Swimming and Mackinac Island have gone hand in hand for more than 70 years, since a national champion swimmer starred in a Hollywood movie shot on location at Grand Hotel. In fact, the pool at Grand Hotel still bears the name of that swimmer-turned-actress, Esther Williams.
Just as tourists came to the grounds of Grand Hotel to watch Williams and her co-stars film “This Time for Keeps” in the summer of 1947, they still enjoy spending time around the swimming pools of Mackinac Island.
The Esther Williams Swimming Pool at Grand Hotel remains the largest pool on Mackinac Island. The pool area is actually bigger than ever after a renovation that added reservable cabanas with food and beverage service, a new adults-only section with a whirlpool featuring an infinity edge and a new family play area with zero-depth beach entry, water jets and a water slide.
In addition to Grand Hotel, several other places to stay on Mackinac Island also have swimming pools and hot tubs available for their guests:
The interior of Mackinac Island’s Lake View Hotel features a spectacular four-story atrium with an indoor heated pool, hot tub and sauna in the middle. The historic hotel dates to 1858 and is located on Main Street right in town near Windermere Point.
The outdoor sun deck at Mackinac Island’s historic Murray Hotel features a heated spa pool. The hotel that dates to 1882 oozes old-fashioned charm yet offers modern amenities and is located on Main Street right across from the ferry docks in the heart of downtown.
The many amenities at Mackinac Island’s Mission Point Resort include a heated outdoor swimming pool with hot tubs. The expansive resort is located on Lakeshore Drive, or M-185, at the southeast corner of Mackinac Island.
The gorgeous grounds of the Inn at Stonecliffe on Mackinac Island include a heated outdoor swimming pool and sun deck. The Inn at Stonecliffe is located on the west side of Mackinac Island near Mackinac Island Airport and The Woods Nine of The Jewel Golf Course.
The Inn on Mackinac on Mackinac Island features a heated spa pool with waterfall and sun deck. The distinctive Victorian hotel that dates to 1867 is located on Main Street, or M-185, just east of Marquette Park near the Mackinac Island Harbor.
Mackinac Island’s Chippewa Hotel Waterfront features a giant, 25-person hot tub on the deck overlooking the Mackinac Island Harbor and ferry docks. The hotel that’s home to the Pink Pony is on Main Street near Marquette Park at the foot of Fort Mackinac.
Mackinac Island’s Island House Hotel offers a heated indoor swimming pool as well as both indoor and outdoor hot tubs. The historic hotel that dates to 1852 is located on Main Street right across from the marina, just east of Marquette Park.
Of course, Mackinac Island is surrounded by beautiful blue water so you technically can swim in the Straits of Mackinac, too. But you should know that the shores around Mackinac Island are rocky, so be sure to pack some water shoes if you want to take a dip in the Great Lakes. The beach at British Landing near the northern tip of Mackinac Island is a popular spot for wading, as are several other points along M-185 as it circles the island.
You should also know that the waters off Mackinac Island can be pretty chilly even in the peak of summer. It’s not uncommon for water temperatures to linger in the 40s past Memorial Day, although the water often warms into the 60s or even 70s by later in the summer.
Most swimming pools on Mackinac Island are heated, so no worries about water temperatures there!