Mackinac Island, sitting off the coast of Upper Michigan in Lake Huron, is an absolutely beautiful place. It’s been Michigan’s summer vacation destination since the late 1800s. There are no cars on the island except for a few emergency vehicles, and the only way to get out to Mackinac Island is by boat or plane. It’s totally remote but close enough to the mainland that you can be there in 15 minutes! And if you’re looking to visit Mackinac Island next year with the kids, Mission Point Resort is where you want to stay!
Disclosure: A huge thank you to Mission Point Resort for making this trip possible. We partnered with them to show why Mission Point Resort is the perfect place to stay when exploring Mackinac Island. As always, all opinions are honest and our own.
Mission Point Resort is located on the sunrise side of Mackinac Island. While it does take some time to get to the resort, it is TOTALLY worth the effort. Most people opt to take the ferry out to Mackinac Island, and you can do that from either Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula or St Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. We boarded a ferry in Mackinaw City; there are two options – Shepler’s and Starline, and I don’t think you can go wrong with either. Both take your luggage before you board the ferry, and it is delivered directly to your hotel, as long as you’re staying at Mission Point or The Grand.
Once you arrive on the island, since there are no cars, you either can walk to the resort or call for a horse-drawn taxi. It was a glorious fall day, so we opted to walk, and if we hadn’t stopped multiple times on the way to sample fudge(!) and have lunch, it would have only taken about 10 to 15 minutes to go from the ferry dock to Mission Point Resort.
Isn’t this lobby gorgeous?! Construction on the Mission Point Great Hall began in the winter of 1955, and it was completed in 1956. Because Mission Point sits on an island in a lake that freezes every winter, 3000 tons of supplies and equipment were delivered before the Straits of Mackinac froze for the winter. Construction screeched to a halt when they ran out of lumber in the spring. Over a warm weekend, dynamite was used to break up the ice in the shipway, and a supply barge was finally able to break through and get much-needed supplies out to Mission Point to complete the Great Hall Complex.
Condé Nast recently named Mission Point Resort one of their Top Ten Resorts in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest for 2021. Mission Point also received the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Award for being one of the Top Ten Resort Hotels in the Midwest. A pretty impressive feat and completely well deserved, in our opinion!
MISSION POINT RESORT MAIN LODGE FAMILY SUITE
There are quite a few different room combinations at Mission Point Resort, ranging from rooms for two to rooms for the whole family. Plus, there are several exquisite suites complete with seating areas and amazing views of Lake Huron.
We stayed in a Mission Point Family Suite in the Main Lodge. These rooms sleep six and feature one bedroom with a king bed and a second bedroom with two double beds. Each room has its own sink and vanity area, making it way easier to get ready in the morning, and the two rooms share a bathroom. It was plenty of room for the four of us on this trip and would have worked nicely as a family of six, as well.
The Straits Lodge is where you’ll stay if you’re bringing your pup along on vacation. The Straits Lodge at Mission Point is one of the only dog-friendly properties on the island. Like the Main Lodge, the Straits Lodge has a variety of room configurations ranging from rooms for 2 to family-style suites. Another plus to staying in the Straits Lodge is that it’s closer to downtown, so if you’re planning on walking, it’s a little easier on your feet.
MISSION POINT RESORT GREAT LAWN
Mission Point Resort is well known for the Great Lawn. Situated in front of the hotel and overlooking Lake Huron and the Straits of Mackinac, the Great Lawn features 81 Adirondack chairs and is perfect for relaxation. We grabbed coffee from Boxwoods and honestly could have spent all day relaxing on the lawn. Throughout our stay at Mission Point, we spotted couples having picnics, families flying kites and people lounging.
The Mission Point Resort Great Lawn IS open to the public, so even if you’re not staying at the resort, feel free to stop by and hang out! While you’re there, check out the guided history tours about Mission Point Resort and the eastern side of Mackinac Island on Thursdays at 10am. Leisurely garden tours are offered on Saturdays at 1030am and Wednesdays at 530pm. Or be like Ben and use the resort’s trails for cross country practice!!
This was our first time visiting the Great Lakes region, and the kids were constantly in awe of how big the lakes actually are. Mackinac Island genuinely feels more like you’re out in the middle of the ocean than in a lake. While I lounged in an Adirondack chair on the Great Lawn with a latte, the kids had a fab time skipping rocks and looking for sea glass and fossils along the shore of Lake Huron.
MISSION POINT RESORT ACTIVITIES
Mission Point Resort has plenty to do without ever leaving the 18 acres of the resort grounds. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get out and explore Mackinac Island because you totally should, but there is plenty to do if you don’t want to leave.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day (and weekends in September and October), a complimentary kids club is available at Mission Point. We stayed mid-week in October, so I did not have the chance to check out the kids club, but I’ve heard wonderful things!
Since there are no cars on the island, many people opt for a two-wheeled mode of transportation to get around and explore the island. Mission Point offers bike rentals by the hour or the day on a first come-first served basis. There are bicycle rental shops all over the island, but we found getting them at Mission Point was the most convenient.
The island has over 70 miles of natural and paved trails. One of the most popular routes is the 8.2 mile Highway M-185 (Lake Shore Boulevard) circling the island. There are no cars on the highway – it’s the only highway in the country where vehicles are prohibited! – so it’s used by bikers and pedestrians.
It takes about 3-4 hours to walk or about an hour to bike the whole loop without stopping for most people. But it’s definitely worth stopping to take in the views.
Arch Rock is one of the most popular stops on the east side of M-185 – and it’s only about a half-mile from Mission Point Resort. You can see the arch from the highway as you’re riding by or stop at the nearby pull-off to take in the view. But you really should climb the 207 steps to the top of Arch Rock and see it from above, with Lake Huron glistening behind.
Golfing at the Greens of Mackinac, the 18-hole putting course at Mission Point Resort, was a fun way for the kids to spend part of the afternoon.
The putt-putt course is right next to the water, so you can take in the fabulous views while you’re waiting for your turn. Plus, it’s next to the bar at Bistro on the Greens, where you can grab a to-go drink to enjoy while you golf.
Outdoor Swimming Pool
If your kids are anything like mine, they think going to the pool is one of the best things you can do while staying at a hotel. We visited the pool EVERY day of our stay! They loved warming up in the hot tub since it was a bit chilly while we were in town.
They also really enjoyed swimming at night. We had the pool to ourselves, and the girls had fun splashing around – until it started POURING! We quickly grabbed our towels and clothes and headed back into the resort to warm up and dry off!
We didn’t have a chance to visit the Mackinac Island Movie Theater this time around, but I will make time for it next time we’re in town. It’s a piece of Hollywood history and was the setting for Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The Mackinac Island Arts Council sponsors movies from May – October.
- Every Sunday 330pm – Mackinac: Our Famous Island
- Every Sunday 430pm – This Time For Keeps (filmed at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island)
- Every Tuesday 730pm – Somewhere in Time (filmed at Mission Point Resort and The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island)
MISSION POINT RESORT RESTAURANTS
While there are plenty of restaurants on Mackinac Island to choose from, Mission Point has several of their own on the property, and they’re definitely worth a try. Described as a culinary adventure, Chianti features a farm-to-ferry menu with a prix fixe dinner for $125/person. Located by the golf course, Bistro on the Greens features a Mediterranean menu. We didn’t have the chance to try either of those options, but I’ve heard rave reviews about both.
If you’re looking for a cup of coffee, a scoop of ice cream, or a quick snack, Boxwood Coffeeshop & Cafe is where it’s at. We grabbed coffees and cones and headed out to the Great Lawn to relax. Plus, they have picnic provisions so you can create a basket and take it with you when you’re exploring the island.
Round Island Kitchen
We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Round Island Kitchen. This restaurant showcases Michigan’s twist on classic comfort foods, and we loved every meal. We dined indoors and outdoors and much preferred the atmosphere outside – as long as you can keep the bees away. In all seriousness, there were a lot of bees depending on the time of day and wind speed, BUT they didn’t bother us at all. Ellie freaked out anytime one came near her, but that’s an Ellie thing, not something that would bother most people.
Ben ordered the Eggs Benedict one morning and decided he really does like poached eggs – at least when covered in hollandaise sauce! The Whitefish Hash & Eggs, pancakes, and omelets were also faves for our crew.
Speaking of whitefish, we tried it for the first time on this trip, and it’s delicious! Ben, in particular, was pretty smitten with whitefish and ordered it in tacos, as a dip, panko breaded, and broiled.
Over the course of lunch and dinner, we tried almost half of the menu. The Seared Salmon and the Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich were two of the clear winners. We honestly really enjoyed every menu item that we ordered.
Without a doubt, though, I can say that our absolute favorite thing on the menu was the cherry braised beef nachos. I’m kicking myself for not ordering them every single time we sat down. Oh my gosh, it was SO. GOOD. I would never have thought to use wonton chips for nachos, but they totally worked. Absolutely amazing.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT MISSION POINT RESORT
We truly LOVED staying at Mission Point Resort and would stay there again in a heartbeat. The kids have not stopped talking about our time on Mackinac Island, and they’ve been begging to return. There are lots of options when it comes to Mackinac Island hotels, but do yourself a favor, and stay at Mission Point Resort, especially if you’re bringing the kids or a dog along. And make sure to order the Cherry Braised Beef Nachos if you eat at Round Island Kitchen – seriously, SO GOOD!!! Have you been to Mackinac Island?? Would you be more excited to bike around the island or hang out on the Great Lawn at Mission Point Resort??