Rising majestically above Mackinac Island’s harbor, the iconic Grand Hotel stands as a gilded emblem of Victorian splendor and storied history. Built in 1887 amid the tourism boom on scenic Mackinac, this remarkable resort continues to charm guests over a century later with its timeless grandeur and traditions.
The railroad and steamship companies that brought travelers to the Mackinac area saw the need for an elegant, upscale lodging option to meet demand. Construction began on the impressive hotel, designed in the popular late-Victorian style of the era. Grand Hotel opened to great fanfare in the summer of 1887, hosting notable guests from Detroit, Chicago, and Canada willing to pay up to $5 per night for a luxurious island experience.
The early decades saw the Grand Hotel grow into the social hub of Mackinac. The hotel’s reputation for hospitality and refined accommodations continued to attract prominent vacationers. Multiple American presidents like Truman, Kennedy, and Clinton would visit over the years, along with famous literary figures such as Mark Twain.
The Grand Hotel’s iconic front porch also played a special role in history. In 1897, Thomas Edison chose it as the venue to reveal his newest creation – the phonograph. Later, the 1947 filming of This Time for Keeps at the hotel put it on the map for Hollywood starring Jimmy Durante and Esther Williams. But it was Somewhere in Time in 1980 that cemented the Grand Hotel’s fame as a movie set location.
Through all the changes, Grand Hotel still retains its Victorian spirit, including hosting lively evening dances and its signature lunch. At 660 feet, it boasts the longest porch in the world, perfect for admiring Mackinac’s charm. For over a century, the Grand Hotel has defined the island’s elegance.
Today guests can still experience this living legend by booking a room or dining at the Grand Hotel, located at 286 Grand Avenue. Treat yourself to a luxurious escape at this iconic historic resort.
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