Day Trip Dearborn: A Visitor's Guide to the Hometown of Henry Ford
Here is a things-to-do in Dearborn list from our neighbors at Dearborn Patch.
Dearborn residents will all tell visitors one thing: There's a lot more to the city than the Henry Ford Museum (although we love that attraction, too).
We wrote this little daytrip guide to Dearborn for a summer series called Patch Passport. The other Patch sites in Michigan — from Fenton to Trenton and two dozen in between — have done the same.
All summer long, we'll offer up a weekly daytrip guide to another southeast Michigan destination. But to start, here's what you helped us come up with for our own daytrip guide. Have more suggestions? Add them in the comments.
Dearborn's pretty lucky. While some cities have just one walkable stip of restaurants, bars and shops, we have two.
In East Downtown, you'll find a unique mixture of hip shops, history, and both Polish and Arab American influence in the food and stores. On the west side, a bevy of places to eat, plus Dearborn's bustling nightlife–any night of the week.
Here are some spots you won't want to miss, according to Patch readers:
- Green Brain Comics/Stormy Records (east): A double-whammy of comics below, and records up top in one building.
- Howell's and Miller's (west): Best burgers in the state? Locals will say hole-in-the-wall Howell's, but Millers has received national recognition. You decide.
- Dearborn Music (west): One of the oldest, biggest locally-owned record stores in Michigan.
- Dearborn City Hall (east): Built in the 1920s, City Hall has astounding architecture and a neat nearby park.
- M&M Cafe (east): Home-cooked food with friendly hospitality.
- Mati's Deli (west): Good luck finding a seat at lunchtime.
- Village Antiques (west): A large antique mall with constantly changing inventory
- Jim's Place (east): As one Patch reader put it, "Polish with attitude."
The Rest of Dearborn History
You can learn a lot about Dearborn's history at The Henry Ford. But most people think it's just about a Model T ride in Greenfield Village, or a photo op with the Weinermobile.
Here are the lesser known spots and experiences to take in the city's roots:
- Dearborn Historical Museum: Don't forget to visit the McFadden Ross House and the Commandant's Quarters. Both worth seeing.
- Rouge Factory Tour: See where Ford's trucks are built up close!
- Ford Historic Homes District: A beautiful west downtown neighborhood of hundred year old homes, commissioned by Henry Ford himself.
- Springwells Park: Like a city within the city, Springwells residents are among the most proud of their neighborhood of unique homes, also designed by Ford architects.
- Fairlane Estate: Though the actual estate that Henry and Clara Ford called home is currently closed, the grounds are not. See the Rouge waterfall, the former boat launch, and Clara's rose garden.
Arab American Influence
Dearborn is home to the finist Middle Eastern cuisine in the state, and I say this with no hesitation. But there's also the culture, the hookahs, the bakeries–oh, the bakeries!
Here's where our readers say to go for the best Arabic eats and experiences in the city:
- Arab American National Museum: The first museum in the world devoted to Arab American history, culture and art.
- Al-Ameer: A longtime favorite restaurant on Warren Avenue for locals and visitors alike.
- Shatila: Ice cream and a variety of Arabic baked goods.
- Caffina Coffee: Roasted on site–buy it bagged, or sit down for a drink.
- Greenland Market: Fresh produce, unique products, locally owned.
Arts & Culture
Dearborn residents are proud of the eclectic art, culture and performance experiences available in the city. Here's what they say to check out:
- Ford Community and Performing Arts Center: Catch comedy, dance, theater and music shows all year round.
- Padzieski Art Gallery: Located inside of The Center, with local, regional and national art of all types.
- Players Guild of Dearborn: Dearborn's top-rated community theater spot.
- Outdoor art: Including the Pockets of Perception sculptures in east and west downtown, scultures courtesy of the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and (beginning in July) the DIA's Inside/Out program.
Looking for something else entirely? Check out our Dearborn Patch Business Directory!