There’s no need to pack for this trip, unless it’s a shopping bag and bottled water. Forget about filling up your gas tank and finding a place for Fido for the weekend.
All you’ll need are comfortable walking shoes and an appetite for unique boutiques, restaurants you’ve wanted to try and historic spots you’ve been dying to visit.
You’re going on a mini-getaway to your hometown community, and you’ll be looking at your own town with the fresh eyes of a tourist or visitor.
“We’ve got brochures and flyers for visitors,” said Carol Couture, front office clerk at the Fenton City offices downtown. “People pick up brochures all the time, like the sculpture maps. Our 2020 brochure about downtown Fenton events like concerts in the park, farmers market dates, Back to the Bricks, plus downtown restaurants will be coming out in March or April.”
You can make any visit to a local community special by walking its downtown or making several stops at local restaurants and bars for before-dinner drinks and appetizers, then a favorite new spot for dinner, and pick up après-drinks or dessert at a place you’ve never been before.
Grab a copy of the Times for information about new places and activities to try, whether it’s the latest Fenton Village Players production or something new going on at the local library.
Set a date with your city or village and gather a group of friends to help you truly “staycation.”
Check out the main three shopping districts of Fenton:
• The pedestrian-friendly historic Dibbleville anchored by long-time merchants The Iron Grate, Fenton’s Open Book, Yesterday’s Treasures, plus boutique apparel shops
• The eclectic shops and family owned businesses of the North LeRoy Business District
• The new facades of businesses in Silver Lake Plaza on Silver Parkway and all of their business neighbors
• Grab a craft beer or wine or a bite to eat at dozens of restaurants that are walkable downtown, or worth a short drive to Owen Road, Silver Parkway, North Leroy and beyond.
• Get a taste of history at the A.J. Phillips Museum, or grab a sculpture map at city offices and make a stop at each of the artsy stops – about a dozen in all.
• Instagram photo op: The Poker Game sculpture in front of the Fenton Community & Cultural Center — there’s a seat at the poker table just waiting for you.
The village of Holly has long been a weekend getaway destination, with its convenient location two miles from I-75 and an easy exit for busy metro Detroit visitors.
Boasting 100-percent occupancy, downtown Holly offers an eclectic mix of boutiques, treasure hunting for antiques, history and dining destinations. The Holly Hotel’s Victorian Tea, Comedy Club and quaint atmosphere draw thousands of visitors each year.
To answer many requests for visitor information, Rachel Orzechowski of the village of Holly has created sample day trip itineraries like these:
• Winter Weekend on Main Street
• Summer in the Village with Your Family
• Ladies Night Under the Lights
• Saturday Senior Stroll Around Town
These itineraries are available at village offices downtown, and will also be featured on a new website now under construction, Visitoaklandcounty.com.
If you really want to make your trip special, get a room at a local hotel or bed and breakfast, adding even more adventure to “playing tourist.”
• Take a stroll downtown and visit several unique shops and businesses, including the anchor Thimbleberry Antiques, which in spite of its name, is also a unique apparel and gift boutique.
• Visit the Linden Museum and Library, located at the Linden Mill on the banks of the Shiawassee River.
• Grab an early morning breakfast at the iconic Shirley’s Café or a deli lunch at the Alpine Marketplace.
• Enjoy a relaxing spa experience at Serendipity Wellness Spa, as part of your day of fun.
• Instagram photo op: The bridge at the Linden Mill.