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earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 Reader
5/25/22 3:45 p.m.

Staying in Novi (near Detroit) for about 3 weeks in June. Should have weekends free. What are some things to check out in the area? Ford Museum? Factory tours? Restaurants I must try? IMSA is at Belle Isle the 3rd and 4th, thinking about it but not familiar with Detroit and don't want to end up in the 'hood.

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
5/25/22 3:59 p.m.

Maybe Detroit Institute for the Arts?  Chartreuse Restaurant next door makes a great cocktail and dinner spot.

I enjoy Greenfield Village, the Museum more than the historic site, but that is cool too.

Haven't done the Rouge Factory tour yet but it could be fun.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/25/22 4:01 p.m.

Belle Isle is an island in the Detroit River.  On the island is safe and its a big race weekend so even safer.  Things immediately off the island (connected by bridge) are 'hood and much less safe.  But, an event like this has shuttle parking where you park in a guarded lot (likely a manufacturing plant) and you are bussed onto the island.  Doing it that way will make it safe.  

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Dork
5/25/22 4:03 p.m.

As a native Detroiter, anytime I have out of towners asking what to do in Detroit - I say "head to windsor" :)  

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
5/25/22 4:18 p.m.

Try to hook up with Angry. Maybe you can finish the car for him while you're there.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/25/22 4:34 p.m.

June is great weather here, but it can also be VERY hot and humid, so be ready for that.

The race is very safe and it's a cool experience. The move is to park right downtown near the Ren Cen and ride the shuttle bus out to the island. Adrian and I will probably be there Saturday.

Other than that, the usual things apply. Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village, the DIA, etc. If you're into sports you could try to take in a Tigers game, the team is pretty bad so tickets are easy to get and Comerica Park is nice. If you're into mountain biking or hiking, you're pretty close to several state parks like Maybury and Island Lake.

And we really should get a GRM meetup together while you're here. We can all wear our Deadskunk shirts.

84FSP
84FSP UberDork
5/25/22 4:35 p.m.

Tons of good GRM's in the detroit area to guide you like Wawazat, ClassicJacket, AngryCorvair, Adrienn Thompson, and others.  Break it out into food and auto things to see/do. 

From a food standpoint it is a crazy diverse place with fantastic halal, nearly any asian diaspora, and definitely detroit square pizza.  Hamtramik (daylight thing) is a cool food jaunt for the weekend farmers market and the most diverse city in the nation in terms of food and number of languages spoken etc.

The Ford and Dodge museums are fantastic.  Lots of local ish race tracks.  Tons of our hotrod par supply community is there as well.  You could probably catch an autox if you checked the regional schedules and try out your rental car.

Don't forget a passport and your covid docs for a trip across the bridge to check out Windsor.  Very cool city with all kinds of things to see.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/25/22 4:39 p.m.

Do you like roller coasters? 

About 2 hours out of Novi is my home town, Sandusky, OH and the home of Cedar Point Amusement Park; often called the Roller Coaster Capital of the world with more roller coasters in one park than any other in the world (17).   Disney is a Theme Park with characters and songs and dances, etc.  This place is an Amusement Park and the rides are the main attraction.  If that's your kind of thing.  https://www.cedarpoint.com/

pkingham (Forum Supporter)
pkingham (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/25/22 5:04 p.m.

If you're into Cars and Coffee events, there's a pretty good (eclectic) one in Ann Arbor 7:30 am to 9:00 am on Saturday, June 18 (third Saturday of every month).  That's a little more than half an hour from Novi.  I know there are others, probably even bigger, north of Detroit, but I don't know anything about them.

Waterford Hills is a road race track half an hour from Novi.  It looks like there are club races May 28-19 and June 25-26.  These are similar to SCCA regional race events.

June 18-19 there is an SCCA regional race at Grattan Raceway, a cool club level track about 2 hours from Novi.

You mentioned IMSA at Bell Isle, but note that IndyCar is there that weekend, too.  I went a few years ago, and spectating options are ok, but you can't see a lot of the track from any one location.  Logistically it's not too hard with the off-island parking and shuttle service (though I parked on-island in a Porsche corral).

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are truly worth going to.  I think there is a relatively new racing related exhibit at the Museum.  

Wings & Wheels is a classic planes and cars show at the Willow Run airport on June 12.  We went last year, and it was a fun 2-3 hours of looking around.

If I think of anything else, I'll chime in again.

 

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
5/25/22 5:13 p.m.

Did Detroit a few years back on a whim. The Henry Ford Museum was a disappointment, and Greenfield Village was way cooler than expected. Honestly I wish I'd done the village and saved my money.

Had lunch in Bangladeshi town. That was also pretty amazing!

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek HalfDork
5/25/22 5:47 p.m.

Depending on how much driving you want to do:

  • The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI has an amazing collection of cars in an amazing collection of rescued barns. Worth the drive to the middle of nowhere and more than 3 hours exploring.
  • Frankenmuth, MI can be a fun tourist trap. German themed town with a decent walking district. Also see Broner's Christmas Wonderland in town. It's a huge Christmas decoration store.
  • A bit more of a drive would be Auburn, Indiana. Six car museums in town, the best of which is the Auburn, Cord, Deusenburg Museum full of pre-war luxury cars in an Art Deco building. Next best is the National Truck Museum in the back parking lot of the ACD Museum.
  • Back in the Detroit region, I've heard good things about the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, but haven't been myself. Lots of early model letter Fords in one of the first Ford assembly plants.
  • The Henry Ford Museum is great as long as you approach it as a history museum that happens to have some cars, because that is what it is.
  • As others have said, there are a bunch of us local. Pick a time and see if we can meet up somewhere. Or pick any SCCA autocross that is happening. I'm sure one is us will be there.
  • Visit Ann Arbor and walk around the campus of the University of Michigan.
  • A further drive north is the Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum in Bay City. Big collection of toy fire trucks and almost 30 local fire trucks from wooden hand pumps to more modern equipment. Only open on Saturdays. Let me know if you do this as it's only 5 miles from my house.
superfund
superfund New Reader
5/25/22 6:06 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Come on man, he said three weeks not three years. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/25/22 6:13 p.m.

F150 Ford River Rouge plant tour - unless you've toured car plants before.

Awesome Mediterranean food near Dearborn.

The big tire on i94.

I love visiting Detroit.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
5/25/22 6:18 p.m.
ShawneeCreek said:

Depending on how much driving you want to do:

  • The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI has an amazing collection of cars in an amazing collection of rescued barns. Worth the drive to the middle of nowhere and more than 3 hours exploring.

It's 10 minutes from me. I know that doesn't sell the trip but if you come this way we got your back if you need help.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/25/22 6:23 p.m.

At one point there was a car museum in some big auditorium in Novi.   I'm not sure if it's gone?  

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
5/25/22 7:23 p.m.
Stampie said:

Try to hook up with Angry. Maybe you can finish the car for him while you're there.

Guns n roses will put out another new album before that happens. 

pkingham (Forum Supporter)
pkingham (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/25/22 7:35 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

At one point there was a car museum in some big auditorium in Novi.   I'm not sure if it's gone?  

Your comment piqued my interest.  I remember that building by the old Novi Expo Center, but I couldn't picture in my mind what it is like now.  It looks like it was the Motorsports Hall of Fame of Americas which has since moved to Daytona.  There's nothing in Novi anymore.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
5/25/22 7:49 p.m.

Depending on your schedule, a trip up north would be cool.  Some great state parks not too far away.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
5/25/22 8:26 p.m.

Nobody's said it yet, but any Friday or Saturday night on Woodward avenue in Royal Oak/Ferndale is a hell of a time. People park in parking lots and just cruise up and down the road en masse. Vinsetta garage isn't cheap food but it's really good, and right on Woodward. Duggans Irish pub is another common meet-up spot with 2 levels overlooking Woodward.

Otherwise yeah, lots of good stuff already mentioned. The Ren Cen means renaissance Center, it's the big GM towers right on the water. Eastern market is a huge, good Farmers market right in Detroit. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
5/25/22 9:29 p.m.

http://www.marvin3m.com/

About a half hour outside of Detroit is Farmington Hills...and in it, lies a little known interactive "museum" of sorts, called Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. 

 

Truthfully it's more an arcade, with a TON of coin operated gizmos (automatons!!! Pinball! Etc) thru history, on display and operational. If it's your thing, it's awesome. I've been there a few times over the past 20 years, and always enjoyed it. It's kind of tucked away in a strip mall, but it's a total hidden gem if you're into that sort of thing. 

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
5/25/22 9:30 p.m.

Look at M1 concourse's schedule in Pontiac.

Parking at Pasteiners on Saturdays is another c&c type event that some interesting cars show up to as well.  

 

 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/25/22 9:43 p.m.
pkingham (Forum Supporter) said:
Datsun310Guy said:

At one point there was a car museum in some big auditorium in Novi.   I'm not sure if it's gone?  

Your comment piqued my interest.  I remember that building by the old Novi Expo Center, but I couldn't picture in my mind what it is like now.  It looks like it was the Motorsports Hall of Fame of Americas which has since moved to Daytona.  There's nothing in Novi anymore.

Which is a damn shame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame was really cool, I visited there several times in the late 90s-early 2000s.

Has anyone mentioned Kart2Kart in Sterling Heights? Excellent indoor karting place with karts that are fast enough to actually require some skill.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/25/22 9:55 p.m.

For food check out Buddy's pizza right there in Novi. If you like sliders head to Tel-Way in Madison Heights. 

Like craft beer? There are a bunch of brewerys around, just search the web.

CJ's, Kickstand and Witches hat are great.

paddygarcia
paddygarcia Reader
5/26/22 10:29 a.m.

Another vote for kart2kart. The Motown Museum is worth a visit, too.

An adventure to consider is feather bowling at the Cadieux Cafe :)

wawazat
wawazat SuperDork
5/26/22 12:04 p.m.

Another visitor to the D!  Cool.  

Lots of folks have popped up some good things already and I'm working a trade show today but I'll pile on some more in the next day or so.  

As folks noted above, free car shows on Woodward happen every weekend assuming good weather.  By shows I mean park somewhere around 13 Mile Rd and watch them drive by.  Every Saturday morning 7:30ish-10:00am Cars & Coffee at Pastieners at 14 Mile and Woodward.  These also happen at M1 Concourse in Pontiac and Lingenfelter in Wixom Saturday mornings.  M1 events are in their calender.  I think Lingenfelter resumed their events but haven't been to one since 2019.  

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