As a travel writer, I usually spend holiday weekends at home or close to it, knowing that better days are ahead for gas prices and weather. It's been a grim spring, with the rains. But there are usually plenty of unexplored places near home to keep a family occupied on Memorial Day weekend. Here's a quick look:
* Check out The Henry Ford for a day. If it's raining, stick to the museum.
* Dinner in Detroit's Greektown. When's the last time you were in downtown Detroit? Greektown offers many moderate-priced meals.
* Your local park. Mine is Hines Drive in western Wayne County where there's a great bike trail and a fitness course near Hines and Ann Arbor Trail.
* The Huron-Clinton Metro Parks in southeastern Michigan offer bicycling, hiking, paddling and other outdoor activities.
* Sterling State Park five miles north of Monroe offers a great beach on Lake Erie.
* If you're looking for a day at the beach and live in a southern Michigan city, check out Saugatuck on Lake Michigan, it's only a few hours west of Metro Detroit and even less from Lansing and Grand Rapids. The resort town offers dozens of restaurants and trendy shops, if its raining. The rooms there can be expensive, so check out lodging in Holland, just north of the beach town, for better options.