Situated about 20 minutes southwest of Ann Arbor, Saline consistently appears on “best places to live” lists, for its strong sense of community and excellent schools. This quaint city of about 9,000 is one of the best places to live on the outskirts of Ann Arbor — but it’s also a great place to visit!
Whether you’ve just moved to this charming town or you’re simply passing through, here is your complete itinerary for spending a full day in Saline. We’ve included a little bit of everything, from coffee to strolls through the park and historic tours to sipping beer in a historic church. Welcome to Saline!
Any good day starts with a cup of coffee and a pastry at Matty J’s, a cute, quaint bakery and cafe just east of downtown Saline. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day (except Sundays!), Matty J’s serves a variety of high-quality, handmade baked goods, breakfast and lunch offerings, fresh bread, and a selection of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages to fuel your day. This local spot has a homey interior with comfortable couches and some outdoor seating perfect for a warm day!
Described as “four parks in one,” Curtiss Park is a massive, centrally located park in Saline with a variety of amenities. This 50-acre park features two tennis courts, a baseball field, playground equipment, picnic areas, wooded trails included on the National Trail Registry, walking paths, and access to the Saline River. This is the perfect setting for a peaceful morning stroll, with your latte in hand, no matter the season!
11 a.m. — Learn Something New at a Museum
After you’ve stretched your legs, spend some time stretching your mind by learning something new at one of the museums in Saline. The city is home to the Saline History & Depot Museum, which is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. all year long. And if your visit falls during the summer months, you can visit the Rentschler Farm Museum on Saturdays from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. And no matter what time of year it is, make sure you drive by the Davenport-Curtiss House — click here to read the fascinating history of this stunning home built in 1826.
After all this activity, it’s likely you’ve worked up an appetite. Satisfy your hunger at Brecon Grille, named for Saline’s sister city, Brecon, Wales. This English-style pub and grill puts a new twist on beloved classics, like fish and chips, Bavarian chicken, braised corned beef reuben, and more. Plus, Brecon Grille has a full bar, an extensive wine list, and a wide selection of Michigan craft beers — but save some room for our next stop on the list!
This just might be our favorite spot on the itinerary! Named for Saline’s ancient salt springs, Salt Springs Brewery is nestled in a historic, 118-year-old church, with stunning original stained-glass windows illuminating the beautiful space. You didn’t think you’d ever drink beer in a church, did you? In this unique setting, you can sip on their true-to-style ales, lagers, cider, wine and spirits. Salt Springs Brewery is open every day except Mondays, with brunch offered on the weekends. Just be aware of “half-time” happening from 2:45–4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, which features a simplified, snacks-only transitional menu between brunch and dinner service.
4 p.m. — Shop in Downtown Saline
While you’re in the heart of the city, take an hour or two to explore downtown Saline, popping in and out of the many shops and boutiques lining this historic block. Rock Paper Scissors is an adorable gift shop with all sorts of knick-knacks, The Cobblestone Rose is a home goods store, The Resale Boutique is a charming consignment boutique, and Fine Print Bookshop is, of course, a bookstore. But take a stroll through town and you’re bound to discover even more intriguing local shops!
Wind down after this eventful day with a hearty meal at Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack. Inspired by Nova Scotian heritage, their menu combines spicy Cajun cuisine with Old World English charm. So the end result is East Coast fresh fish and seafood — with a Cajun flare! Choose from a variety of salads and soups, burgers, po’boys, sandwiches, pasta, decadent seafood dishes, and more. And if you order before 6:30, you can catch Mac’s happy hour at the bar or outside, which includes discounted drinks and small plates!
Take your everyday movie-going experience to an elevated level at Emagine Theaters. This luxurious movie theater features leather, power-reclining seats you can reserve ahead of time — so you know you’ll get the very best seat. They also have special “cuddle chairs” so you can curl up to your special someone! And if you want a late-night snack or nightcap drink, they have a full bar with craft cocktails, beer and wine, and plenty of concessions, like pizzas, quesadillas, chicken tenders, pretzel bites, hot dogs and more.
Have a Great Day!
What is your favorite thing to do in Saline? Tell us in the comments below!