I have a feeling that there aren’t many people who have Detroit, Michigan on their travel bucket list (Me being one of them!), but when we got the invite to our good friends’ wedding in Michigan, the explorer within me emerged, and I knew we had to take advantage of our time there to check it out!
We drove from Tallahassee to Atlanta, then flew from Atlanta to Detroit where we landed Friday around noon. We had a rehearsal dinner to attend that night, so time was limited our first day there, but I still feel like we got to see most everything that we planned to. We started at the GM Renaissance Center, which is basically a group of cool Skyscrapers owned by GM. Inside is shopping, a food court and a car showroom. Unfortunately, the car showroom was under construction when we visited, so we were disappointed that we didn’t get to see any of the specialty cars.
The Detroit Riverwalk is right outside of the Renaissance Center, so we headed outside to check that out for a little bit. Very cool, but also very windy!
We decided we wanted to eat lunch in a different area of the city, so we left the Renaissance Center and walked around downtown Detroit in the area of Woodward Avenue in search of something good to eat; it was not hard to find! The area was nice, very walkable and not at all crowded, which is honestly not at all what I expected to find in Detroit.
There were a lot of new-looking restaurants and bars, but we decided to eat somewhere a little less “new” – Checker Bar & Grill on Cadillac Square. It’s a great place to try local beers and eat delicious specialty burgers. I definitely recommend it to anyone in the area who is looking for a great burger. The food and drinks hit the spot after a day of traveling and a lot of walking!
After lunch we drove over to Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers baseball park) and Ford Field (Detroit Lions football field). I actually looked into going to a game while we were in town, but they interfered with the wedding we had to go to. Priorities! 😉
After we finished exploring downtown Detroit, we headed to the hotel to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. It’s crazy how quickly you can get to rural areas outside of Detroit. We stayed at a hotel in Utica, less than 45 minutes outside of Detroit, and the rehearsal dinner was at the bride’s family farm, so the rest of the day was all farmland and trees. It was beautiful!
We didn’t really think there was anything else we had time to see in Detroit on Saturday, but rather than sleeping in, we decided to wake up early and go to Canada for breakfast! Windsor, Ontario is right across the river from Detroit.
We drove in through a tunnel under the Detroit River, then drove around Windsor until we spotted Pete’s Place. This place was the definition of a “hole in the wall”. It was a one man show, and it was SO GOOD! All of the food (pancakes, eggs, bacon and coffee) was delicious.
After breakfast we were SO full and not quite ready to leave, so we walked along the Detroit River, basically right across from where we had walked around outside of the Renaissance Center the day before. The park along the river is quiet, and there are plaques along the walkway with some historical tidbits about the area. Visiting Windsor just for the morning was absolutely worth the drive.
With full bellies and windblown hair, we headed back to Utica to get ready for the wedding. The wedding ceremony was at a church near the bride’s home, so we got to enjoy more of the countryside of Michigan on our drive. After the beautiful ceremony, we had a break until the reception, so we just started driving until we found a spot to eat and explore. Luckily, we happened upon Blake’s Cider House and Winery!
This place had the most delicious Coney Dogs. Apparently, these are a must try in Michigan. Basically, they are the best chili dogs you will ever put in your mouth, just with a different name. Plus, ears of corn are free! I also HAD to try the freshly brewed cider. It was delicious and refreshing.
After eating we still had time to kill, so we decided to stick around for another hour or so. It was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect. We were visiting in August, but Michigan August weather felt like Tallahassee fall weather!
The rest of our time in Michigan was spent celebrating the bride and groom and partying the night away at the wedding reception.
Sunday morning we drove back into Detroit to catch our flight to Atlanta, then finally drove home to Tallahassee.
Our weekend trip to the Detroit area was so fun! We got to witness some wonderful friends get married and explore some pretty cool new places in between. The exploring we were able to do far surpassed all of my expectations. I’ll admit, Detroit, the state of Michigan, and Windsor were definitely not on my travel bucket list, but I am so glad we got the chance to visit!