Bay View Bed & Breakfast  ·  P.O. Box 448  ·  Mackinac Island, MI 49757  ·  906.847.3295
Feature article from Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine, April 2002 "Room with a View"
Owners Lydia and Doug Yoder and daughter Sara Bailey (age 3) greet guests on the front porch. Around the corner (right) is the carriage walk, still a perfect place to wait for your carriage or to score a front-row seat for harbor yacht races. Little touches, like a lighthouse view from a tiny oval window, set Bay View apart.

Guests Jerry and Julie VanDusen fell easily into the role of 19th-century cottagers as they lounged on cushioned wicker loveseats on the deep, shady front porch of the Bay View Bed and Breakfast.

Butterflies flitted through the garden as the couple waited hand-in-hand for a horse and carriage to ferry them off to dinner. Later, back at the inn, they would move to a private patio and enjoy a view of a star-filled sky and peaceful harbor.

Their stay couldn't be more perfect, they told inn manager Joyce Dodge. Except for just one thing. The room was a little too quiet. Last time they stayed at the inn, their room faced the street, they explained, and they woke to the clip clop of horses. They missed that.

You probably won't find another inn, anywhere, where guests are anxious to trade a water view for street noise, but this is Mackinac Island. And between the last ferry departure of the night and the first one of morn, the island feels less like one of the Midwest's hottest tourist destinations and more a place where life is lived at a simpler, saner pace.

Bay View, uniquely situated on the marina at the edge of town, lies at the hub of old-time village action come morning. Horse-drawn drays deliver loads of groceries and supplies from the mainland, and drivers call out a friendly hello to passersby—so close to Bay View's roomy front porch and street-facing rooms that you can hear their conversations. When a trumpet plays an early morning reveille from the fort across the street, the sound doesn’t jolt you from bed so much as lure you to the window to see just what else the island has in store. At this point, even repeat visitors have been known to ask, "What century have I been transported to, anyway?"

The comforting pace of Mackinac is what Bay View owner Doug Yoder was seeking himself more than a decade ago when he chucked life as a rising star in the fast-paced Nashville music industry to be an innkeeper. He traded his black Mercedes for a red pickup, bought a golden retriever and named him Mack, and grew a beard.

But Yoder was no interloper on the island scene. His island roots, and memories, ran deep.

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