Head north to ‘The Big House’
Best pit stops on your way to Michigan-Minnesota in Ann Arbor
In Week 4 of NCAA.com’s weekly college football road trip, you got to see one of the best university towns in the country in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This week, get ready for a trip to a town with just as much history, and a little bigger house.
Ann Arbor, Michigan will be the place to see Brady Hoke’s Wolverines take on Big Ten rival Minnesota. But before you get to see Devin Gardener run around the Big House, lets take a couple steps back and try and hit the sites and sounds of the place between the Great Lakes.
If you’re a Clevelander or somebody who is going to have to make a trip around Lake Erie, this is where you’re going to want to pull over and enjoy yourself.
The first stop will be in Sandusky, Ohio. Now you may be thinking, “Why Sandusky? I don’t need any auto parts.” Well, relax, there’s more to this town that what any Chris Farley movie might show you. (And I just took you guys on four road trips, new auto parts might not be the worst thing for us … )
Forecast: screams. pic.twitter.com/n5omgoqKTj— Cedar Point (@cedarpoint) September 21, 2014
On a small peninsula that juts out from Sandusky into Lake Erie is an amusement park named Cedar Point. Spend the day here and enjoy one of the many roller coasters, such as the Raptor or the GateKeeper. There is also an interactive dinosaur exhibit called Dinosaurs Alive.
For those of you coming to Ann Arbor from the west, (if the wind didn’t knock your car over as you drove on Interstate 94 along the base of Lake Michigan), you have to find a town called Dexter, Michigan and go to the Hudson Mills Metropark. You can set up camp, go for a ride in a kayak or canoe down the Huron River, or play some basketball, volleyball or a round of disc golf.
ICYMI: check out this firework gallery taken at Hudson Mills Metropark last night: http://t.co/OtDWa0bJYO— The Ann Arbor News (@annarbornews) July 5, 2014
If you’re truly interested in exploring this beautiful country, you can’t just survey its nooks and crannies, but you should also experience America’s major cities. And with Detroit just 45 miles east of Michigan Stadium, there are some awesome landmarks and places to stop in the Motor City.
One of the cool things to do in Detroit is to take a tour of the Heidelberg Project, a community outreach program that basically turned Detroit’s Heidelberg Street into a public art project. After your walk through the Heidelberg Project, find the Town Pump Tavern, an ivy-covered bar and grill in the Foxtown Theater district, truly one of the city’s hidden gems.
You have only scratched the surface of Detroit, but don’t forget you have a football game to get to on Saturday as Michigan hosts Minnesota. The Wolverines have accumulated more than 900 wins in nearly 135 years and it’s also brought along some fun game day traditions.
If you get to Ann Arbor in the early morning, hit the Fleetwood Diner and order the famous hippie hash. After breakfast, if it’s early enough you can find a good spot to tailgate on the fairways of the university golf course.
Michigan Stadium earned its nickname, “The Big House,” by having the capacity to hold nearly 110,000 people. But as you approach the stadium, don’t expect to be lost in the shadows of a towering building, because it’s actually a subterranean structure that isn’t very high above the ground level.
Prior to the start of the game, the Michigan Marching Band will high step their way into the Big House, blaring the sounds of the school fight song, “The Victors.”
After the game, enjoy the typical college town that is Ann Arbor. It seems that one trademarks of a college town is a local microbrewery (even my alma mater’s incredibly small town in South Orange, New Jersey had one called the Gaslight). But the Arbor Brewing Company is a great place to grab some dinner and enjoy the rest of the night out.
That will conclude our Week 5 road trip to the Big House. Join me again next week for a journey to Davis Wade Stadium to see an upset-minded Mississippi State take on Kenny Hill and the Aggies.