Quick: an out-of-town friend is coming to the Dexter area and has asked you for some things to do and places to eat and shop.
What do you tell them?
Here is a day trip guide to Dexter for a summer series called Patch Passport. The other Patch sites in Michigan — from Fenton to Saline and two dozen in between — are doing the same. So no matter what Patch town you visit, you'll have a guide.
Looking for a place to take the kids? Community Park is full of fun things to do outdoors. Community Park is located behind and is a public park. The park includes a 1/4 mile walking trail, play equipment, a basketball court and a geocache trail. Community Park is a great location for family reunions or small neighborhood parties.
Located adjacent to Dexter's biggest shopping and dining destinations, Monument Park is the perfect spot to enjoy some quiet downtime. It's also bustling with activity during the summer. At 6:30 p.m. on Fridays during the summer, you can catch nightly music concerts, and in the winter, you can enjoy ice skating on the village's ice rink — all for free.
Mill Creek Park is currently under construction and will be completed summer 2012. The park includes a system of boardwalks and trails, a fishing and observation deck, non-motorized boat launch, and an amphitheatre for summer concerts. The park will have many opportunities to reconnect with nature. The park is located adjacent to the on Main Street.
Mill Creek Park (formally Warrior Creek Park)
Warrior Creek Park is located downtown behind the . The park includes the beginning of the Washtenaw County Border-to-Border trail and in late fall 2012 a regional trail connection to the . The park includes play equipment, picnic tables, benches, porta johns and a stairway to the Dexter Farmers Market and Dexter District Library. The park also includes a non-motorized boat launch and a fishing and observation deck.
Year-round activities are offered at this 1,549-acre park. It has picnic facilities, swings and slides, softball diamonds, hike/bike trails, a nature trail, fishing sites, and an activity center with disc golf, tot lot, baseball diamond, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and shuffleboard. Also, there is a trail totaling 12.9 kilometers marked and groomed for novice and intermediate skiers. Amenities include eating facility, rental equipment on weekends, a warming shelter and trail maps. In addition, there is a 6,634-yard, 18-hole, par 71 golf course that is both scenic and challenging.
Spring Valley sits on 20 acres of carefully maintained grounds in a park setting. Visitors can stroll the park, which includes nine spring fed ponds ranging from a 1/2 acre to an acre in size. On these grounds are located two covered picnic pavilions which seat up to 100 people each, a children's play area, and an authentic American log cabin, used as a fishing lodge with handicap restrooms. The cabin is available for your groups visit and is a replica of fishing cabins from the north.
Art and entertainment
One thing you'll notice about Dexter is that there's plenty of ways to enjoy an evening out on the town.
If the theater is your brand of fun, the in Dexter or the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea are great options.
For art lovers, check out the or in downtown Dexter for some Michigan-made artwork.
Food and Drink
When you're ready to take a break from all of that sight-seeing, there are several restaurants around Dexter to appeal to a variety of tastes.
was voted the best breakfast spot by Dexter Patch readers in our Readers' Choice contest.
For lunch or dinner, try , which offers coveted sidewalk dining and high-quality menu items. Other popular eateries include , and the .
Loraine's Village Cafe, in downtown Dexter, a new addition to town, offers a variety of menu items and daily specials, while located next to , serves up homemade barbecue daily.
To grab a tasty sandwich or cup of coffee, you can hit or in downtown Dexter. is also a popular spot for the lunchtime crowd, with daily specials to satisfy most patrons.
Looking for dessert? There are plenty of sweets options. Try a fresh doughnut at the , or head over to or for a cool ice cream treat. If you are a chocoholic, head over to the Gourmet Chocolate Cafe, 312 North St., in Chelsea for a selection of handmade treats.
There are many small businesses in the downtown Dexter area to appeal to a variety of shopping interests. If you are looking for home decorations, try . For gift ideas, browse the selections at , or . Scrapbook lovers can purchase everything they need from . The perfect gift for moms, grandmas and fiances can be found at the , which boasts a selection of handmade necklaces, bracelets, and purses. is a hidden gem for Dexter. This charming little store sells a variety of baby, children's and home goods and gifts, including knitted toys, books, baby keepsakes, serving trays and handmade jewelry.
If you're shopping for relatives, be sure to check out the selection of Dexter souvenirs at the . For last-minute grocery stops, you can also find a selection of food and other essentials at and . There's also a lot of shopping options through the Jackson Road corridor, including Meijer, Walgreens, and Adventures in Home Brewing.