By Jennifer Ruple
Need an excuse to break up with your weekend routine? Head 40 miles northwest of Toledo to the quaint town of Tecumseh, Michigan. The town’s hub is easily accessible–it’s situated right on M-50 or Chicago Boulevard as it is known locally. There you’ll find charming eateries; boutiques; antiques shops; a winery, brewery, bakery, and ice cream parlor; and a history museum all within walking distance of each other plus hiking and outdoor adventure nearby.
Upon arrival, visit Lev’s Bakery, a Tecumseh institution. Rumor has it that their doughnuts and soft, German pretzels (only available on Saturdays) are all the rage, but get there early in the day to indulge as they sell out quickly. A stroll along the boulevard provides a healthy dose of shopping opportunities. Visit Antiques & Vintage on the Boulevard and Hathaway Antique Emporium to scout out treasures from the past. For gift giving, peruse the floral arrangements, candles, linens and home décor pieces at the DG II gift shop. Into hobbies? Browse the thousands of plastic kits, train sets, die cast cars, and accessories offered at J-Bar Hobbies.
The sign at The Boulevard Market says it all – wine, chocolate, cheese. Owners John and Erika Aylward craft their own cheeses with fresh local milk and create chocolates using Sicilian chocolate-making techniques. The market also carries specialty foods and offers the best selection of boutique wines in the area. If you feel like staying in Tecumseh longer than just the day, reservations and $89 will get you an overnight stay in one of the three hotel rooms located on the second floor of the market. Speaking of wine, Tecumseh boasts not one but two wineries. Pentamere Winery is an urban venue and tasting room right in the heart of downtown, and J. Trees Cellars is an industrial/farmhouse-style tasting room housed in the historic Hayden-Ford Mill, a short drive from downtown.
When you are ready for a bite to eat, the options are abundant. Enjoy a relaxing lunch of farm-totable fare at Evans Street Station. Check into The Dog House for an all-beef hot dog embellished with one of their creative combos like the Junkyard Dog and the Frito Pie Dog, or design your own. Sample the many craft beer varieties along with a cheeseburger and tots at Tecumseh Brewery. For soups, salads and sandwiches with a side of espresso, look no further than The Daily Grind.
After lunch, visit the Tecumseh Area Historical Museum, located in a former church, and learn how the community has developed since it was first settled in Lenawee County in 1824.
Up for a little outdoor recreation? Drive a half mile or so east of downtown on M-50. Indian Crossing Trails Park is a 130-acre park with several walking paths. The one-mile main trail winds along River Raisin. For a bit of adventure, visit the adjacent Satterthwaite Park where kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and row boats can be rented from the Tecumseh Paddling Company beginning on weekends in May.
With so much to offer, Tecumseh’s inviting personality and close proximity to the Toledo area will beckon you to make a return trip, or two.
Jennifer Ruple is the author of the blog somedaycowgirl.blogspot.com.