I am going to Detroit mid May for DEMF (electronic music festival) and will be there a few days before it starts. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions of where to go for a few days that is only a few hours drive away? I live in the San Francisco bay area and my husband is from Indiana so we have spent a good amount of time in Chicago/Indiana and are interested in doing something a bit closer. I was thinking about a day at Cedar point (even though I am older I love roller coasters) and/or going to Put-in-bay (but don't know how the weather will be.
Also if anyone has suggestions of must see/do/eat in Detroit let me know. I want to check out Michael Symon's restaurant.
I'm from the metro Detroit area, and there is a lot to do here, but you probably won't be spending very much time downtown aside from your music festival. Greektown is downtown, with restaurants and casinos, but that's pretty much it. In the northern metro area, we have some great downtown ares that are worth a visit, like Rochester, Royal Oak, Birmingham. Then a little bit farther is Ann Arbor which is a super fun college town that I personally love. Also Michigan has some great natural beauty, and the Great Lakes are always nice to see. But yeah, Cedar Point is close and Chicago is 4 1/2 hours away if you get too bored with Michigan!!
Mid-May hopefully the weather should be okay - warmish without mosquitos yet, so it might be nice to take in some nature. I have heard good things about Sleeping Bear Dunes but haven't been there myself. 5.5 hours from Detroit, according to Google maps.
Closer, you could try up the coast of Lake Huron.
For food and restaurants when in Detroit, I would check out Royal Oak. Royal Oak is a trendy and urban-chic restaurant, shopping, and entertainment district, and hosts the Detroit Zoo. Approximately 20 - 30 minutes from downtown Detroit. You could also bring your passport and head across the river to Windsor for an evening. There is a bus that runs through the tunnel - price is about $3.00.
For more advice, check out the Wiki travel guide here on Detroit. At present, I seem to have written most of it... Feel free to add to it when you return, and kekate add stuff as well!
You'll adore Detroit. Many people that haven't been there slate it (much as they do many US and Canadian towns and cities they've never visited). The city and surrounding regions of Michigan are just wonderful. Hire a cheap car for a day and just love every moment.
Thanks for all of ur feeback! Are there any areas to steer clear of? I know detroit isn't the safest city
Oh - Detroit, New York, London, Manchester, Paris, Bucuresti.... After dark if you've had too much to drink and your money's hanging out your pocket, then it's bound to be dodgy. Otherwise - be careful and enjoy yourself. I've got drunk in all of em and I'm still here
You might pop over the border to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Very close to Detroit but far enough away.
Are there any areas to steer clear of? I know detroit isn't the safest city
My experience was that there was three zones of Detroit. The "inner" area, which is downtown and includes the stadium, arenas, casinos, Greektown, etc. That's fine most any time, though I would keep my eye on my cash as you would in any major city.
Beyond the centre, there is a pretty shady area that runs out for a few miles. You're fine on the highways or major streets if you are just driving through, but I wouldn't stop. I'd probably not venture out beyond the Lodge, Fisher and Chrysler freeways after dusk unless you are just driving through on major streets.
Once you get out to the "suburbs," i.e. Dearborn, Southfield, Royal Oak, then you should find nothing to worry about.