Half a day in Detroit/Rochester, what should we do?

I have a work thing coming up where Mr. Athena and I need to be in Rochester, MI for a couple days. We’ll have most of a Saturday on our own. We’ll have a car, what should we do?

We’ve been to the Detroit Art Museum before (and loved it). Other than that, we haven’t spent much time at all in the area. We like museums, we like to eat and drink beer & wine. Not into gambling or sports (well, I’m not… HE is but not enough to go to a game unless it was amazing). Spending the day walking/shopping/grazing in a ritzy part of town would be OK, if such a thing exists. That’s what we do in Chicago or Boston or any other city. Detroit… I guess I don’t know if that’s an option or not. I was thinking of Deerfield Village, but can’t figure out if it’s hokey or more geared towards kids than adults.

Really, we’re open to anything. What should we do?

The food in the Greektown area is really great.

Half a day is not enough time to do them both justice, but if you like museums you’ll love the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Vilage in Dearborn, Michigan.

Go to Dearborn, Michigan, for some of the best Lebanese/Middle Eastern food you’ll find anywhere. Here’s a link with pictures for specific recommendations. If you want to stay in Detroit proper, I can’t go through Detroit without at least stopping at Buddy’s Pizza, for a Detroit-style pie (which is similar to a Sicilian pizza, and one of my favorite pizzas in the US, even though I’m not usually a fan of thick styles.)

Seconding Greektown and the Henry Ford Museum. You won’t be disappointed!

and if you go here, stop by and say hi- I work across the street from it :wink:

Not really, at least in the city proper. Along Woodward in Oakland county (Royal Oak, Birmingham, etc.) is more where you’ll find that kind of thing; as well as “The Village” in Pointerland.

When I said Deerfield Village, of course I meant Greenfield Village. My only excuse is a complete lack of sleep for 2 days. It’s the top of my list, assuming it’s not kitchy/kiddy, which you all seem to say it’s not. So that’s definitely a good option. Keep 'em coming!

Oh, you meant the other Rochester.

Don’t go to Greenfield Village this time of year. Things are wrapping up for the season, and it would just be cold and miserable. Go to the Henry Ford Museum (all on the same campus). They’ve got tons of cool stuff inside-- history of the automobile, Rosa Parks bus, agricultural history, trains, history of flight, civil rights exhibit, chair Lincoln was shot it, limo JFK was shot in (plus Reagan’s limo, FDR’s limo, Teddy Roosevelt’s car), Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion house, and a recently-opened hands-on Lego exhibit. Plus there’s an Imax attached to the museum, great gift shop, and as mentioned earlier, it’s within spitting distance of some of the greatest Arabic food you’ll ever eat in both downtown west Dearborn and downtown east Dearborn.

If you’re interested in any more details on where to go for food/drinks/dessert in Dearborn, let me know. I live 1/8 of a mile from Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum and downtown west Dearborn.

My last visit to the Greenfield Village was about 2 years and 1 week ago, and it was far from cold and miserable. (I didn’t visit the Henry Ford Museum that day because it was a great day for taking photos of the Village, especially because there weren’t many other people there that day.) Of course, who knows what the weather will be like in November in southeastern Michigan, but if the day turns out to be fine and not too cold, I’d still suggest the Greenfield Village.

No Dinosaur BBQ? No Strathallan “is it haunted?” visit? Rochester is one of those places that you really have to be very careful not to fall in love with…

I wouldn’t go to Greenfield Village. As others have said, it’s wrapping up and won’t have as much to offer as in the summer. You have to walk around outside, so it’s very weather dependent. Lately it’s been cold and grey, not the funnest environment. Henry Ford Museum has always entertained me more, there’s just so much stuff inside! Plus, it’s inside. :slight_smile:

When my family was there in the summer, we all loved the Detroit zoo. They have an underwater tunnel in the polar bear exhibit. And you can walk right through the outback exhibit. One of the mama kangaroos had a Joey in her pouch when we were there.

Definitely try Buddy’s pizza.

Henry Ford museum.

If your event is in Rochester, you might want to stay in the general area. Traffic kinda stinks. There’s an outdoor mall right in Rochester Hills at Adams and University, the Village, that’s pretty fancy, if it’s a decent day out. Downtown Rochester itself has shops, but it’s kind of stodgy.
A few miles down the road, there’s the Somerset Mall at Coolidge and 16 (Big Beaver) in Troy. Bring your wallet for that one. It is a really pretty mall though. There is a PF Changs right in the mall or there is no end of restaurants along 16 Mile going east from the mall.
A few more miles down the road and there’s downtown Royal Oak. It’s a nice walk down Main and Washington and a bunch of funky little shops and a whole lot of bars and nice restaurants.
If you do want to go to the Detroit area, I can tell you where to eat. There’s Hamtramck, where you can get some killer Polish food at the Polish Village Cafe. Not fancy, but authentic. Hamtramck itself is fine, but don’t get lost, it will be unpleasant. Someone mentioned Greektown, which is really nice for dinner. Fishbone’s on Monroe street is good for some Cajun food and has an indoor waterfall. Pretty cool.
Wow, I could be a tour guide. Hope you have fun.

Oh, yes. The number one thing I miss about Michigan is the Middle Eastern food. I make it a point to eat in Dearborn whenever I visit.

And there’s also a Buddy’s in Dearborn, so you don’t even need to go to Detroit for that!