I have lived in Dearborn for 30 years and it’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t been to Dearborn!  But maybe you visited once, and only went to one or two of our famous places, like Greenfield Village. How about coming for a visit and packing in a few days of fun and food? We promise you definitely won’t leave hungry.

Wherever you go in Dearborn, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with the people you come across – we are a friendly bunch!  Dearborn is considered a big town with a small town atmosphere, and we have a lot to be proud of. We are known for our diversity, beautiful parks, amazing neighborhoods, and of course some of the best food in Michigan.  Dearborn is home to Ford Motor Company, and you will notice a lot of things around town named after our beloved Henry Ford.

You can get to Dearborn by plane, train, or automobile.  If you fly into Detroit Metro airport, there is a direct shuttle bus from the airport that will take you right into West Dearborn.  The bus stop from the airport is also the same place where Amtrak stops.

When you are planning your visit, you have a lot of choices for lodging. If you want to splurge a bit, you will want to stay at The Henry Hotel, a beautiful hotel near Fairlane Mall and in the middle of town. You might also want to check out The Dearborn Inn and you can stay in their main hotel or one of their fantastic buildings behind the hotel, that includes five colonial homes. Besides these uniquely Dearborn spots, there are plenty of other options as well.

You arrive on a Friday evening, and you want to go for dinner and drinks. You have a lot of options! In addition to the usual chain restaurants we also have: Al Ameer (the only James Beard Award Winner in Michigan in 2016), Sahara (amazing Arabic food), Mint 29, Andiamo (Italian), Country Chicken on Schaefer, Iraqi Kabob, Roman Village on Dix for classic Italian fare, Buddy’s Pizza (a Detroit area favorite!), Golden Chicken, Bangkok 96 (Thai food), Peacock Indian Cuisine (they offer a lot of vegetarian options), LA Bistro, Unburger (Vegan restaurant), M Cantina in East Dearborn for amazing Mexican fare (try the avocado ice cream), and many other choices.  We have plenty of establishments to pick from if you are looking for cocktails. If you like beer, you should definitely stop by our Dearborn Brewing for Dearborn’s first microbrewery. Although Dearborn Brewing does not have a kitchen, they allow you to order food from anywhere and bring it in, so you can get take out from LA Bistro right next door and eat it while enjoying your beer! We have some legendary bars in Dearborn. Miller’s Bar is known for their no-nonsense but fantastic burgers. You can choose from a burger or cheeseburger, fries or onion rings, and a full bar. That’s it. Simple and amazing! Other options: Falls Sports, Biergarten, Moose’s Martini Bar, and Joe’s Top Dog (free jazz shows on Friday nights.) Look for some trivia nights at a few of the bars too.

You had a great Friday night eating and drinking in Dearborn, and now you get up on Saturday morning and need some coffee! You will definitely want to check out Qahwah House on Schaefer – get the Yemeni Latte. Yemen is where coffee began, and this place does it perfectly. They have great pastries too. (They are opening a second location on Michigan Avenue soon.) Also check out Common Grace Coffee in West Dearborn – another great option for coffee and pastries. Common Grace sometimes has live music or henna tattoo artists on the schedule.

Orville and Wilbur Wright entertain onlookers in a reenactment at Greenfield Village.

There are so many options of places where you can spend the afternoon. Of course you can’t go wrong with The Henry Ford, which is the home to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, as well as the Ford Factory Tour and the Giant Screen Experience.  So much to do and they can explain all your options when you get there. Be sure and plan on at least a few hours to visit. If you are there between April 15th and the end of October, check out The Village for sure, and don’t forget to get a frozen custard. The Henry Ford is voted one of the best museums in the country, and you will see why!

You should also visit the Arab American National Museum, it’s very unique and beautiful and worth a visit. Dearborn is home to some great art museums as well as a phenomenal performing arts venue, The Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. Check their schedule to see what is playing; you might get lucky and be in town to see one of the two area orchestras, the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra or the Dearborn Youth Symphony. They also get many national acts that perform at The Center.

If you want to take a nice nature walk, there is the trail that goes behind The University of Michigan – Dearborn and connects to the Henry Ford Estate and beyond. You can start the trail by the Andiamo Restaurant on Michigan Avenue; locals call it “The Andiamo Trail”. There are also plenty of parks around Dearborn to enjoy.

Henry and Clara Ford built their Fair Lane dream home on 1,300 acres in 1915.

If shopping is on your agenda, there’s always Fairlane Mall, but Dearborn is also home to some unique places to browse and buy. Check out Dearborn Antiques, Merchant’s Fine Wine, Dearborn Music, The Glass Academy, Green Brain Comics, and Retro Image.

Are you exhausted yet? Need a break? Maybe a little pampering?  You are in luck!  Dearborn loves to pamper!  We have plenty of salons and spas, like Mystique Day Spa or Om, which are both full-service spas, as well as plenty of single-service salons.

Did you fit in lunch somewhere? Westborn Market has a lot of choices for take-out, both at a hot counter and various deli prepared foods. Stop here and pack a picnic to take into Greenfield Village. There’s also Mati’s Deli on Monroe and Lile’s Corned Beef on Michigan Avenue.  Are you thinking about making a meal maybe? Be sure to go to Alcamo’s Italian Market on Schaefer (you will think you are in Little Italy in NYC!), the Fish Market next to Alcamo’s, or Dearborn Sausage.

How about breakfast? Al-Ajami on Warren has a fantastic breakfast menu and you get a lot of food with every meal. Get the Foul Modamas, it will come with the most amazing pillows of fluffy bread, and try the scrambled eggs. Everything is delicious! How about one of the best donuts in Michigan? You have to go to Donutville on Ford Road, a staple in Dearborn since 1966 and frequently voted best donut shop in Michigan.

Last but not least, you can’t visit Dearborn without stopping at a few of our bakeries and dessert shops! Capri Bakery, Masri Sweets, Gateaux on Military, Cannoli Pastry, New Yasmeen Bakery, and of course – Shatila! Shatila is an experience. You can get homemade ice cream in some fascinating flavors, or check out the traditional Middle Eastern desserts such as baklava and mamoul, or linger along the long counters of French pastries and desserts. Shatila has every possible dessert you could imagine, and they stay open late. Expect big crowds if you get there at 9pm on a Friday night!

If you visit in the summer, you will find the Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market in West Dearborn (May through October), as well as many free events on Friday evenings, including food trucks and outdoor concerts.  Visit our parks, pools, and splash pads too.  Whatever the season, enjoy your stay, and if you didn’t get to everything, plan another visit to come back!

Author: Karen Hanson

Karen Hanson is married with two kids, and has lived in Dearborn for 30 years