Detroit Stories and Tips

Finding the Outlets

The largest outlet mall in this area is Birch Run located on I75 at exit 136. Bircch Run is run by Prime Outlets and boasts being one of the largest outlet malls in the US with over 147 outlet shops. I spent 2 full days at the mall and STILL didn't see everything I wanted to see. All of the standard outlets are here (Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Maidenform, etc) as well as a host of outlets that are hard to find elsewhere such as Spiegel, Bed Bath and Beyond and even Bose. I didn't come home as rich as I left but my suitcases were bulging with new clothes. Spiegel typically runs a 50% off the last marked price on all the clothing. Be prepared to spend time digging through piles and racks to locate your treasure.

Across the other side of the highway is Michigan's fun town Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is a great place to shop for antiques, have a german brew and not to be missed is Bronners Christmas Wonderland - the largest Christmas Store in the world! Open 361 days of the year, Bronner's features over 50,000 trims and gifts.

Bronner's Silent Night Memorial Chapel is open daily for viewing and meditation. Every evening from dusk to midnight, Bronner's ½-mile long Christmas Lane glistens with thousands of twinkling lights. Over two million people, including 2,000 group tours, visit Bronner's attraction annually

If that isn't enough shopping then travel south about 25 miles to Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills (Exit 84). Great Lakes Crossing is Detroits premier shopping destination and since it's just 15 minutes outside of the city it's convenient at any time of the year. The mall blends theme entertainment and dining with more than 200 exciting, value-oriented and regular-priced stores. Great Lakes Crossing has six-themed and architecturally distinctive areas in a 1.4 million square foot structure. Some of the exciting places include Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World (five football fields worth of outdoor gear and shopping fun), GameWorks (hi-tech indoor playland developed by Steven Spielberg's guidance), Alcatraz Brewing Company (a prison-themed restaurant complete with a miniature Golden Gate Bridge), Rainforest Cafe, Neiman-Marcus Last Call Clearance Center and Harley Davidson merchandise outlet.

If you don't want to drive all the way to Birch Run for your outlet wares and want a change from Great Lakes then travel up I23 to Howell and visit the Kensington Valley Outlets. Again with over 80 outlets you'll be busy for the day. I had a difficult time entering this outlet when I went since I made the mistake of driving right through Howell on I23. A smarter move is to take the I96 exit towards Lansing and then you can't miss the complex. Once again, you will find all of your favorite outlets here. Don't miss the Hot Dog Construction Company for the best "dogs" in Michigan.

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