Mackinac Island’s most historic hotels

Grand Hotel, Island House Hotel and Hotel Iroquois are all recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as being among the finest Historic Hotels of America. Yet, in terms of age, they are just three of many historic places to stay on Michigan’s Mackinac Island.

Did you know there are no fewer than 15 Mackinac Island hotels and B&Bs that date back to the 19th century?

As much as Mackinac Island’s car-free roads contribute to the character of the No. 1 Best Island in the Continental U.S., so do the many homes, cottages and inns that showcase the charming architecture of yesteryear.

Here’s a look at some of Mackinac Island’s most historic places to stay, along with some fascinating historical tidbits:

Mackinac Island’s Island House Hotel sits along Main Street east of downtown across from boats in the marina

Mackinac Island’s Island House Hotel

Mackinac Island’s Island House Hotel was built in 1852 right as the island transitioned from a strategic military outpost into a tourism hot spot. Did you know that Island House sat empty for more than 20 years and almost got torn down around 1970? The video below shares the incredible restoration story of preserving the hotel for the 21st century and beyond.

 

The sign out front of the Cloghaun B&B lights up as night falls on the historic Mackinac Island inn

Cloghaun B&B on Mackinac Island

The founder of Island House Hotel was one of many Irish immigrants who made a lasting impact on Mackinac Island including his niece, who built the Cloghaun B&B in the 1880s. After coming to America, Bridget Donnelly’s husband found work building the Soo Locks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They used that money to buy the Mackinac Island property where the B&B still stands downtown on Market Street.

A lamppost illuminates the Murray Hotel with bikes parked out front at night on Mackinac Island’s Main Street

Mackinac Island’s Murray Hotel

Another influential Irishman on Mackinac Island was Dominick Murray, who built the Murray Hotel in the 1880s. The 69-room, family-owned hotel sits right in the middle of downtown on Main Street across from the Mackinac Island Ferry Co. dock.

Bogan Lane Inn sits across the street from the wraparound porch out front of Pine Cottage B&B on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island’s Pine Cottage B&B and Bogan Lane Inn

Many of the oldest places to stay on Mackinac Island were built first as individual homes before later being converted into B&Bs. Both Pine Cottage Bed & Breakfast and Bogan Lane Inn are examples. Located just up the hill from Main Street east of downtown, Pine Cottage is noted for its wraparound porch and since 1870 has housed guests including writer Ernest Hemingway and baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. The neighboring Bogan Lane Inn across the street is even older, dating to the 1850s. The house was empty for much of the first half of the 20th century before coming back to life as a hotel.

A bedroom at Haan’s 1830 Inn on Mackinac Island features period furniture and a wooden beam ceiling

Haan’s 1830 Inn on Mackinac Island

As its name suggests, Haan’s 1830 Inn on Mackinac Island was built around 1830! The 9-room B&B next to Ste. Anne’s Church on Main Street east of downtown has been family owned and operated as an inn since the 1980s.

Flowers bloom around the lawn in front of the historic Harbour View Inn on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island’s Harbour View Inn

Located on the other side of Ste. Anne’s Church is the historic Harbour View Inn, built in 1820 by Mackinac Island pioneer Magdelaine LaFramboise. The home remained a cottage until the end of the 1900s, when it was converted to a hotel with rooms in a variety of settings in four separate buildings.

Light peeks out the windows of the distinctive Inn on Mackinac at night on Michigan’s Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island’s Inn on Mackinac

Next to Harbour View Inn is the historic Inn on Mackinac built in 1867 as a private residence. It originally was called Chateau Beaumont, in honor of the renowned 19th-century Fort Mackinac surgeon. It is one of several Mackinac Island places to stay with a swimming pool.

A dock leads out into the water from the historic Hotel Iroquois in downtown Mackinac Island

Hotel Iroquois on Mackinac Island

A Victorian mansion located right on the water at the west end of downtown Mackinac Island next to Windermere Point, Mackinac Island’s Hotel Iroquois is renown for its Proven Winners Signature Gardens and Carriage House fine dining experience, with an outdoor veranda and private beach to boot. It originally was built as a single-family home in 1902.

Where to see flower gardens on Mackinac Island

Exterior view of the Bay View B&B along the water on a beautiful sunny day on Mackinac Island

More historic places to stay east of downtown Mackinac Island

Other historic places to stay along Main Street east of downtown include Bay View B&B, built in 1891 right on the water at the end of the marina. And on either side of Mission Point Resort are the Jacob Wendell House, which dates to the 1840s and is named after the largest Mackinac Island landowner of the time, and Small Point B&B with eight distinct rooms – all without televisions.

A view from the water of the historic Windermere Hotel on Mackinac Island at Windermere Point downtown

More historic places to stay right in downtown Mackinac Island

Historic places to stay from the 1800s right downtown on Mackinac Island include Windermere Hotel, built in 1887 and turned into an inn after the turn of the century. It’s managed by longtime Mackinac Island Mayor Margaret Doud. Elsewhere downtown, Metivier Inn was built on Market Street in the 1870s and Lake View Hotel on Main Street dates to the 1850s.

The sun sets behind Mackinac Island’s stately Grand Hotel with flowers blooming in the foreground

Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel

Located up the hill from downtown and looming over the rest of Mackinac Island is Grand Hotel, the iconic resort famously built in just 93 days in the 1880s. Grand Hotel has hosted presidents and movie stars through the years and boasts the longest front porch in the world. The original room rates at the Grand: $3 to $5 per night.

 

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