20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
To open your mini-vacation, nothing can quite compare to stepping within the confines of Greenfield Village. Located just outside the city limits of Detroit’s west side in Dearborn, this 80-acre village is a step into the country’s wondrous past. With 83 authentic and historical structures and buildings, there is so much to see from Noah Webster’s home, where the first American dictionary was written, to Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, to the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law before becoming the president. The Village is open from April 15, 2013 until November 3, 2013, seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Henry Ford Museum
20800 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
For the second day, save gas money and see what else Dearborn has to offer, including the world-famous Henry Ford Museum. It is now featuring the “Driving America Automotive Exhibition,” billed as the planet’s premier auto show. Showcasing the hardworking men and women of Detroit, as well as others across the country, is this museum’s specialty, including being home to the “Made In America” exhibit which displays the innovations and inventions of the country’s top minds through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The museum is open from April 15, 2013 until November 3, 2013, seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
1100 Lake Shore Road
Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236
After seeing the work and accomplishments of America’s innovators at the Village and Museum, spend your third day at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. The massive and palatial mansion was home to one of this country’s most prominent and influential families of all time. Though the Fords owned homes in many parts of the country, southeast Michigan was always and forever their permanent home. Nestled along the coast of beautiful Lake St. Clair, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House allows visitors to catch a glimpse into what the home life of one of the United State’s most powerful families was like. The site is truly unparalleled in its beauty and splendor – even in modern times.
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The Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
The Detroit Institute of Arts is considered by many art lovers and connoisseurs to be one of the greatest in our country, and even the world. What better way could there be for you to end your long four-day weekend in Detroit than to spend the day gazing at some of the Motor City’s most exquisite art pieces? Founded back in 1885, this museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, a 1,150-seat auditorium, a new art reference library and a one-of-a-kind conservation services laboratory. The DIA is constantly ranked within the top five museums in the country on a regular basis due to its immaculate and coveted art collection. With live musical performances and art demonstrations happening all the time, you’ll have no trouble spending your final day at this historical location.
2030 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
On the final night of your mini-vacation, spend an evening in the company of some of Detroit’s finest jazz music ever heard. The one and only Cliff Bell’s is the home of the original prohibition era watering hole of longtime proprietor Cliff Bell. Originally opened as the Parisian Club back in 1922, Cliff Bell’s moved from location to location in its early days to avoid being caught by the law for serving booze and fine jazz. Closed down in 1985, the current location was renovated and reopened back in 2005 and has been swinging ever since. Nowadays, Cliff Bell’s is the quintessential image of cool in the Motor City. Grab a table in the darkened dining room and treat yourself to a bevy of the country’s best jazz musicians while you sip a fancy cocktail and dine on the award-winning meals.
Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.