Metro Detroit is home to plenty of traditional tourist attractions, from art museums to outdoor gardens to architectural tours. While these standard options have their perks, most of us appreciate taking a break from the norm from time to time. Here are nine out-of-the-ordinary or downright odd destinations to explore in and around the Motor City.
1. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum (31005 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills)
When you step into this vibrant spot, which features more than 5,000 square feet of delightful oddities and colorful machines, you’ll be happily overwhelmed. From video games to model airplanes to vintage signs, there’s truly something here to delight everyone. Whether you’re craving an arcade experience or simply looking for a unique place to spend the day, Marvin’s will impress.
2. The Masonic Temple (500 Temple Street, Detroit)
The Masonic Temple isn’t so much odd as it is fascinating - but there are certainly a few strange elements that make this locale stand out. The temple is the largest of its kind in the world and features some of the most stunning architecture in Detroit. Whether you’re attending a concert or checking out a special event, a visit to the Masonic Temple will leave you marveling at its beautifully eerie vibe.
3. Hamtramck Disneyland (12087 Klinger Street, Hamtramck)
Make your way to the suburb of Hamtramck for an up-close look at this fascinating array of objects, which fills an entire backyard and two side-by-side garages. Curated by the late Dmytro Szylak, a local folk artist, Hamtramck Disneyland features everything from stuffed animals to holiday lights to large found objects that have been converted into art pieces. What’s not to love?
4. Wayne State University Mortuary Museum (5439 Woodward Ave, Detroit)
If you have a fondness for the macabre, you’ll absolutely adore the Mortuary Science Museum at Wayne State University. Whether you’re hoping to pursue mortuary science as a career or simply eager to learn more about the history of funeral practices throughout Metro Detroit, a visit to this spot will undoubtedly capture your imagination as you peruse caskets, embalming materials, and more.
5. Hell, Michigan
You’ll have to embark on an hour-long car trip to reach this spot, but we simply couldn’t leave the town of Hell off our list. This quirky spot makes for a fun-filled day trip from the Motor City, featuring a variety of "hellish" activities and attractions. Enjoy a drink at Hell Saloon, snap some photos with funny signs, or grab a sweet treat at an ice cream parlor called Screams. It doesn’t get much odder than this!
6. The Wave Field (near Hayward and Beal, Ann Arbor)
When you’re craving an oddity that also doubles as an outdoor gem, head to North Campus at the University of Michigan and settle in among the greenery. The Wave Field is referred to as an "earthen sculpture," featuring sections of grassy earth that seem almost mobile with the aid of shadows, wind, and sun. Snap a few photos or relax among the "waves" - there’s a real sense of serenity here.
7. ODDballs Antiques (1196 W Vienna Road, Clio)
Looking to spice up your home with some out-of-this-world decor? Searching for a few unconventional gifts? We’ve got just the option for you. ODDballs Antiques, Oddities, and Curiosities is located approximately an hour and fifteen minutes from Detroit, but we think it’s well worth the drive - after all, you’ll uncover everything from funeral home memorabilia to vintage toys when you drop in to shop.
8. Edison’s Last Breath at the Henry Ford Museum (20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn)
The Henry Ford Museum is popular among Metro Detroiters of all ages for its massive array of exhibits and artifacts, including Greenfield Village in all its "living history" glory. There’s one decidedly odd item on display at the museum that you should surely visit, though: a tube that’s purported to hold the final breath of Thomas Edison himself. Talk about a unique piece of history!
9. Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry (1011 N University Ave, Ann Arbor)
Step into the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry to explore this unconventional museum, which details the history of dentistry and offers visitors the chance to check out vintage dental tools, learn about dental practices throughout the years, and explore plenty of historical photographs. If you’re afraid of visiting the dentist, though, you might just want to steer clear of this spot.
Are there any other odd or unusual destinations in Detroit and its surrounding areas that should have been included on our list? We would love to hear from you, so share your suggestions with us in the comments or fill out our nomination form by clicking
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