10 Grand Things You Might Not Know

Since 1887, Grand Hotel has been a defining feature of historic Mackinac Island, where horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the preferred modes of transportation. Here are 10 things you never knew about Grand Hotel that make it a true American icon.

1. No two guest rooms are alike

Every one of Grand Hotel’s 390 guest rooms has its own unique character, artfully decorated by Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc. in New York City. Varney is also known for his design consultancy at the White House.

Hotel Room

2. Five U.S. Presidents have visited Grand Hotel

Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all experienced the elegance and unique atmosphere of Grand Hotel.

3. Grand Hotel is a third-generation family business

Taking over for his father, R. D. Musser Jr., President Dan Musser III currently handles all-day-to-day operations of the world’s largest summer resort.

4. The world’s longest front porch

At 660 feet long, no other hotel in the world can match it. That includes relaxing in a rocking chair while enjoying stunning views of the Straits of Mackinac.

Porch

5. Grand Hotel maintains over 125,000 flowers

More than one ton of flower bulbs are planted each fall to create the many gardens on Grand Hotel grounds. Varieties include 25,000 tulips, 15,000 daffodils and more than 5,200 geraniums, the hotel’s signature flower.

Garden

6. You can find Grand Hotel Somewhere in Time

This 1980 classic film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed on location at Grand Enthusiasts of the film meet every year in October to celebrate the cinematic secrets of the timeless classic and meet cast members. In fact, Jane Seymour is planning on attending this year.

7. A pool named for a star

The Esther Williams swimming pool at Grand Hotel was named for actress Esther Williams, star of the 1947 movie This Time For Keeps, filmed at Grand Hotel.

Architecture Photography by Michigan Photographer Don Johnston

8. The legacy of Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor

Scottish Terrier Sadie, owned by hotel proprietors Amelia and R.D. Musser, Jr., was awarded Best in Show at the 2010 Westminster Dog Show. Named for this much-loved dog, Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor features Grand Hotel Pecan Ball Ice Cream, inspired by the hotel’s signature dessert and made using Michigan’s own Hudsonville ice cream.

Ice Cream

9. More than 6,000 pounds of pecans are used annually

Fresh pecans are a necessity for Grand Hotel’s signature dessert. Made with vanilla ice cream and Grand Hotel’s original fudge sauce, more than 60,000 balls are served each season.

10. A grand way to golf

Grand Hotel’s award-winning golf course, The Jewel, is the only course in the world where players are transported between the front and back nine via horse-drawn carriage.

Learn more or make reservations at grandhotel.com or call 1-800-33GRAND.

What is your favorite thing about the Grand Hotel?

Tweetable facts about the Upper Peninsula (Plus a Giveaway!)

Update: The two winners of our Pure Michigan stocking cap giveaway are Brad whose favorite thing about the U.P. is pasties and Bill whose favorite is Lake of the Clouds. Congratulations to our winners! We’ll be hosting another giveaway in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is beautiful all year and here are 10 quick facts about the Upper Peninsula that you can share with your friends on Twitter. Simply click on any fact and it will automatically populate on your Twitter status bar. And while we’re talking Twitter, remember to follow Pure Michigan on Twitter as well.

PLUS, as a thank you for being great fans and loyal readers of this blog, we have two Pure Michigan stocking caps that we’re looking to give away!
Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite thing about the Upper Peninsula (only one comment per e-mail address please).
  • On November 11th at 5 p.m., we’ll randomly pick two winners and send each a Pure Michigan stocking cap. We’ll contact you using the e-mail address you provide (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).
Good luck!
Fun fact: The Upper Peninsula contains 16,452 square miles, almost one-third of the land area of the state @Pure Michigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Did you know Mount Arvon, the highest point in @PureMichigan, is in the Upper Peninsula? http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Bird watchers in the Upper Peninsula have observed nearly 400 different species @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Like snowmobiling? The Upper Peninsula offers 3,000 miles of groomed trails @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
The Soo Locks in Chippewa is 155 yrs. old and allows the passage of boats from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Fun fact: more than 30 sunken ships can be found in Bays de Noc in the Upper Peninsula @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Did you know some areas of the Upper Peninsula can get more than 25 ft. of snow a year? @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
The Cisco chain of lakes in the Upper Peninsula has 271 miles of shoreline @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Lake Gogebic is the largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula, known for walleye, bass and jumbo perch @PureMichigan http://bit.ly/vSE73d
Did you know the Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere with 7,400 ft. of roadway? http://bit.ly/vSE73d