by Alex Palmer | September 03, 2016

Island of Excitement
Those looking to enjoy Michigan's natural wonders should head north, to Mackinac Island. A land mass of less than four square miles set in Lake Huron between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, the island is more than 80 percent preserved as the Mackinac Island State Park -- and the rest feels preserved from an earlier era. No cars are allowed here, and the quaint shops and waterfront restaurants make this ideal for groups looking to get away from the daily bustle.

"Getting to Mackinac Island is part of the unique experience," says Ken Hayward, executive vice president and managing director for Grand Hotel, the stunning historic hotel that overlooks the island. He points out that the island is in close proximity to local airports (the Mackinac Island Airport also services charter planes), and a short ferry ride from either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. "Once you are here, getting around by bicycle, walking, or horse-drawn carriage are the preferred modes of transportation because automobiles are banned on Mackinac Island."

Grand Hotel is perhaps the most prominent property on the island, with 390 guest rooms (including 30 uniquely designed rooms and suites, inspired by first ladies, historic figures, and others), as well as an expansive front garden and the longest front porch in the world (both are available for groups). Its meeting spaces are "grand" as well and infused with the hotel's 129-year history. It offers more than a dozen different spaces, each with a distinct design, including the 7,080-square-foot Theatre, 3,145-square-foot Brighton Pavilion, and 682-square-foot Pontiac Room.

"The natural beauty of Grand Hotel and its surroundings provides the perfect getaway for meetings of all sizes and truly provides a memorable location to get away from it all," says Hayward "Our guests value being able to take a step back in time."  

Questions or comments? Email [email protected]

This article appears in the September 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.