Detroit is the largest and most populated city in Michigan. Its population is estimated to be over 650,000, earning it the 23rd spot among the most populous cities of the United States. It is often known as ‘motor city’ since it is home to three of the largest automobile companies, namely General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Ford. Besides automobiles, the city also has many architectural wonders, such as Masonic Temple, The Guardian Building, and The Renaissance Center. There’s a lot more to explore here, but if you’ve stayed long enough and feel like you’ve seen everything, then it’s time to check out Detroit’s neighboring towns and cities, which have just as many interesting places and activities. To give you an idea of where you can spend your weekends near this fabulous city, take a look at our list of the top weekend trips from Detroit, Michigan.
1. Michigan City
Michigan City, not to be confused with Michigan, is a city located in LaPorte County, Indiana. Some of the highlights of the city are Friendship Botanical Garden, where you can admire various plant species; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park, for visitors who would love to reconnect with nature; Barker Mansion, which is one of the city’s most famous architectural landmarks; and Blue Chip Casino, Hotel, and Spa, a great place for a staycation. There are also several museums where you can learn more about the city’s history and other activities that will fuel your adventures here. Michigan City is 225 miles (about 362 kilometers) away from Detroit, and it takes about three-four hours to reach there by car.
The county seat of Lucas County, Toledo is located in the northwestern part of Ohio, bordering Michigan, which makes it a great weekend destination from Detroit. It is about 58.5 miles (94 kilometers) from Detroit; just an hour’s drive away. Some of the things you will enjoy in this city are Toledo Museum of Art, Imagination Station, Toledo Botanical Garden, and Oak Openings Preserve. Toledo is also known as ‘Glass City’ because it is the glass capital of the United States, known for producing various glass products and artworks. If you’re in Toledo, remember to check out Glass Pavillion too.
Toledo Self-Guided Citywide Scavenger Hunt
Duration: 2 hours
Lansing, the capital of Michigan, has as much to offer visitors as other cities in the state. Most of the city is in Ingham County but some portion of it extends to Clinton and Eaton counties as well. Some of the must-visit spots here are for history, science, and art buffs. The city is home to Michigan History Center, Impression 5 Science Center, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame, and Lansing Community College Sculpture Walk. Traveling to Lansing by car is a two-and-a-half-hour ride and 145 miles (233 kilometers) in distance.
Lansing Scavenger Hunt: At The Heart Of Michigan
Duration: 2 hours
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Ann Arbor is located in the southeastern part of Michigan. It is the county seat of Washtenaw County and is home to the University of Michigan. Several attractions and activities available here make Ann Arbor a great weekend destination. Some of the things you should look forward to when visiting this city are a football game in The Big House, exploring the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, shopping for local produce at Kerrytown, and kayaking at Huron River. What’s more, Ann Arbor is less than an hour away from Detroit, at just 33.4 miles (54 kilometers)!
Half-Day Classic Food Tour in Ann Arbor with Lunch
Duration: 3 hours
Leamington is located in Essex, Ontario, Canada. It is known as the tomato capital of Canada because it is home to Highbury-Canco, a tomato processing and packing plant founded in 1908. Leamington is great for a long-drive weekend because it is only four to five hours away from Detroit, at around 253 miles (407 kilometers). Some of the highlights of this destination are Erie Shores and Golf Club, Leamington Arts Center, Leamington Raceway, and Point Pelee National Park.
Flint is the largest city as well as the county seat of Genesee County, Michigan. It is yet another destination ideal for a weekend road trip because it is just 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Detroit, at 68.4 miles (110 kilometers). Some of the most notable places in this city are Flint Institute of Arts, Whaley Historic House Museum, Atwood Stadium, and Flint Children’s Museum. So, whether you’re travelling solo or with kids, you are sure to have a great time in this city.
Located in Saginaw County, Frankenmuth is home to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the self-proclaimed largest Christmas tree store in the world. There are many activities that will make your weekend road trip here a memorable one. Activities such as ziplining, kayaking, museum exploration, and sampling Bavarian foods will keep you busy here. Frankenmuth is about 130 miles (209 kilometers) away from Detroit, but the relatively long travel time of three hours can also serve as an excellent bonding time with family or friends.
Kalamazoo is the county seat of Kalamazoo County and is situated in the southwestern part of Michigan. Some of the highlights of Kalamazoo include its famous donut shop, Sweetwater’s Donut Mill; Bell’s Brewery for beer enthusiasts; live music and booze is the Old Dog Tavern’s speciality; and if you feel like grooving, dance all night long at The Gatsby. Kalamazoo is just 154.5 miles (249 kilometers) away from Detroit, which is just about two hours in a car.
A Walking Tour of downtown Kalamazoo breweries
Duration: 4 hours
Chicago is one of the largest cities in Illinois, which means that there are a ton of activities that will re-energize your bored spirit here. If you’re looking to fill your tummy with good food, visit Time Out Market. Want to watch a concert or appreciate street art? Head to Millenium Park. Want to listen to some relaxing jazz music? Spend a night at Green Mill. And there’s a lot more for you to explore here! Chicago is just four to five hours away from Detroit, and the distance is 283 miles (about 455 kilometers), which means that you can enjoy a fun long drive with your friends or family, singing along the way!
Chicago Historic Bar Walking Tour and Educational Pub Crawl
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Mackinac Island (pronounced as Ma-ki-naw) is a 4.35 square miles (11.3 square kilometers) island located in Lake Huron, sitting between the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan. Some of the reasons why you should spend a weekend on this island are the fascinating Arch Rock, The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World for nature lovers, Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum for art lovers, and the Haunted Theater for thrill-seekers. The island is about 257 miles (413 kilometers) away from Detroit and can be reached in about four-five hours by road.
Great Lakes Explorer Classic Americana
Duration: 8 days
Pick your weekend destination
Now that you have a couple of ideas for your weekend near Detroit, it’s time to pick a destination and embark on a road trip. Start planning your itinerary and hop on your wheels to explore an awesome place near Detroit, Michigan.
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