully decorated by renowned designer Carleton Varney and features its own special character and style. The new Cupola Suites offer more flexibility for families, with the option of creating one- or two-bedroom suites.

#5 Live music and nightly dancing

Live music and dancing are Grand Hotel traditions. The full-time musical staff includes skilled veterans who are some of the finest in the country. Every evening guests are treated to a jazz quartet during dinner, a harpist at demitasse and later, dancing to the Grand Hotel Orchestra as it plays classics and requests.

So come and enjoy the grand family experience for yourselves. Call 1-800-33GRAND or visit GrandHotel.com to learn more. What are some of your favorite memories from your trip to Grand Hotel?

 

13 Reasons to Bicycle Tour in Michigan this Summer

Beach Bike

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

Bicycle travel offers a unique way to see Michigan. No matter if you’re north, south, east or west, there’s endless opportunities to revel in the natural splendor of the Great Lakes state. Besides being a great way to see the beauty of Pure Michigan, taking a bicycle tour is also a fun and easy way to stay in shape!

To celebrate Michigan in offering some of the most unique biking trails in the nation, Josh DeBruyn from the Michigan Department of Transportation shares 13 reasons to strap on your helmet and ride.

1) Michigan Routes – Michigan has the most signed U.S. Bicycle Routes of any state. Easy navigation and ready-made maps make your trip a slam dunk.

2) Food – Eat local and eat it a lot. Raspberries, ice cream, blueberries, craft beer, ice cream, coffee, wine, and oh yeah, ice cream; Michigan’s towns have it all.

3) It’s easy to cool your jets – with 3,126 miles of Great Lakes coastline and over 11,000 inland lakes you are never far from fresh water. Take a break from the bicycle saddle and cool off!

4) Michigan has connections – major hubs with airports and multi-modal connections, including Amtrak’s Blue Water Line roll-on bicycle service.

Bike photo-op

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

5) Michigan is Bicycle Friendly – Ranked 14th by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in 2014 and home to 41 different LAB recognized bicycle friendly businesses, universities and cities.

6) From Sunrise to Sunset – Morning people can enjoy the relaxing calm of the sunrise over Lake Huron; while night owls can experience splendid sunsets over Lake Michigan. Not many other states can offer such opportunities!

7) Michigan has the infrastructure you’re looking for – With more improved rail-trails than any other state, thousands of miles of wide paved shoulders and growing networks of urban bike lanes, Michigan has it all.

8) Touring in Michigan is Simple – hundreds of great bicycle tours are already planned and only a few clicks away

9) Look Mom, No Cars! – take car free to the extreme with a stop on Mackinac Island and spend a few days bicycling in a car free paradise.

Boarding Train

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

10) More time for bicycling in Michigan – Located on the extreme western edge of the Eastern Time zone, at the peak of summer, it can be light until 10 p.m. (even later in the Upper Peninsula).

11) Seasonal variety – If you can’t make it in the summer, come later in the year for leaf-peeping and apple picking. Or we’ll see you next spring, when the flowering trees are in bloom.

12) The new B & B – with nearly 200 local breweries and thousands of miles of great bicycle infrastructure; Michigan is the ideal destination for B & B (Breweries and Bicycling).

13) Enjoy the falling water – No we’re not talking about bicycling in the rain but bicycling to the nearly 200 named waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula. Most are quite small, but there are still a good number of impressive accessible by bicycle.

Where is your favorite place to bike in Pure Michigan? Let us know by commenting below!

5 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Take a Michigan Vacation (CLOSED: Plus a Giveaway!)

Traveling is a great way to reconnect and have fun with family and friends.  But, did you know that studies have shown that taking vacations can lead to better productivity, less stress and better health.  

However, many people aren’t taking advantage of their vacation days.  More than 40 percent of Americans say they didn’t take a single vacation day last year, according to Skift.

In honor of National Tourist Appreciation Day, here are five reasons why you should treat yourself to a Pure Michigan vacation.  We are also giving away a $100 gift certificate to the  to kick Pure Michigan Store start your summer!  See details below.

Castleexterior1

Photo courtesy of Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast

1. Recharge Your Batteries: A 2011 study by Expedia found that 35 percent of Americans feel better about their job and are more productive after a vacation. Vacations help us recharge because we sleep better during and shortly after them. When we return, our brain responds quicker. To recharge your batteries, try a relaxing weekend at one of the 400 cozy Bed and Breakfasts throughout the state.

2. Unleash Your Inner Picasso: Staring out at a beautiful Michigan sunset isn’t just a treat for your eyes; it’s good for your brain too! Studies have shown nature scenes activate areas of the brain associated with less stress. Daydreaming allows you to be more creative and be a better problem solver, too.  Take a look at our Instagram page for inspiration on places to take in a Pure Michigan sunset.

Tunnel Park

Photo courtesy of Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

3. Great Lakes, Great Relaxation: Stress is known to be harmful to our health. One of the many antidotes to stress is a vacation, especially near water! One study showed that people were five percent happier when they were near a body of water. The color blue is known to stimulate positive emotional responses, too.  With numerous beaches to choose from along 3,126 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, a Michigan beach vacation is good for you

4.Connecting While Relaxing: Picnics on the beach or canoeing as a family can strengthen your bond with loved ones while creating unforgettable memories! Some studies suggest that group travel builds social ties, which encourages life-long learning.

Copper Harbor Trails

Photo courtesy of Copper Harbor Trails and Hansi Johnson

5. Get Physical: Active vacations are proven to lower health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure and more, according to the Physical Activities Guidelines Advisory Committee. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a mountain biking excursion in Keweenaw.

Vacations offer the opportunity to discover new things and places to enrich and transform your perspective. Where will you take your next Pure Michigan vacation?

Do you want to score a $100 gift certificate to the Pure Michigan store? Simply tell us in the comments section below what your favorite Pure Michigan vacation destination is and what item from the Pure Michigan store you’d want to pack in your suitcase. We’ll then select one lucky winner at random to win a $100 gift certificate. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by Thursday, May 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winner Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).

UPDATE: This contest has ended and the winner has been contacted via email. Thank you to all those who participated!