I intentionally didn't plan an out-of-state vacation this summer, so that I could kick back and enjoy the season in Michigan. Summer is Michigan's gift to the residents that survived its winter. This summer has been filled with trips to West Michigan's pristine beaches, visits to the dunes, and camping, and sailing excursions.
So this weekend, I took 24 hours to explore a different side of the state, the East Side. And I packed a lot of Detroit into those 24 hours....
The Detroit Zoo: You don't have to have a kid to make a trip to the zoo... we had our own adult fun meandering with the kangaroos and playing peek-a-boo with the prairie dogs. What struck me most about this zoo was how cage-free it all felt. Wide moats around each exhibit mean they can ditch the fences. It all was significantly more vast and less depressing than the John Ball Zoo. The only animal's whose habitat broke my heart was the penguins, and they are moving into a 30 million upgrade next year!
Oh, and the giant Anteater is the most under-celebrated animal — I mean seriously, check this guy out ^
Dinner at Inn Season:
I more than satisfactorily stuffed myself on a stuffed Carmen Pepper,
Corn Chowder, and an incredible house-made Chai Tea during dinner. Inn Season has been
in Royal Oak since 1984, and I am devastated I didn't know about this
vegan/vegetarian gem when I was a resident there—it has one of the most
incredible menus I've had the pleasure of obsessing over in a long
Drag Queen Bingo at Five15: Not your grandma's bingo.... An alternative to your typical Friday at the bar—Drag Queen Bingo is actually hosted in a coffee shop/gift shop in downtown Royal Oak. Angel Sheridan entertained us — while insulting us. Who wouldn't pay for the chance to be made fun of on stage!
Before leaving Royal Oak, we fueled up with breakfast at Café Muse. Muse was one of my favorites when I lived in Roak, but since then they have moved and expanded significantly. It was as tasty as I remembered.
Eastern Market: Eastern
Market is the largest, historic public market district in the United
States. And midday on Saturday, the market was bustling. Music, food
trucks, flowers, veggies, specialty and traditional food items, and curiosities filled the streets and stalls. I stocked up on pierogies and even popped into a legit butcher— Mr. Food.
And while in the Eastern Market district, we stopped into the Detroit Mercantile.
The gorgeous shop was perfectly curated with Made in the U.S.A. products and focused on Michigan themed items.
Dutch Girl Donuts:
Since 1947, Dutch Girl has operated on Woodward near 7 Mile. The donuts
are still made by hand in the front window, but are now served from
behind bullet-proof glass.
And while we were passing through, we took a quick tour or Palmer Woods and Sherwood Forest, where I believe the phrase "Architecture Porn" was used to aptly describe what I was experiencing.
It was a whirlwind, but Detroit won me over, and I've already planned the itinerary for my next journey East!