Shopping trip in Michigan, itinerary suggestions?

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  • Nov 11th, 2010 10:36 pm
Dec 25, 2009
408 posts

Shopping trip in Michigan, itinerary suggestions?

Will be going with my wife and 14 month daughter (we will be driving). This will be a shopping trip, so looking to hit Birch Run, Great Lakes Crossing and Somerset Collections (too ambitious?). We plan on staying at least one night, maybe two depending on the shopping.

Who here has done this trip over a couple days, and what was your itinerary like? I'm thinking of going in the order like I mentioned above. I would be interested to hear your experience and any suggestions you have with hotels where we can stay that is child friendly, and bed bug free!!....also if there are any surrounding towns I should check out, and of course to avoid. A friend suggested I stop by Frankenmuth (20mins North of Flint). Appreciate all comments and suggestions. Thanks!
5 replies
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2006
940 posts
I've done this trip a few times. Your itinerary sounds good. There are also outlets in Howell if you are really ambitious (although I wouldn't recommend it with only 2 days and a 14 month old).

A good place to get a hotel is in Utica, MI. There are all kinds of malls, stores (Best Buy, Costco, Sams, Target, Walmart, ...) and restaurants along I-59.

There is also a Holiday Inn Express in Auburn Hills which is right beside the outlet mall - you can walk to the mall from the hotel.

Also, Hotwire has decent prices on hotels

Frankenmuth has some OK restaurants but no shopping other than a large store that sells Christmas stuff. I wouldn't bother if you are rushed for time
Deal Addict
Jun 4, 2003
1314 posts
Did exactly that last year this week. Went there on Friday and came back on Sunday. Went to Frankenmuth first though, and strolled in the Christmas store for a few hours, hand lunch, before we headed to the Birch Run Prime Outlet. The Outlet was pretty run down with a lot of empty stores so we did not stay there long at all, and went to the Great Lakes Crossing Mall. The Mall was pretty much empty in the Friday evening, probably due to the horrid fianancial sector tsunmai that happened the year before. We stayed in Madison Heights and the 3 star hotel was absolutley fantastic, except the area was also quite bad for window shopping at night. We returned to the hotel after dinner right away. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Utica the following month I went back and it was a lot better, because Utica looked and felt a lot safer to venture out at night. Any way, the next morning we went to the Eastern Market first in Detroit down town and it was a horrible experience as we got cornered by 4 guys demanding money for their so called veterans' association. We did not hang around long after that and went back up to Troy for the Somerset Collections. A lot nicer area of course and we spent pretty much the whole day there including dinner at the California Pizza inside the mall. Sunday morning we left right after breakfast and drove back up to Port Huron, but before we crossed the border we shopped at couple super Meijer and super Target stores and they were as big as the Real Canadian Super Store in Toronto and they opened 24 hours a day too. We bought a lot of things from BestBuy, Super Target, Super Meijer and Big Kmart more than any where else, probably because we are frugal I guess. Enjoy your trip! We are planning to go down again next month on Chritsmas day as well. Oh, forgot to mention Ann Arbor, we went to Ann Arbor, Southfield and Utica three weeks ago and I liked Ann Arbor a lot.
United We stand Victory in our Hand!
Deal Addict
Mar 18, 2005
4420 posts
when are you going? If you're going on the blackfriday weekend, Macys has printable coupons for 40% off a $25 purchase including sale items and clearance (and all brands!). I suggest printing multiple coupons and then making multiple purchases accordingly. What makes this coupon great, is 1) all brands included 2) clearance prices are already further reduced before the coupon 3) if you open up a new macy's accout you will get an additional (15-20% off your entire purchase for the first two days!) don't know the exact dates (search for it on one of those blackfriday websites) but the coupon can be used over a period of 2-3 days from 9am - 1pm only.

So i suggest visint multiple macy's in the morning than hitting the outlet stores.

Also for great food near birch run, i recommend Pizza Uno! They have a great take-out special - any two deep dish pizza's for $20. Enough to feed 5 adults.

If you find your self in ann harbor, mi go to my most favourite restaurant Flat top grill - for AYCE stir fry. You fill your bowl with your choice of rice, noodles, meats, vegetables and sauces, and they will stirfry it and bring it to your table.

Make sure you visit dollar tree, the greatest dollar store ever

Another great store is kohls's. They have ton's of clearance racks all for 60-80% off. If you join their e-mail club they will send you a $5 coupon
Mar 22, 2007
299 posts
We do this trip all the time with our little girl. The last time was actually 3 weeks ago with our 19 month old daughter. We don't particularly like Buffalo shopping b/c it's very boring and not really good in terms of quantity and quality of shopping in my opinion. You can do all the stuff you wrote...but it'll be really tight especially with a child. We did two nights and had lots of time to do lots.

This is how we did it coming from Sarnia.

1. Frankenmeuth for lunch (about 11:30am) at Zenders (in the basement b/c we don't do the all you can eat chicken). Don't forget to go to the bakery/cake shop down there as well. Huge brownies for $2, apple fritters for $1.75, jumbo cupcakes for $2 (i think?). It's sooo good.

2. Birch Run. We're not that big of a fan of Birch Run. Things are ok...nothing special. I find it a pain in the ass to drive from one side to the other.

3. Checked into hotel around 5:30pm. We used Priceline (always) and got the Crown Plaza Auburn Hills for $38 a night. We wanted the Hyatt place like last time (we got that for $35 on family day weekend) but it wasn't that bad.

4. Tried something new. Went to The Village of Rochester Hills. it's way more "upper class" in terms of stores and environment. We really enjoyed our time and felt very safe walking in the night there.

5. Super Walmart at Rochester Hills. It's fairly new, big and fairly safe. This was about 9pm.

6. Call it a night.

7. Target, Toys R Us, Old Navy by Great Lakes Crossing starting @ 8am

8. Great Lakes Crossing

9. Somerset Collection. Our best finds were at Macys. We got quite a few Polo Ralph Lauren for our little one: dresses for $12.99, standard girlie polo style shirt for $9.99 and this really really nice girlie sleveless polo shirt for $6.95 (i ended up getting 2 b/c it looked that good on her).

10. Target and Walmart by Somerset Collection

11. Call it a night.

12. Heading home from Auburn Hills on I-59 towards Utica. Went to Walmart, Target. Skipped the Lakeside Mall b/c my wife bought too many things. :cry: Back home around 4:30pm.

Have lots of fun!
Dec 25, 2009
408 posts
Thank you everyone for sharing your itineraries and great suggestions. Glad to hear most of you had much success with similar trip. My wife is really looking forward to this trip because its been 3 years since we did a similar trip (I guess spending 2 weeks in Italy this past September was not enough LOL).

I'm hesitating going to Birch Run after hearing the negative reviews.....may skip it and just head to Great Lakes Crossing and Somerset instead (and the shops within those areas). I guess it will depend on our schedule.
We are going the weekend (November 18-21) before Black Friday since it would be a nightmare fighting the crowds with our daughter. Hopefully Thursday and Friday during work hours will be relatively quiet in the malls. I'll check out hotwire for hotels, glad to hear its so cheap.
Thanks again for all the comments!