Travel Expert, Marcia Frost, joins us to help us get out of town!
A Grand Island and a Luxury B&B for Fall Travel
By Marcia Frost
This summer I was able to spend a lot of time exploring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (and some spots along the way there). Among the places I went is a Midwest island that makes a perfect spot for a fall getaway, and a bed & breakfast for a quiet getaway.
Magical Mackinac Island
It’s a safe bet to say you can’t find any place like Mackinac. This Michigan island in Lake Huron is filled with natural beauty, unspoiled by motorized vehicles of any kind.
To get to Mackinac Island, you take a ferry from St. Ignace or Mackinaw City. We took Shelpler’s Ferry from the former and it’s only about a 15-minute boat ride.
Since there are no cars on Mackinac, you get off the ferry and board a horse and buggy (only a $5 charge to take one, anywhere on the island) to the hotel, while another carriage took the luggage.
I had been to the island once before, but stayed at the Mission Point Hotel, another option on the other side of the island. This was my first time at the Grand Hotel and it is quite a sight inside and out. The first thing we saw was the red phone booth that was featured in the Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour movie, “Somewhere in Time,” which was filmed on the island.
The hotel historic and tremendous. We were greeted quickly and I couldn’t believe the spectacular décor. Every room in the hotel is different and ours was decorated down to each detail, with the wallpaper matching the chairs. It had a beautiful view. We were also welcomed with a box of Mackinac Island fudge.
Most people take the room with dinner and breakfast, which is what the hotel provided for us. The dining room is semi-formal and it was quite unusual to see all the men in jackets, and some in ties, with the women also dressed up to varying levels.
The waiters are trained well and serve your every need. We enjoyed a delicious five-course dinner before heading out to sit on the longest porch in the world. It was too cloudy for a sunset, but it was still a beautiful night as we listened to the live music in the parlor.
Breakfast is equally opulent and contains practically anything you could desire, from waffles to eggs made a multitude of ways. There’s also always a warm bread basket filled with pastries.
The bellman are available outside to get you a carriage to downtown, much in the way you would normally get a cab. You’ll want to explore the downtown shops, especially the fudge stores. Mackinac is famous for its fudge and there are a dozen ones, all offering samples.
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours is the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything and become more acquainted with the island. The ride takes you through the many of the highlights of the island. Among the places they go are the historical Market Street, Mackinac Island State Park, and the Parade Ground. You’ll find places to take beautiful photos along the way.
Before you leave the Grand Hotel, make sure you stop at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor. The décor is as good as the ice cream. There’s also a tea shop and other specialty stores worth visiting in the lobby that runs as long as the porch.
Hotel Saugatuck is a Hidden Gem
In the lower peninsula of Michigan, Hotel Saugatuck is a spot to check out for a romantic getaway or a girls’ trip. This luxury bed and breakfast is nestled on the Kalamazoo River, near Lake Michigan. There is water all around Saugatuck, with quaint towns and quiet beaches.
The entrance to the hotel is welcoming, with a fireplace and piano. The 18 rooms (which includes the cottages across the parking lot) in the hotel have amenities such as fireplaces, Jacuzzis, and snacks. We had the Blue Star Room and it had plenty of room to spread out while we had our morning
Every night they bring you a homemade sweet treat (we had a blueberry mousse). They also make a fresh breakfast every day, which is deliver it right to your room so you can enjoy it in the comfy robes provided.
The staff was ready to help us with anything we needed, from bottled water to directions. I definitely would recommend Hotel Saugatuck, especially for a romantic getaway. It’s only about three hours from Central Illinois.
Be sure to Like Midwest Travel with Marcia Frost on Facebook for more information on her trips, and read her stories on her Wine And Spirits Travel blog. You can also follow Marcia @Spiritstraveler on Twitter and Instagram.