Home to a combined population of about 74,000 people, the Ypsilanti Township is home to some of Michigan’s best and most interesting hidden gems. Through the decades, the city has been a hub for automobile and aviation technology, a foodie haven, and a center for culture in the region.
But when you only have a day to explore everything Ypsi has to offer, it can be hard to narrow down the must-dos. Luckily, we crafted an entire itinerary! So grab your walking shoes, your buddies and your sense of adventure because we’re touring Ypsilanti’s best attractions, restaurants and communities.
8:30 a.m. — Breakfast at Beezy’s
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Both a beloved coffee shop and a delicious cafe, Beezy’s is a hyper-local breakfast option in downtown Ypsilanti. Every day, they make two different soups, whip up fresh, homemade salad dressings, bake hot, fresh bread and prepare everything with a local sensibility and local products from nearby vendors and farmers. To kick off your day of adventure, we recommend grabbing a cup of their freshly brewed coffee, a breakfast burrito or their French Toast Plate that comes with French Toast, scrambled eggs, home fries and bacon or sausage.
10:00 a.m. — Do a little shopping
After you’ve enjoyed a delicious breakfast from Beezy’s—explore the rest of downtown by doing a little shopping! A few of our favorites include Fast Eddie’s Music (for all of your musical needs); The Rocket (where you can buy candy, toys and so much more); Unicorn Feed & Supply (a downtown destination for unique gifts and treasures); and Salt City Antiques Depot (for, you guessed it, antiques). The area is also home to some amazing art galleries, boutiques, historical sites and more, so you could spend hours exploring.
12:00 p.m. — Visit Riverside Park
Located on the Huron River in the center of Ypsilanti, Riverside Park consists of 13.8 acres and connects downtown Ypsi with Depot Town—the next stop on our Ypsilanti itinerary. As you traverse the park, you’ll cross wooden bridges, pass a gazebo, a massive yellow lawn chair and other impressive sights.
Sidetrack has been a local destination since it opened its doors in 1850 and it’s easy to explain why. They serve some of the best pub food, pour some of the best beer, and offer it all in one of the best atmospheres in Ypsi. Their burger—Our Famous Burger—was included on GQ’s 2005 round-up of The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die, and that’s just one of the reasons we included it in this itinerary.
In 1927, Carl L. Miller opened this Hudson Sales and Service franchise as an automobile dealership and repair shop. After a merger and the discontinuation of the Hudson line, the fate of the shop was in jeopardy, but Carl’s son, Jack, continued Miller Motors by selling Hudson parts and cars until the museum was founded. Thus preserving the dealership’s authentic condition, the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum was opened in 1995 and is now home to hundreds of historic cars; advertising, service, repair and promotional items; and so much more. You can visit the collection 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Connstynce Chege via734 Brewing Company
Before you dive into dinner at one of our favorite area restaurants, stop by this hometown brewery for a few unpretentious brews. Ypsi born and Ypsi brewed, 734 Brewing Company is a newer Depot Town staple. Home to a spectacular patio and even more spectacular beers, it’s a must-visit when exploring the city.
This Ypsi favorite offers a seasonally rotating menu made with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and they pair that with a lineup of artisan cocktails, craft beer and wine. These approachable, gourmet eats cater to all kinds of diets—vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. If you’re looking for recommendations, you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but the Crispy Whitefish + Polenta is our favorite dish.
7:30 p.m. — Try your hand at a local escape room
Photo courtesy of Decode
As Michigan’s top escape game, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state — and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ypsilanti, their facility offers two different rooms for you to try. This evening, we recommend you try The Aurora Society, where you can try to infiltrate a secret society and find the root of their powers. If you’re visiting after spring 2020, you can participate in their new urban adventure game throughout Ypsilanti. Click here to learn more and to book your room!
9:00 p.m. — Dessert nightcap at Dom’s Donuts
Dom’s Donuts or “Dom Bakeries” as it’s officially named, is a no-frills bakery open 24/7 offering coffee, pastries and classic donuts that are worth a visit alone. After a long day exploring Ypsi, we can’t think of a better way to relax than at a table at Dom’s with a cup of diner coffee and a fresh donut. Want to enjoy your Dom’s from the comfort of your hotel or home? Just hit up their drive-thru!
What would you add?
What must-do Ypsilanti activities would you include on our itinerary? Let us know in the comments!