You may know that only a four hour drive north from Ann Arbor brings you to the edge of Lake Huron. And only a fifteen minute ferry ride from there brings you to Mackinac Island, a car-less, fudge filled paradise that feels very much “somewhere in time”. My first visit to the Island, several years ago, was a quick day trip and I knew I had to return to see more. An October visit to Mission Point Resort for a weekend stay was just the ticket!
History, elegance, and family fun
Mission Point Resort, a historic property with a very unique story, provides a guided tour of yesteryear. The grounds are exquisite. Even in October there were flowers everywhere, and with flower pressing activities,you can bring the flora home with you! Inside the resort spectacular architecture begins in the main lobby, which resembles a 16-sided teepee. And then, there is the service. The hotel strives to be family friendly, and they are! The staff was wonderful, especially with my one-year old. Children, of all ages, are welcome, even in the high-end restaurant, Chianti, where we enjoyed a delicious multi-course dinner on our first night. The meal turned out to be my favorite experience at the resort. The food was delicious, the view of the lake at sunset exquisite, and our son was able to enjoy dinner with us. The pianist even played Disney songs for the kids! My son, liberated from his highchair while the adults were still enjoying dessert, crawled on the floor near our table and our waiter was very sweet with him. It’s rare to find a high-end restaurant that welcomes children; an attribute that definitely makes Mission Point shine!
Food and activities
We loved the food offerings and I spoke with Executive Chef Gabriel Vera about their menus. He shared that, “The new menu speaks to our core values of providing genuine hospitality, simple comfort, and delicious food, in a setting of relaxed and comfortable elegance. We make everything from scratch, including our pastas. In addition, we are committed to reducing waste and composting to conserve, respecting our beautiful island location.”
The resort also offered fun activities. The pool and hot tub are inviting and you can rent bikes outside the lobby door to ride into town or to explore the island. A planned kite-flying activity was called off due to lack of wind. On our next visit I plan to take advantage of their spa (the pedicure chairs looked incredible) and the babysitting and Kids Club services that they provide.
They even have an “executive putting green” aka mini golf course with glo-golf at night. The concierge was excellent and she arranged a wonderful horse carriage ride that took us to Fort Mackinac – a must-see spot, especially for the view! Our guide was knowledgeable and told us some great stories about former residents of the Fort. Island visitor will want to reserve at least an hour to visit Fort Mackinac.
Recent updates and future plans
The resort, under new ownership since 2015, is being updated with more new features planned for the future. The rooms were very convenient; a two room family suite with a shared bathroom. There is nothing less relaxing than sharing a room with a baby on vacation and the family suite was the perfect setup. While there have been some great updates, the rooms are still in need of some amenities, as our mattress and bed linens left something to be desired. The second bedroom even featured kid-sized twin beds – adorable, and rare.
Mission Point’s friendly staff will open the doors for guests May 12. Kites and adirondack chairs will be on its famous, lakefront Great Lawn, awaiting your arrival. Family suites are available and kids 12 and under eat free. Overall, Mackinac Island is definitely worth the four-hour drive and Mission Point is a great place to stay and experience island life.