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Top 5 things to do outside downtown Detroit during the NFL Draft

Coming to Detroit for the NFL Draft? We are so excited to welcome you to our community. As a tri-county metropolitan area with millions of residents, we’ve got a lot to offer. And while you’re here for the football experience, we know there’s so much more to see and do. Take it from us – Metro Detroit is an incredible place to visit ((and live too!)). 


Of course, most of the NFL action will take place in beautiful downtown Detroit along our historic avenues and inside our city centers. We’re certain you’re going to have an incredible time. But if you’d like to get out of the action for a bit, we’ve got some recommendations. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly activity or a chill spot on the water for a beer, we’ve got you covered. 


Here are the top five things to do outside downtown Detroit during the NFL Draft.


  1. Dine on the water
    Along the east coast of Metro Detroit lies Lake St. Clair and its beautiful freshwater shoreline. So if you’d like to dine on the water, take a short drive outside of Detroit and you’ll find options ranging from casual to upscale. We recommend visiting the Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores, which offers breweries, seafood restaurants and more all within a 25 minute drive from downtown.
  2. Visit an indoor/outdoor amusement park 
    If you brought the kids with you on your trip to the draft, they might need some space to run around, and well, be a kid. Luckily we’ve got one of the best indoor/outdoor amusement parks around. Visit CJ Barrymore’s and find bowling, laser tag and a golf dome. Or if you’re more adventurous, they’ve got go-karts, roller coasters and drop towers. Check it out and enjoy an afternoon or evening of family fun.
  3. Try a world-class brewery
    There are plenty of places to grab a beer in and around downtown Detroit, but during the NFL Draft, there will be crowds. Beat the long lines by trying a brewery in Macomb County. Grab an Uber or Lyft to one of our many beer halls. We’ve even got award-winning breweries, like Dragonmead, which have won world medals for their tasty concoctions!
  4. Experience southeast Michigan's favorite reptile zoo
    For around $13 per ticket, you can bring the family to The Reptarium, an interactive space where you can pet, hold and play with a variety of animals – including sloths, snakes, frogs, turtles and even alligators! Get your tickets and give your kids an experience they won’t forget.
  5. Get in a game of golf
    Want to get in a round of golf with your buddies? Catch a ride up to Macomb County, which offers 24 golf courses. We’ve got a course along Lake St. Clair, or courses nestled among beautiful farmland – choose your setting and grab your clubs (or rent them) and enjoy a round or two.


That’s just a sampling of all the things to do in our area. Truly there is so much more to see and do – so come back! We know the draft is only a few days, but you need more time to experience all Metro Detroit has to offer. We’ve got a beautiful freshwater lake perfect for boating, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding or kite surfing. Our parks and trail system can accommodate those looking to walk, run or bike. And our historic downtown districts offer unique retail experiences and dining options. 


So no matter if you want to come in winter, spring, summer or fall ((because we have four lovely seasons here!), we’ve got all the resources you need to plan your next trip to Metro Detroit.


Megan Ochmanek is a senior communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.

Department:Make Macomb Your Home