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Neighborhood recommendations

Olathe, Kansas
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Neighborhood recommendations

Hi. My husband and I (age 55) will be doing a first time Michigan trip in early Jun, from Missouri. Will be spending the weekend at Mackinac Island, traveling up to Paradise (Falls and Great Lakes Museum, staying one night at the lighthouse crew quarters), then traveling down to Detroit (for Greenfield Village, etc). We love quaint, scenic wineries, history, flowers/gardens, nature, and good restaurants.

1. Any suggestions for a side trip between Mackinac and Detroit? We have just one extra day/night to spend there. Thinking about visiting Holland, is it worth the drive? Any other places that would be recommended versus Holland, for an overnight stop?

2. Not sure where to stay in Detroit, do you have any neighborhood suggestions? Doesn't need to be too close to Dearborn, just would like to get a nice Detroit experience, with some scenery and restaurants. Any suggestions for other must see things in Detroit while we are there?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Dearborn, MI
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1. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

Holland is not really enroute from Mackinaw to Detroit. It is on the western side of Michigan and might be somewhat more convenient to visit on your way home.

Re where to stay in the Detroit area, if your primary purpose is to visit the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village, it would be better to stay in Dearborn. There are several good Dearborn hotels at different price points and some of them offer packages that include tickets to the Henry Ford. Dearborn to downtown Detroit is not more than 20 minutes' drive in normal traffic. [I live close to the Henry Ford and routinely make it to downtown Detroit in 12 to 15 minutes, except in rush hour or heavy traffic.]

Alternatively, you could stay at a downtown Detroit hotel (again, there are several options) and drive to Dearborn.

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Olathe, Kansas
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2. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

Thank you for the tips! We will look into Dearborn for hotels, was just wondering if there are options there in the evenings, or would we be better off to stay in Detroit for restaurants, etc.?

We are flying into and out of Detroit, so don't mind driving a bit extra for a really memorable day. I am not sure if Holland is that place or not? Maybe even a trip across the border if there's something nearby? I am just not familiar with Michigan at all, but we are really looking forward to exploring!

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3. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

"We will look into Dearborn for hotels, was just wondering if there are options there in the evenings, or would we be better off to stay in Detroit for restaurants, etc.?"

There certainly are restaurants in Dearborn, but lots more of them in Detroit. It depends upon your preferred cuisine and, of course, your budget. Dearborn has some decent Italian, steak, seafood and lots of good Middle Eastern restaurants, in addition to the usual burgers, diner food, fast food, etc. Detroit has a broader variety of cuisines and, in the last three years, a bit of an explosion of new, non-chain restaurants. Staying in Detroit vs. Dearborn is really a toss-up, re location. Hotels in Detroit will charge for parking; those in Dearborn will not, if that matters to you. Two or three of the Dearborn hotels are generally equal in quality (rooms) to those in Detroit, though they have a suburban vibe, not a big city one.

If you plan to be out late at night, Detroit would be a better option, both because there are more late-night things to do (including three casinos) and because getting "home" to your hotel will be a bit easier.

Crossing the border into Canada is an option. Windsor has an Italian neighborhood with a number of decent restaurants along Eire Street, plus other types of restaurants in downtown. There is a Caesar's Casino in Windsor which often books name acts (mostly from an earlier era). A short drive from Windsor, there are more than a dozen wineries in Essex County which might be interesting during the day. Many of them are along or close to the Lake Eire shore.

You will need a passport to enter Canada and to return to the United States, so be sure that each of you has one with you if you are considering a border crossing.

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4. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

Agree with Tylerarb. ...Holland, MI... is way out of the way. Consider stopping for a day break in the ...Bay City, MI... region, where ...Midland, MI.. could reward you with beautiful gardens and ...Frankenmuth, MI... with a town like no other and even close by ...Saginaw, MI... has its own highlights. These cities are all close by, on the way to Detroit, all have noteworthy things to checkout, and would offer drifferent Michigan aspects.

...Flint, MI... is often overlooked due to its problems that will hurt the city for some time, is still very much worth consideration as well with a few of their locale attractions.

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Olathe, Kansas
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5. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

Thanks so much for taking time to provide info. I decided to stay there in Dearborn for convenience and drive into Detroit one evening. We aren't late night people so that seems to make sense. Also local hotel offered shuttle service to the Henry Ford, so we won't need to drive and park 😊 Thanks for helping with that decision! I'll look at these other options for our overnight.

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Olathe, Kansas
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6. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

We decided to visit the Dow Home and Gardens in Midland, as well as the Navy Ship in Bay City, during this extra day. Are there any of these nearby towns that stand out as far as where to stay, something scenic on the water, or just a cute downtown area that would be fun for dining or a little shopping?

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Bay City
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7. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

By far, the most popular, is ...Frankenmuth, MI... known for Bronners Christmas Wonderpand (a must see, the largest Christmas store in the world), famous chicken (Bavarian Inn and Zehnders) German town like feel, Riverplace Shops, carriage rides and boat rides, a covered bridge and plenty of shopping. All except Bronners, all this can easily be had on foot via the most famous resort, Bavarian Inn, or Drury Inn, Fairfield, Marv Herzay, or Spring Hills.

www.frankenmuth.org

Bay City has a lot of history, both downtown and near downtown. The most two logical choices would seem to be Comfort Inn or Double Tree. Miles of trails via the Bay City Loop. Be sure to enjoy the other side of the river for Veterans Park and lively Westtown. The City Hall is a beauty.

www.visitbaycity.org

Midland, while I never found to be 'historical' it does offer the H Hotel downtown and the town is always very highly ranked. A nice downtown and miles of river trails, including the lovely Tridge Bridge and the Santa House is kind of neat to admire.

Saginaw, well, is a different town. Downtown is all but gone, though a wonderful museum and a few other note worthy historic sites still exsist. However, the Montague Inn is just south of downtown and next to a few historic houses and buildings, an island park, and right across the bridge from a fairly active district in town that would cater to most needs.

As a forefront, being only two and a half hours awsy, I have never personely stayed at any of the hotels I have typed, Also should be said, it has now been a few years since I have been to these towns so it is possible some things could be better or worse than I recall. Other than the one suggested area of Saginaw, I do not, overall, find it to be a town to admire or a place to want to walk around, despite the fact they do have miles of river trails themselves if i remember correctly. But, perhaps as someone who lives there, they may indeed see things much differently. My hope is for all cities to thrive. :-)

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Saginaw, MI
Olathe, Kansas
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8. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

That was so helpful, can't thank you enough for taking time to describe everything! We decided on doubletree on the river in bay city after a visit to the Dow home & studio and gardens. Then will check out the navy ship the following day in bay city before heading down to Dearborn. I am so happy to be through with the planning stage and ready to travel 😊

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9. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

Hope that you have a wonderful trip! Just out of curiosity, which hotel did you decide on in Dearborn?

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10. Re: Neighborhood recommendations

www.downtownbaycity.com/

Me and links lately. Lol. Maybe this Bay City link will be more helpful than Bay City, Texas, as great is that town may be.

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