MACKINAC ISLAND, Michigan--Most people come to Mackinac Island for
two reasons: to eat fudge and enjoy the quiet.
On Mackinac (pronounced Mack-i-naw) Island over a million pounds
of fudge is made during the tourist season lending credence to the
moniker "Fudgies" given to tourists.
But more impressive than the fudge, is the absence of car horns,
bus mufflers and buzzing mopeds. The air here is clean and exhaust
free. That is because anything with a motor is banned on the
island. The preferred method of transportation is bicycle or
A retreat to such a destination can make a long weekend feel
like a week. A very relaxing, peaceful, fudge-filled week.
Mackinac Island is located where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan
meet, between Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The island is
not large. It's two miles wide by three miles long, with a
circumference of eight miles.
A good way to explore Mackinac is to rent bikes (starting at $6
an hour; or $21 for the day) and cycle the island. There is a path
that hugs the coast of the island offering gorgeous views and a
wonderful lakefront breeze.
Hundreds of bikes line the streets (no locks needed; theft is
almost nonexistent here) while horse-drawn carriages meander by.
Families enjoying ice cream or fudge in the center of town. The
scene is reminiscent of another time.
While there are many
day-trip visitors to the island, overnighting affords lazy evening
strolls along the beach, watching the sunset over the lake.
Mission Point Resort, located on the southeast end of the
island, is an inviting accommodation. Situated on 18 acres, the
resort is a good walk from the main part of town allowing guests to
enjoy a private oasis.
In front of the resort a expansive lawn complete with hammock,
tennis courts, a verandah and numerous strategically placed
lounging chairs allow guests unlimited lakefront views.
In the back of the resort is a bike rental shop, swimming pool,
Jacuzzi, In-line skate rental and a video arcade. Inside the resort
resides a fitness center, beauty parlor, sauna, massage services,
and Kid's Klub activity center.
In short, all the amenities of modern life are accessible even
if the island is lost charmingly in time.
Mission Point has 239 rooms, including 92 room suites. The rooms
have recently been renovated with a nautical theme; many offer
lakeviews. The rooms are spacious and come complete with
television, phone, armoire, reading lamps, lounging chairs, and
There are 33 meeting rooms in differing size equaling 35,000
square feet of conference service. There is a 575-seat theater, a
300 square foot sound stage used for exhibits and large banquets.
The conference center features an executive board and a full
service business center.
In addition to booking conferences here, Mission Point Resort is
also a great place to book a wedding. On busy summer weekends there
are up to ten weddings a weekend (banquet facilities provide
expansive lakefront views). Three were taking place the day I
There are also a range of restaurants at the resort.
The newest restaurant, The Great Straits Seafood Company, is a
seafood lover's paradise. Fresh fish is served in a Victorian-style
dining room complete with a piano crooner.
However, what I appreciated most here was the incredible
service. I had hoped to get an outside table to enjoy the sunset,
but all three were taken. When a couple finally left I was in the
middle of eating my main entree when my waiter asked if I'd like to
I wanted nothing more, but as the restaurant was quite busy and
my waiter was constantly on the go, I thought it too much to ask.
He brushed aside my concerns and immediately moved everything to
the table (he had no idea that I was a travel writer). It was such
a thoughtful gesture and that was just one of many that were
performed during my stay.
The concierge, John Nash, is an extremely affable man who made
sure his guests were enjoying their stay. He set up carriage rides,
suggested activities for children and executed everything with a
warm smile and friendly demeanor.
At Mackinac Island courtesy and professionalism is served up in
a welcoming, inviting way. Some said this treatment is commonplace
in the Midwest. That may be, but then Mackinac holds a patent on
Mission Point Resort at a Glance
Address: One Lakeshore Drive
Mackinac Island, Michigan 49757
Phone: (906) 847-3312
E-mail: [email protected]
Season Dates: May 5 through October 31
Fax: (906) 847-3408
Romantic Escape, at $339 per person, includes two
nights in a suite, breakfast, dinner at the Great Straits
restaurant, a bottle of champagne upon arrival, carriage ride and
gourmet picnic for two.
Autumn Adventure Package, at $199 per person,
includes two nights in a standard room, breakfast, and dinner at
the Great Straits restaurant.