Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mackinac Island, Michigan: Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel says it has the world's longest porch - about a quarter of a mile. The fact was in Ripley's Believe It or Not in the 1930s. I'm not about to disagree.

The Grand Hotel is one of the classic spots in America. It was built in 1887, as railroad interests tried to drive tourism to this part of the world. It worked. The rich and famous have been visiting ever since. Naturally, it's expensive, and naturally, it's all beautiful.

The porch gets much of the attention, with its view of the island and the adjoining waters. The ceiling of the porch was painted aqua to prevent birds from nesting up there. I'm told it works, somehow. There's no better place to sit, relax, look out over the countryside, and maybe read a book or sip a beverage.

But it's quite a complex in total, which a variety of shops and activities. The landscaping is very well done, as you'd expect. There's even an ice cream stand around the entrance. You should know that it cost $10 for non-visitors to just walk around the building and much of the grounds. You also should know that it was worth it. The $10 can be used as a discount toward buying the Grand Luncheon Buffet, which checks in at $50. I'd bet it is a mighty good lunch.

Here's one tip for you - the Grand Hotel has its own outlet store. It's a couple of blocks down the hill toward town in a little shopping building. I picked up a nifty golf shirt there for less than $20. Makes me look like I stayed there - or makes me look I work in the golf pro shop. Probably the latter. 

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