Detroit offers up plenty of activities and sightseeing opportunities in and of itself. However, this city is not an island, and residents and visitors alike will discover that a short jaunt beyond the boundaries of Detroit can deliver incredible finds. Here are a few amazing day trips that won’t take you far from Detroit.
1. Frankenmuth, MI
You probably never expected to get a taste of Bavaria in rural Michigan, but Frankenmuth, also known as Little Bavaria, delivers with just a 90-mile excursion from Detroit proper. Whether you time your day trip during the Bavarian Festival, you hit up the mini links (along with go karts, bumper boats, and more) at Alpine Mountain Golf, you take a tour on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat, or you head to the downtown shopping district for traditional clothing and vittles, you can easily spend a day enjoying Bavarian architecture and culture mixed with modern delights in Frankenmuth.
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
Even though you have to cross state lines to reach this national park, the 175-mile trip is a breeze compared to visiting Isle Royale, Michigan’s only national park, which is on an island 600 miles away. With just a short drive you can enjoy 125 miles of hiking trails, 100 miles of waterway on the Cuyahoga River, the chance to view waterfalls, and even a scenic train ride.
3. Grand Rapids, MI
If you couldn’t score tix to the most recent Red Wings home game, never fear. You can pick up some stellar seats to see their minor league counterpart, the Grand Rapids Griffins, in action on the ice. The drive is a couple of hours, but if you go early you can also enjoy a tour of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park or touch stingrays and feed parakeets at the John Ball Zoological Garden.
4. Saugatuck, MI
Loft living is great for proximity to eateries, shopping, and night life, but sometimes you want nothing more than a few hours lazing on the beach. Michigan has plenty of beach towns to choose from, so why drive 195 miles to Saugatuck for the day? For starters, there are the beautiful beaches and dune trails, not to mention scads of sailing charters if you want a day on the water.
You could also play a round of golf, check out art schools and galleries, or get your drink on with wine tasting rooms and brewhouses galore. If a relaxing day of sun, sand, surf, and laid-back amusements sounds enticing, Saugatuck is the place to be.
5. Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada
Forty miles and an international border are all that separate Detroit and this National Park that stands at the southernmost tip of Canada. The park is dominated by beautiful waterways, sandy beaches, and abundant bird-watching opportunities. Whether you prefer to hike, cycle, or paddle around, you can set aside apartment living for the day and take an incredibly short trip to foreign shores, so to speak, when you visit Point Pelee National Park.