by Diana Lambdin Meyer
Remember “Somewhere in Time”? Much of the movie was filmed at this family resort, located on Mackinac Island. In fact, the resort has a movie theater with a specific seat dedicated to Christopher Reeves — the exact place he sat during significant scenes in the movie. One of the oldest and largest resorts on the island, Mission Point occupies 18 acres and expansive views of Lake Huron and the Straits of Mackinac.
The focal point of the property is the massive front lawn, filled with white Adirondack-style chairs that face the waterfront. Most days, you’ll find families flying kites, kicking soccer balls, playing with the family dog, or just spread out on a blanket with a picnic under a perfect blue sky.
In addition to the wide variety of activities offered on the island, Mission Point has its own 18-hole putting course, tennis and croquet facilities, a pool and oddly enough, even a dental office. With these activities, plus with four onsite restaurants and 242 rooms in a variety of arrangements, families of all sizes and needs usually find exactly what they need here.
The name “Mission Point” is a reference to the property’s history. Sometime in the early 1820s, a protestant missionary started an effort to educate and care for the Ojibwa children who lived on the island and in the region. A few years later, one of the first protestant churches in the Midwest was built here and aptly named Mission Church, thus securing the name Mission Point for this area of the island. Later, in the 1950s and during the spread of Communism, an evangelistic group committed to spreading love, honesty and purity, settled on Mission Point. Known as the Moral Re-Armament Society, they constructed the Main Lodge and other facilities on the grounds. Much of this story is told in the Tower Museum, a seven-story tower where, once you’ve climbed to the top, you’ll enjoy a scenic view of the island and the lakes area.
As of 2015, and following nearly three decades, Mission Point Resort has new owners and new plans for enhancements, including renovations in guestrooms and at the spa and pool.
Our Editor Loves
- Family Suites
- Kids' Island Club
- Kids Eat Free
Rooms & Rates
Mission Point has 242 rooms located in two primary buildings -- 109 rooms in the Main Lodge and 133 rooms in Straits Lodge. The Straits Lodge is where you'll find the 36 family suites, including two separate bedrooms with a Jack-n-Jill bath and lots of space to spread out in. The rate includes unlimited access to the Kid's Island Club.
Adjoining Rooms and Hot Tubs
Otherwise, room choices include adjoining rooms, rooms with hot tubs, or a large, three-bedroom Presidential Suite. Cribs are available at no charge, and rollaway beds are available for an additional $25 per night. DVD players are available for rent for $75 per day. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Bedtime Cookies & Milk
Surprise the kids with a bedtime story and milk & cookies from Mac-the-Moose. Although the Mission Point mascot appears in the lobby each Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. for stories and milk & cookies, you can make arrangements for the friendly moose to visit your room. There is an additional charge and advance notice is required.
Laundry service and guest laundry are not provided at Mission Point.
We stayed at Mission Point in July of 2018 and were impressed by the size of the property. The lodge and restaurants were very nice and we enjoyed sitting on the main lawn watching people fly kites and play. The only issues we had were with our room. The sink was in the main room and we never had any hot water there. It was lukewarm a couple of times but not for long. The bathroom only had a shower and the toilet. Whenever we wanted hot water to wash our hands or faces, we had to sit on the side of the tub and get it there. The other issue we had was that our room was at the end of the hall right next to the door that leads to the pool. We could hear that door open and slam closed every time someone went out or came in. Quite annoying to say the least. I tried to talk to someone at the front desk a couple of times but they were always so busy that I would finally just leave. All things considered, we would stay at Mission Point again but I would make sure we were not close to the pool and that we had hot water everywhere.
by Paul J
Mission Pointe offers everything you need for a great stay. Multiple dining options, bike rental, outdoor pool, and million dollar views. It is well maintain, and is off to the side so as peaceful and relaxing as there is anywhere.
Bicycles and Play Equipment
Other than horses, bicycles are the most common mode of transportation on Mackinac Island, and Mission Point Resort has its own bike rental facility. Bikes, buggies and carriers of all sizes and colors are available. Bicycle rental is taken care of in the Activity Center, which also provides the equipment needed to play everything from croquet or lawn bowling to the incredibly popular nighttime Glow Golf.
The outdoor swimming pool has a nice sun deck, but otherwise the pool itself is rather limited in size and scope. The rectangular shape is four feet deep throughout.
The children's program is appropriately called the Island Club. Designated for kids ages 4 to 12, the Island Club is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They provide a comprehensive program that includes creative time with arts & crafts, quiet time with games and books, and outdoor activities like kite flying, swimming and field trips to places such as the Fort and the Butterfly House. If adults want to spend an evening alone, the activity center can help with arrangements for babysitting services.
The Teen Center provides a great opportunity for kids over 12. It includes about 20 coin-operated games, a big billiards table and a number of couches and chairs for teens to hang out on together and text each other! Food is not served in the Teen Center, but pizza and other treats can be brought in.
The historic movie theater is a real treat at Mission Point. It dates to the 1950's and appears somewhat like a high school auditorium from that era. Each Friday, Saturday and Monday night, it plays first run movies for reasonable prices.
Additional entertainment comes in the form of nightly ghost tours and trivia hunts around the property. Younger children will love Friday and Saturday evenings. Go ahead and get them in their jammies, then bring them along with your camera to the lobby at 8 p.m. There the Mission Point mascot, Mac-the-Moose, and a helper will read a story to the kids and serve milk & cookies. Mac also makes appearances in guestrooms for special occasions.
The resort's "kids eat free" policy offers meals from a special children's menu for all children 12 and younger when accompanied by a paying adult. However, be alert to a $1.50 service charge per child.
Round Island Bar & Grill
Nautical flags hanging from the ceiling create a sporty atmosphere to this restaurant just off the Great Hall. Although it is also open for dinner, the Round Island is most popular for its breakfasts. A massive buffet offers all of the staples, including fresh fruit and cereals, but the a la cart blueberry French toast is so light and fluffy you'll want to order it every day. The same buffet is open for dinner with alternating entrees, as well as soups and salad. The Round Island is not open for lunch.
Bistro on the Greens
Enjoy a spectacular view of boats and ships passing through the Straits of Mackinac while enjoying lunch, dinner or an afternoon snack outdoors at the Bistro. Located just a short walk from the main lodge, the Bistro overlooks Mission Point's putting greens and includes a wonderful water feature filled with koi that entertains the kids. Adults enjoy the live music and the healthy selection of small plate entrees, salads and sandwiches. Remember to bring a jacket or sweatshirt for when the sun goes down. The temps shift quickly.
For a quick, uncomplicated breakfast, lunch or snack, zip downstairs to the Lakeside Marketplace. If you want just a bowl of cold cereal or a muffin for breakfast or an ice cream cone in the middle of the afternoon, you'll find it here. Many families place an order early in the day for a picnic lunch that they later enjoy out on the front lawn or while biking the 8-mile loop around the island. You can also grab a bottle of water or a bag of chips here, or fire up the cotton candy machine and make your favorite flavor.
Don't let the white linen tablecloths frighten your family from enjoying memorable Italian cuisine at Chianti. Nothing is so formal at Mission Point that children aren't included or that a coat and tie are required. Adults rave about the calamari with Romanesque sauce and the Chicken Mattone, but most children are simply satisfied by the child-sized portions of spaghetti, chicken parmesean and mac & cheese. And remember that kids under 12 eat free with a paying adult.
And if none of these options satisfy your family, Main Street is just a short-bike ride away and offers dozens of choices from pizza to steaks and everything in between.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting services are available through the Kid's Island Club staff and must be through the Activity Center. The spa is located in the Tower Museum building and has all of the amenities of a full-service spa, including tanning beds. Note that children under 18 must have signed permission by parents to use the tanning beds. The gym is adjacent so that locker rooms are shared. Children under 16 are not permitted to use the gym equipment.
If your family is not complete without the family pet, and since Mission Point is pet-friendly, consider visiting in June during the Lilac Festival. The event includes a "blessing of the animals" by local clergy.
You may also enjoy the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August, which is an island-wide event and a scrumptiously sweet time for families visiting the island.
The Art of Smart Timing
Mission Point Resort opens in May and closes in October. Summer is the ideal season to visit Mackinac Island when breezes from the Great Lakes really eliminate the need for air conditioning anywhere on the island. Consequently, summer is the busiest season at Mission Point Resort. Try to visit mid-week and weekends other than major holidays for the best bargains and fewest crowds. If the kids have a break from school, autumn on Mackinac Island is quite beautiful as well.
But no matter when you go, be sure to pack sweatshirts and long pants for everyone in the family or you'll be making some serious purchases at the gift shops. It's quite common for daytime temps to reach 85 degrees, but as soon as the sun drops, so does the temperature, dropping quickly into the low 60s as soon as the sun disappears.
Although there is a landing strip for private aircraft on the island, the most common way to reach Mackinac Island is via ferryboat from either St. Ignace or Mackinaw City. Mission Point Resort has a partnership with Arnold Transit, and ferry tickets are included in some packages. The Mission Point shuttle makes regular stops at the ferry dock, which is only about a 10-minute walk from the resort.
For Mom and Dad
Parents can feel pretty good about allowing their children to explore just about anywhere on Mackinac Island on their own. That goes double on the grounds of the Mission Point Resort, and older children love the freedom. Although crime and accidents can happen anywhere at any time, scraped knees from bicycle accidents are the most frequent problem children run into here.
Although families are welcome at Chianti, it is a very pleasant experience for moms and dads without the kids. Start with a half-priced martini at the antique cocktail bar, enjoyed in an over-sized chair while the pianist fills the lofty space with the richness of the baby grand piano. Then ask to be seated on the outside deck where the twinkling stars and lights from passing freighters create a magical dining environment.