You might think you have to travel a significant distance from the Motor City to enjoy a quiet, unfussy, rural adventure. Luckily, this assumption is decidedly not true. In fact, Detroit’s surrounding communities are home to plenty of rural charm, whether you’re craving a home-cooked meal, a dose of natural exploration, or a simple scenic drive that will make you forget your worries. When you’re ready to get out of the city, check out these seven small rural towns to visit near Detroit.
In only 50 minutes, you can make the drive from downtown Detroit to the quaint community of Romeo. This spot is home to fewer than 4,000 residents, rendering it a true small town – but there’s still much to explore for those who appreciate a slower pace of life. Family farms and orchards abound throughout the Romeo area, whether you’re visiting Westview Orchards or Falker Family Farm. Throw in a charming downtown and a handful of parks and you’ve got the recipe for a dream destination.
This Monroe County town is located about 40 minutes by car from the Motor City, but it feels like an entirely new world. After all, Carleton is calm and welcoming, housing around 2,500 residents. Drop in for a meal at Farmer’s Cafe, unwind with the whole family at Ash Carleton Park, or check out the Carleton Glen Golf Club for a more grown-up adventure. You’ll appreciate the laid-back atmosphere here.
Make the drive down to Dundee from Detroit to check out this small town on the River Raisin. Dundee is only an hour from the Motor City, but there are so many charms here that can only be attributed to a tight-knit community with loads of history. Enjoy river views at Wolverine Park, learn more about the area’s grist mill history at the Old Mill Museum, or snag a classic meal at Bricktown Diner and Coney. What’s not to love?
This Oakland County spot consists of just 2.5 square miles, but there’s lots of fun and wonder packed into such a small space. Nature enthusiasts will fall in love with this rural locale, which offers access to outdoor gems like Central Park, Kensington Metropark, and an assortment of hiking trails. With amazing access to inland bodies of water such as Hubbell Pond, this unassuming community is truly enchanting.
Your drive from Detroit to Tecumseh should take just over an hour, but trust us when we say it’s worth the car time. Tecumseh is chock full of history, outdoor attractions, man-made gems, and everything in between – in fact, you might just forget that it’s only home to 8,500 residents as you explore the area. Do some paddling on the River Raisin, explore a local winery, or simply unwind at Indian Trails Crossing Park. You’ll be counting down the days until your next visit in no time.
We’ve covered Armada previously, and with good reason: this rural treasure is full to the brim with things to do and places to explore. In fact, despite its tiny size, the Village of Armada draws in countless visitors throughout the year. Whether you’re enjoying the many appeals of Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill, digging into a slice of pie from Achatz Handmade Pie Company, or gearing up for a visit to the town’s fair or flea market, you’ll fall in love with this pint-sized spot near Detroit.
Make the hour-long trip to Metamora from Detroit for rural charm galore. Awesome local attractions include Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area, Seven Ponds Nature Center, and the iconic White Horse Inn – a former stagecoach stop that now boasts a status as one of Michigan’s most beloved restaurants. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely drive along surrounding farm roads or strolling through Metamora’s small downtown, you’ll be enamored in no time.
So, there you have it: a handful of the best rural towns to visit near Detroit. Have you been lucky enough to spend time in any of these seven destinations during previous family excursions? Did we leave any of your favorite small communities off our list? If so, share your thoughts with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend a must-cover locale by completing our nomination form.