Recently my niece came to Michigan from Arizona to visit me and I planned a week’s worth of amazing outings that got me thinking about how much there is to do in Detroit. So often, we forget to experience our own cities as a tourist. With the rise in staycations, I thought it might be fun to treat my niece’s visit as a staycation. Here are some of the fun and healthy activities we did during her visit. Pack a daypack like this one and get going!
I planned our trip to Ferndale on a Friday for a just a few hours because the weather was chilly and rainy. We started at the Rust Belt Market, which is only open Friday through Sunday. We walked through the marketplace and did some shopping. One of our favorite vendors was Big Mitten Linocuts. We bought notecards for my niece to bring home to my sister. The original block prints are signed and numbered, and they make a wonderful gift.
For lunch, we stopped at Anita’s Kitchen, fresh, authentic Lebanese food served fast. Anita’s has been around for forty years and is well known in the Detroit community.
My niece is vegetarian so I did a little research before her trip to try and find restaurants that fit her eating plan. We were not disappointed at Anita’s! All of the dishes are healthy, locally sourced food that can be pre-ordered or ordered on-the-go, from your laptop, smartphone or at the counter,
My niece enjoys the outdoors and photography. So I took her to Cranbrook for a walk through the gardens. The gardens are tucked away off Woodward in Bloomfield Hills and there is no fee to walk there as I mentioned in a previous blog. From the sunken garden to the Japanese garden, there is so much to see and enjoy at Cranbrook. Of course, there are many remarkable health benefits related to being outdoors.
Since my niece’s visit didn’t correspond with this next activity, we were not able to attend it. But I highly recommend seeing a play by St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild. They perform in the summer at an outdoor Greek amphitheater on the Cranbrook grounds. The theater is one of only a few in the country and was built in 1916. They have a variety shows including Mamma Mia. The fresh air and walking are truly a healthy outing in metropolitan Detroit.
One of our favorite things to do in Detroit is to walk around the Riverfront and Greektown. We like to start our trip with a meal at Pegasus in Greektown. Then we hop on the People Mover which has a station right up the stairs and ride over to the Renaissance Center. We walk up and down the Riverfront and take tons of pictures of the scenic views of Canada and the Detroit River. You can rent a scooter and ride around downtown.
A shopping trip is an absolute must in Troy. The Somerset Collection has 180 specialty retailers and a skywalk over Big Beaver Road that connects the North and South malls. My niece and I browsed for several hours and found some great deals since it was Memorial Day Weekend. After the mall, we had dinner at YardHouse which is located nearby on Big Beaver Road. Yard House has a great happy hour and also has quite a few vegetarian entrees which is why I picked it for our healthy dinner. I really like the design of the restaurant because it is super modern and has a nice sunroom dining area.
Some of the best things to do in Birmingham are outdoors so I planned our visit when the sun was shining. We walked around Quarton Lake Park first. I never get tired of the views of both the park and houses surrounding it. It’s easy to see why so many people choose this park for graduation photo shoots because it is truly beautiful.
We were ready for a snack and a cold drink so we went to downtown Birmingham next. I have been wanting to visit the new Starbucks and it was the perfect day to do so. The Starbucks Reserve is located right on the corner of Old Woodward and Maple and features reserve store only drinks and light bites.
We did some more shopping and wrapped up our day by walking through Shain Park. The park has a beautiful green space as well as a fountain, sculptures and playground. In the summer, there are free concerts with a variety of artists performing each week.
In summary, our week was fantastic and fun. We logged well over 10,000 steps per day walking by touring the city and had some super healthy meals and light bites. I can’t wait for my next staycation.