Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Fall color in southeastern Michigan
It's time to revive the Sunday afternoon drive, and with the Lions playing the way they do, you're not missing much by being away from home. In the 1950s, when the Lions won their last championship, they were worth watching, but the broadcasts were blacked out in the Detroit area, even when the stadium was sold out. My father was a dedicated fan, so we would take a Sunday drive to Mason, near Lansing, where we could watch the game at the home of a relative.
Those outing were fun, and since they cam in the fall, we had a color tour every couple of weeks.
It's unfortunate that southern Michigan doesn't often get the attention it deserves in fall, so I've come up with an Old Fashioned Sunday drive that takes you through some classic Midwestern towns in Washtenaw and Lenawee counties that haven't been spoiled by suburban sprawl. Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester and Tecumseh have retained their 19th century feel.
Take I-94 west out of the Detroit area to Dexter and get off the freeway. The first place to visit is the Dexter Cider Mill, 3685 Central. It's been in business for 120 years, and is thought to be the oldest continuous such mill in the state.
From there, head west on M-12 to Chelsea. Check out the Jiffy Mix mill downtown, and the main street shops and resturants. The Common Grill there is a top resturant destination. If you're looking to hike, take M-52 north to the Pinckeny Recreation Area, where there are numerious trails. If you're just up for a ride, take M-52 south to Manchester and then to Clinton, which is just east of M-52 on U.S. 12 From there head south to Tecumseh.
One lunch tip: Try the Tea Garden Cafe in downtown Techumseh. It's a break for pub food, and there are several authentic British dishes on the menu. And make sure to try the tea.