Before every season we dream about where we’ll go, what we’ll see, and what we’ll do. Then the season begins, and we turn our attention to fulfilling our dreams with the plans we’ve made – and sometimes fulfilling dreams spontaneously.
As the high camping season starts to come to a close, our minds shift again to thinking about everything we didn’t do or see over all these past weeks. Of course, all the experiences and memories made are precious, but we often find ourselves looking for “one last hurrah.” Michigan’s southeast region is full of places that might give you the big bang you’re looking for.
Any of these stops can be enjoyed in their own right in a leisurely way, but you can also bounce around to add variety and intrigue to your final excursion of the summer.
Stop #1: Charming little Northville has maintained its small-town charm over the years despite being near some of the largest cities in the state. And these folks respect their history, as evident by Mill Race Village, a historic village complete with demonstrations and a nostalgic feel of days gone by. The brewing company and the farmer’s market are the perfect spots at which to sample and take items home to the campsite. You can also visit the Maybury State Park if you feel like hiking or biking; it’s a wonderful, safe spot at which to see the colors change. Folks who have visited have called it “serene” and “peaceful.”
Stop #2: There are few towns more beautiful than Bloomfield Hills, a suburban area just north of Detroit. Even though it’s not fall yet, Franklin Cider Mill opens Labor Day weekend every year (September 3, 2022). This unique mill offers patrons freshly pressed cider, donuts made from a German recipe handed down through the generations, and all sorts of apple products. Also in the area, and not to be missed, is Cranbrook House, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Cranbrook Institute of Science. All require substantial time to peruse and enjoy. You could spend your entire last weekend just at these amazing institutions. West Bloomfield has several parks, trails, and nature preserves, as well as a sports park.
Stop #3: Stony Creek Metropark is one of a network of metroparks in this area, each with their own special features and a way to escape the metropolitan areas. Across more than 4400 acres, visitors like you can fish to your heart’s content on Stony Creek Lake (or take a dip), or play the par 72 golf course, or visit the Stony Creek Nature Center for hands on interactive learning stations and exhibits and access to several miles of trails.
Stop #4: Since you obviously love traveling via road, why not stop at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn? For a modest entry fee (age give and under are free), the Hall of Fame “tells stories about the people, their companies and how the industry has impacted culture, society, pop culture, the world in general.” With Detroit being the Motor City, it’s appropriate to pay tribute to its history and significance in our state, as well as the world. The Hall of Fame is also neighbors with the infamous Henry Ford Museum, which houses 22 artifacts with regards to recreation vehicles – including RVs from 1919 and 1923, the stagecoach travel trailer owned by Detroit-native Charles Lindbergh, vintage catalogs, and old-time photos of some of RV’s earliest ancestors.
Stop #5: Finish off the summer by driving to Port Huron. Situated at the mouth of the St. Clair River at the most southern point of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron, Port Huron is as far east as you can go without touching our Canadian neighbor. Besides being the chosen location for one of MARVAC’s RV and Camping Shows, Port Huron has a beautiful marina, a historic downtown, and several attractions, including the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. The famous inventor spent his summers here. Another popular attraction is the Fort Gratiot Light, which was the first to be built in the state and the state’s oldest surviving lighthouse. It’s still active and you can go on tours, too. If you love taking a stroll, then you can’t beat the mile-long Blue Water River Walk, although there are also several beachside parks where you can have a picnic and take in the scenery. Cap off the season by indulging in a dinner out in town – we’ll leave it to you to pick the spot.