The Balsams has a sign out front that says "Est 1927" and I believe it. The grounds are filled with lovely older trees, especially evergreens. The cabins are older, and I have stayed in them, but I prefer one of the motel rooms, especially the ones with wood floors. This is a real place run by real people, not a fancy schmancy perfect place where the people who run it make you feel uncomfortable for being who you are. My family stays at the Balsam's for a week every year (since 2001), and we wouldn't miss our week there for anything. It is close to the ferries to Mackinac Island, there are trails on the property to hike, the beach is sweet and small and private, the water is shallow for a long way out so little kids are safe, the creek is fun for crayfish hunting, there is a volleyball net on the beach and we make a campfire on the beach every night and watch the stars and occasionally the Northern Lights or the international space station make an appearance. The sunsets are golden, the mosquitos are fierce, and night swims out far enough to see the Mackinac Bridge are another annual event. There is a public beach about 6-8 miles to the West down Rt 2 with great sand dunes and roaring surf on windy days. In short, we just love the Balsams, and have made many happy family memories there.