When the weekend rolls around, there’s nothing better than hopping in the car with loved ones and heading out for a fun-filled day trip or two. Luckily, Detroit is located in close proximity to all sorts of exciting destinations that you’ll have a blast exploring. Here are ten of our favorite day trips around the Motor City.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Greenfield Village (Dearborn)
If you’re a history buff, you’ll have a blast exploring this unique destination in Dearborn. Located within the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village offers visitors the opportunity to truly step back in time. Ride in a Model T, mingle with historic re-enactors and bask in the charming beauty of this fascinating village.
Want to journey to Europe without leaving the comfort and convenience of Michigan? Frankenmuth is the perfect destination. This Bavarian-style town is overflowing with things to do and see — whether you’re shopping, enjoying a few slices of delicious fudge, or dining at Zehnder’s, you’ll adore Frankenmuth.
3. Kensington Metropark (Milford)
Venture to nearby Milford for a fantastic experience in the great outdoors. This park contains more than 4,500 acres of natural beauty to explore. During warmer months, you’ll find opportunities to boat, swim, and explore the shoreline of Kent Lake. Throughout the year, the park offers chances to hike, marvel at wildlife, bike, or cross-country ski.
4. Ann Arbor
Apart from the University of Michigan, there’s an endless array of activities and attractions to explore in Ann Arbor. Take a stroll through its vibrant downtown area to do a bit of shopping, catch a football game at the Big House, or enjoy the beauty of nature with a walk through Nichols Arboretum. What’s not to love?
5. Hell, Michigan
Don’t let its name fool you: this delightfully strange little town in Michigan is certainly not frightening. With a variety of quirky attractions and Hell-themed eateries, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for photos, fun, and family togetherness. This is one circumstance in which "Go to Hell" isn’t insulting!
6. Bay City
Tucked away along Saginaw Bay, this lovely small town is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of life in the Motor City. There’s something here for every member of the family — whether you opt for a bit of antique shopping, grab a bite to eat downtown, or stroll alongside the waterfront, you’ll have a relaxing experience during your time in Bay City.
7. Windsor, Ontario
We’re lucky to live just minutes away from Canada — so why not take advantage of this proximity with a quick day trip across the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario? Our international neighbor has all sorts of things to do, from gambling at Caesars to getting in touch with your artistic side at the Windsor Sculpture Park. The best part? It’s just a stone’s throw from home.
8. Belle Isle
You don’t have to leave the Motor City to have a fantastic experience. Belle Isle is one of Detroit’s most wonderful attractions, and this island park is overflowing with things to do and see. Stop in at the Belle Isle Aquarium for some free exploration, catch gorgeous views of the Motor City skyline, or simply marvel at the beauty of the island’s fountain.
Our state’s capital is an amazing day trip destination for Detroiters of all ages. Perhaps you remember visiting Lansing for a childhood field trip, but it’s just as exciting for adult visitors. Take a tour of the Michigan Capitol and glance up at its beautiful rotunda, then venture to nearby East Lansing to peruse the campus of Michigan State University. There’s something here for everyone.
10. Kalamazoo Air Zoo
While the entire city of Kalamazoo is overflowing with things to do and see, the Air Zoo is worth a visit in itself. This aviation museum is a blast for kids and parents alike — featuring everything from flight simulators to chances to get up-close and personal with vintage aircraft. You'll have fun, learn a whole lot, and enjoy togetherness with the entire family.
Are there any other unique day trip destinations near Detroit that you’d recommend to your fellow Motor City residents? We’re always eager to hear your suggestions, so share your thoughts in the comment section below.