As the largest city in Michigan, Detroit offers an endless array of things to keep visitors entertained, but it's always nice to experience more places. Fortunately, there are all sorts of exciting day trips you can do.
MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN
For centuries, visitors have found this national landmark to be the ideal vacation spot. No cars. No chain hotels. Just world-famous Mackinac Island Fudge, historic Fort Mackinac, unique shopping, diverse dining, unforgettable sunsets, awe-inspiring sunrises and extraordinary nightlife.
For those who like to experience the quaint or the bizarre, Frankenmuth feels like a cartoon trip where you surrender your senses to someone’s enormous vision. Founded in 1845 by 15 German missionaries who had a serious intention to preserve their heritage, the architecture is Bavarian to say the least. For anyone even remotely into hearty German food, there are over-a-century-old establishments selling sausage and sauerkraut to the sound of a glockenspiel. It has to be seen to be believed and is absolutely ideal to visit at Christmas time.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
Grand Rapids on the Grand River, east of Lake Michigan, is around a two-hour drive northwest out of Detroit. Michigan is renowned for its nature and sense of escape, but the cities can provide quite the opposite and are a concentrated hub of excitement. With more than 20 breweries, it has dutifully earned its title of ‘Beer City,’ which sets the scene for its vibrant nightlife.
On the other side of the Detroit River lies Canada! After acquiring a Canadian visa, you can enjoy:
OJIBWAY PRAIRIE NATURE RESERVE
Head to the outskirts of Windsor to find 865 acres (350 hectares) of parks, trails and nature reserves, which are teeming with all kinds of creatures including snakes and wild birds that call the forest or the waterways their home. Prepare to see deer, turtles and much more. Choose either the short or long trail for a beautiful day in nature. Be wary of ticks and mosquitoes in their seasons.
PORT STANLEY TERMINAL RAIL
Head northeast into Canada along Lake Erie for two hours, and you will eventually hit Port Stanley – a historical fishing village that has benefited from tourists escaping the big city for a ‘small town by the sea’ experience. In the off-season, the clean and quiet beach with clear water comes into its own. Seek out the Port Stanley Terminal Rail, which is a train depot with a small museum. Take the beautifully restored old heritage train for four miles along picturesque scenery for a full local experience.