We wrote this little daytrip guide to Rochester and Rochester Hills for a summer series called Patch Passport.
You may have heard of the Main Street Makeover, otherwise known as the summerlong rebuilding of the main road through downtown Rochester.
Regardless of what your friends have told you, we're here to report that downtown Rochester is still open for business. Parking is free and plentiful, most businesses have back entrances to bypass the construction out front, and many shops and restaurants are offering "construction deals."
Here are some spots you won't want to miss, according to Patch readers:
- , a whimsical gift shop inside a historic train depot.
- , which features local wines and wine slushies.
- , with books and toys for all ages.
- , a real European bake shop with must-try almond croissants.
- , which sells skateboards, shoes and clothing.
For more about Rochester's downtown, visit the Downtown Rochester page on Patch.
Find the creek
Put on your walking shoes — or helmet, if you brought your bike along for the day trip — and pick up the trail behind (where you can buy home-brewed beer to go).
The trail takes you by the picturesque and around the . Follow the trail along the Paint Creek through the library gardens and underneath Main Street.
How about lunch?
When you resurface from the short stroll, walk a few steps to one of the most-often-recommended downtown dining suggestions: . Order a coney and fries and grab a picnic table by the water (but watch out for ducks.)
Not in the mood for a hot dog? There are more than a dozen downtown restaurants. Browse menus and read reviews in our Patch directory.
After lunch, keep heading down the trail into for playgrounds, a fishing pond, sand volleyball or tennis.
Or, get back in your car and drive west for more shopping at . Check out a directory of stores here.
Across the street from the Village you'll see the campus of , the site of the . Tours of the hall are offered at various times; see a schedule here.
Where to have dinner?
Here are the restaurants that consistently receive thumbs up from Patch readers; click on the links for in-depth reviews and more:
- (try the bread)
- (for more casual dining, try Kabin Kruser's, an oyster bar in the front of the restaurant)
- (Italian fine dining)
- (check out the rooftop dining)
- (with a great outdoor patio)
Other options, depending on how late you stay, include Rochester Mills, the new , , and .
Did you see?
- Ewe Revue 2: You may notice sheep scattered all around town. It's a public art show, featuring two dozen movie-themed sheep on display throughout summer. .
- (if you happen to visit on a Saturday morning) or (if you happen to visit on a Saturday night).
- . It's open on Friday and Saturday afternoons and features a children's garden and creekside picnic area, as well as various museum displays.
- (wooded hiking trails near downtown Rochester).
If you go
Rochester is about 11 miles north of Clawson. You can take Livernois Rd., to East Square Lake Rd. and head north on Rochester Rd.