City life is full of fun and excitement, whether you’re a fan of great food, world-class entertainment, historic destinations, or some combination of these. While there’s plenty to be said for big city excursions, we’re firm believers in the power of a small-town adventure. When you’re looking for a slower-paced outing among welcoming and timeless surroundings, read about these seven sleepy small towns near Detroit.
At approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from downtown Detroit, Metamora is the ideal place for a day trip from the Motor City. There are fewer than 600 recorded residents here, so it certainly fits the bill as a tiny community – and its calm atmosphere reflects this. While you’re in town, take time to dine at the historic White Horse Inn, visit Metamora General Store, or stretch your legs at Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area. You’ll feel more at ease in no time.
If beach towns are your vibe, it’s tough to go wrong with a trip to Lexington. This village along the shores of Lake Huron is an ideal escape for beach bums, fishing enthusiasts, and those who simply want to appreciate the beauty of the waterfront. With approximately 1,200 residents and a quaint downtown area, Lexington offers plenty of serenity and makes for a great getaway from Detroit.
3. Luna Pier
Situated just a stone’s throw from the Ohio border along the shores of Lake Erie, Luna Pier is an underrated and decidedly peaceful destination within driving distance of Detroit. You can reach this small community in just under an hour, so there’s no need to set aside an abundance of travel time when you opt for a visit. Luna Pier is home to a lovely beach and boardwalk, an assortment of lovely eateries, and loads of charm.
Make the hour-long drive from the Motor City to Richmond, a small town that houses just under 6,000 residents. This Macomb County gem is often overlooked in favor of larger and more well-known local spots, but we think it’s worth checking out – particularly if you’re a fan of antiquing and shopping. You’ll find a welcoming downtown area, friendly faces, and a delightfully unchanged vibe that will capture your heart.
Nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike will appreciate Dexter, a small community that seems to have maintained an ageless vibe throughout the generations. Reachable by car from Detroit in just over an hour, the town is home to attractions from Dexter-Huron Metropark to a historical museum to a cider mill that was established in 1886. In every season, Dexter offers enjoyment for the entire family.
This Oakland County village sits approximately 50 minutes by car from Detroit and houses just over 6,000 full-time residents. When you visit, you’ll quickly notice that Milford seems almost untouched by the passage of time – while it features plenty of modern attractions and amenities, its downtown area feels wonderfully timeless and its community atmosphere brings forth memories of a simpler era. From surrounding hiking trails to long-standing restaurants, there’s so much to explore in this endearing town.
7. Flat Rock
With a population of approximately 10,000 residents, Flat Rock might not be quite as tiny as the other towns on our list – but its enduring sense of community and friendliness make it a fantastic spot to visit when you’re looking for an escape from the big city. Some of the unique touches that set Flat Rock apart are its Model Train Depot and Museum, its access to natural gems like Huroc Park, and its family-oriented downtown area. As you stroll through the area, you might just feel like a local.
Have you visited any of these sleepy small towns near Detroit? What are some of your favorite memories or attractions from these special destinations? We always love to hear from our readers, so drop us a line in the Facebook comments to share your thoughts. Or, if we’ve neglected to include one of your favorite Metro Detroit communities, let us know by completing our nomination form here.