It’s road trip season. Hop in your car and get ready for some fun with these five great road trips near Metro Detroit
By Theresa Cronovich
In partnership with Bill Brown Ford
Winter and the holidays are here, but we know, sometimes you just need to hit the road and get away. Luckily we live in the “Motor City,” so there is a lot to do within driving distance of Metro Detroit.
One of our favorite things to do this time of year is hop in the car with our loved ones and see where the road takes us. So we partnered with Bill Brown Ford, the #1 Volume Ford Dealership in Michigan, to put together a list of adventure-worthy road trips that you can do in a day or stretch out over a long weekend.
It’s “Road-Trip Season,” and we know you are excited to travel to visit friends and family safely. Bill Brown Ford has the cars and trucks to get you there. Plus, they offer a seamless buying experience that ensures you receive the best Ford Lease deals and specials in the Metro while getting you back on the road fast to start your journey behind the wheel of your all-new Ford SUV or Truck.
Just west of Ann Arbor off of I-94, Chelsea is a vibrant community founded in the early 1800’s. This historic town offers art lovers and history lovers the perfect getaway. Catch a play at the famous Purple Rose Theater founded by actor Jeff Daniels (temporarily closed) or stroll the Chelsea Sculpture Walk, which features works by top contemporary artists.
Chelsea is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and boasts great architecture and Victorian neighborhoods. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce or the Chelsea Area Historic Society & Musuem to grab a map and take a historic walking tour of 21 historic buildings and homes. Planning to stay the night? The Chelsea House Victorian Inn is a charming Queen Anne-style bed and breakfast in the heart of downtown.
Fun fact: JIFFY mixes are made right in downtown Chelsea and shipped all over the world!
Another historic village in western Oakland county, Milford is home to 30+ restaurants, family-owned shops, and a charming, walkable downtown. It’s also an outdoor lovers dream — there’s tons of green space at Kensington Metropark (4,486 acres surrounding Kent Lake) and the Milford Trail, where you can hike, bike, fish, and boat.
During your road trip, detour northeast of Milford to the Highland Recreation Area, a state park in nearby White Lake that boasts 5,900 acres of forest, marshes and lakes among the rolling hills. There are also 12 miles of equestrian trails, 16 miles of mountain biking trails and 17 miles for hiking and cross country skiing.
If you love a drive through the country, head north on M-24 and get lost in the gentle hills of Metamora’s horse country. The area is home to the Metamora Hunt Club, a fox-hunting organization that has been in operation since 1928, as well as many other horse farms and stables.
You can’t go to Metamora without eating at the historic White Horse Inn, one of the oldest original buildings in town (it was impeccably renovated in 2012). We recommend their Maurice salad (Hudson’s classic recipe), the Buffaloaf — house made buffalo meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy — and the bread pudding.
Head across the street to the Metamora General Store, where you can grab great coffee, pick from a top selection of beer, wine and spirits, and shop for unique home goods, apparel, gifts, and so much more.
If horses aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy the country roads and immerse yourself in outdoor activity at Metamora-Hadley Recreation area, where you can camp, fish, hike and bike. Nature lovers also won’t want to miss a stop at the Seven Ponds Nature Center in nearby Dryden, to explore their 350 acres of protected woodlands, wetlands, ponds, fields, and prairie.
Most Metro Detroiters don’t realize that there is a lot more to Michigan’s “Little Bavaria” than fried chicken dinners and Christmas ornaments from Bronners. While those are great reasons to jump on I-75 north, Frankenmuth has a lot more to offer.
This is a road trip where you’ll want to stop at the roadside stands and discover farm markets to stock up on fresh meats, eggs, and produce. Grandpa Tiny’s historical and working farm offers tours and events throughout the year, including Santa’s Reindeer Farm during the holidays. You can schedule a tours and take classes at Weiss Centennial Farm, another family-owned dairy farm that was established in 1853 and has been farming sustainably for six generations. You can take cooking classes where you’ll learn how to make the perfect cheese board, fresh pretzels, or molten lava cakes.
Another stop on I-75 north is the Village of Holly, a town with a historic main street that’s filled with great shops and restaurants. The Holly Dicken’s Festival is the oldest festival celebrating Charles Dickens in the country, complete with Ebenezer Scrooge strolling around town, street performers, chestnuts roasting and more!
Holly is an antique lovers haven, and with more than 40 antique dealers in the Main Street area you are guaranteed not to leave empty-handed. Check out Balcony Row Antiques, Battle Alley Arcade Antiques Mall, and The Vintage Farmhouse (look for the White Barn Vintage booth inside).
Following your antiquing adventure, head to the Holly Hotel Restaurant for an incredible meal in the gorgeous historic Queen Anne-style inn. They also offer comedy shows and afternoon tea.
If the outdoors are more your thing, hit the slopes at Mt. Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort or check out Seven Lakes State Park for the perfect hiking or fishing excursion. Try your hand at ice fishing during their free annual Ice Fishing Derby, where you don’t need a license and prizes are awarded for the biggest fish caught.
What are your favorite places for a road trip in Michigan? Comment below or send us an email to email@example.com to share your favorite places to be considered in future articles.
For more information on buying a new Ford vehicle to make your road trip dreams come true, check out Bill Brown Ford, a local Ford Dealer near you.
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