Category: Michigan
Author: Michael DeFranceschi • Updated

The 15 Most Fun Things to Do in Downtown Plymouth, Michigan [in 2024]

My personal favorites? I'll go with #2, #6, and #14!
Cover photo in an alleyway filled with artwork in downtown Plymouth, Michigan.

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**NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I first published this article in late 2022 and this was my first article to get a #1 ranking on Google! Since this milestone in my blogging career, I have updated this article as of August 2023 to include two more amazing things to do in the cozy little downtown of Plymouth, MI**

This is the only guide you will ever need in order to have a wonderful time in Plymouth, MI!

Not only am I a U.S travel blogger-- more importantly, I am a local. I live nearby and visit frequently!

Plymouth is located about 25 minutes northeast of Ann Arbor and 30 minutes west of Detroit in a region Michiganders often refer to as "metro Detroit". Its lively downtown is family-friendly, youthful, affluent, and refined all at once.

Many people visit downtown Plymouth for its suburb dining, festivals, live music, clothing stores, antique stores, and swanky aesthestic. Come down here and you'll see why downtown Plymouth is one of metro Detroit's finest hotspots.

For 2024, here are the 15 most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth:

IN THIS ARTICLE...
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For 2024, here are the 15 most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth...

01 // Embrace your inner hipster at the Plymouth Coffee Bean

Entrance to the Plymouth Coffee Bean in Plymouth Michigan. Going to the Plymouth Coffee Bean is easily one of the most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth.
The spot in downtown I visit the most!

Colloquially "the Bean", this locally owned cafe has been a cultural staple of downtown Plymouth since opening its doors in 1993.

On Monday nights, starting at 7:00 p.m, "the Bean" hosts a popular open-mic event where participants are alloted three performances or 15 minutes, whichever comes first. Typically, the performers are either musicians or poets-- though I have seen some standup comics on occassion.

I myself used to play guitar and sing at this open-mic years ago-- back in my musician days!

Like many cafes during the morning and afternoon hours, "the Bean" is a popular hub for remote workers and college students. There are several spacious tables with outlets nearby for charging laptops and smartphones. I often come to "the Bean" to write articles just like this one!

One of the funniest bumper sticks on their wall near the register is "FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS DRINK STARBUCKS". This is not to say the vibe is offputting-- far from it! "The Bean" has a very welcoming atmosphere.

During the warmer months of the year, customers can choose to sit outdoors on the patio. There are even some tables and chairs on the sidewalk bordering the cafe as well!

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, "the Bean" also hosted live music concerts on Friday and Saturday nights. As of December 2023, these live music events are still suspended.

I've been a loyal patron of this establishment since high school. While a couple of items on this list are reserved for those old enough to drink, "the Bean" is for all ages. Of all the spots in downtown Plymouth, I come here the most.

Address: 884 Penniman Ave, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: 7:00 a.m - 9:00 p.m

02 // Explore the inside of a real caboose at the Plymouth Historical Museum

The second floor the Plymouth Historical Museum in Plymouth Michigan. This display reconstructs Main Street from decades ago. Visiting this museum is one of the most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth.
Downtown Plymouth's hidden gem is this fantastic museum here.

Easily one of the most overlooked attractions in downtown Plymouth is the Plymouth Historical Museum. I myself didn't step inside this museum until after I first posted this article back in late 2022!

Although the Plymouth Historical Museum has been around since the early 70's, the museum obtained an actual caboose from an old train company in late 2019 which visitors are allowed to walk inside! Due to the lockdowns happening shortly after, not many people are even aware the museum has this!

The inside of the train car has been faithfully preserved. It was really cool seeing the mattresses, seats, icebox, bathroom, and imagining how travelers could spend weeks in this little space!

In back of the museum, you'll see a local residence whose garage is painted and designed like a train station! I heard whoever lives there has free access to the museum for life because of this!

Switching focus to the inside of the museum, there are two floors. The upper floor contains a dazzling and spacious reconstruction of Main Street from several decades ago. To the left, you'll see exhibits of home life in historic Plymouth.

I really find the early 20th century aesthetic to be quite mesmerizing. There are lot of mannequins wearing the modern fashion of the time which helps a lot in simulating the feel of actually being in historic Plymouth.

What's also notable about the upper floor is the Abraham Lincoln Exhibit. In fact, it is the largest museum space dedicated to the life of our nation's arguably greatest president in the state of Michigan. The Lincoln family tree was really neat to see!

The lower level of the museum is dedicated to the timeline of Plymouth, showing what the city looked like through various decades. A standout attraction on this floor is an old car from a defunct car company called Alter. There are only a handful of these cars even still in existence.

What confused me was the entrance to the museum. For whatever reason, the front doors of the museum were not open. You have to enter the museum through the right side of the building, which faces the police station and library.

Admission to the museum is only $7.

This museum is truly the hidden gem of downtown Plymouth. You'll be happy you checked it out!

Address: 155 S Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: 1:00 p.m - 4:00 p.m W, F-S. Closed Su, M-T, and Th

03 // Step back in time inside this secret, underground bar

The entrance to the Ebenezer in Plymouth Michigan. Visiting this speakeasy at night is one of the most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth.
Outside the entrance to Plymouth's secret bar!

Unveil the film noir detective or femme fetale inside you once you walk through the doors of The Ebenezer. It is the only speakeasy in downtown Plymouth and even the greater metro Detroit area.

The ambiance of the bar blends the vibe of the roaring 20's and the modern day 2020's-- a fusion of two eras a century apart. For a drink suggestion, order the Hemingway. Yes, it is named in honor of the author.

Speaking of bars, it is easy to barhop through downtown Plymouth. Some other great bars nearby are Sean O'Callaghan's (an Irish pub), The Post, Sardine Room, and the Penn Bar & Grill.

I won't tell you exactly where The Ebenezer is-- that'd ruin some of the fun! But here's a big hint: the parking structure.

04 // Have a date near the fountain in beautiful Kellogg Park

A nighttime photo in autumn of the fountain in Kellogg Park in Plymouth Michigan. Hanging out at the fountain in Kellogg Park is one of the most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth.
I had a daytime photo of this spot but the nighttime one is so much better.

Kellogg Park is the epicenter of downtown Plymouth.

Some of most popular downtown Plymouth events, like weekly Friday night summer concerts, the Plymouth Ice Festival, and Scarecrows in the Park, are hosted right in Kellogg Park.

Kellogg Park-- the city's oldest attraction in this list-- is enclosed between Main Street, Penniman Ave, S Union St, and Ann Arbor Trail.

Undoubtedly, the object that captures most people's attention in Kellogg Park is the fountain. While the fountain is captivating during the daytime, it is downright dreamy at night. The picture I took for this item is hands down my favorite photo in this entire article!

The rest of Kellogg park has plenty of grassy areas to throw a beach towel down and relax. Great spot for outdoor activities. The tall trees offer plenty of shade which is a big relief on hot summer days.

Oh-- and for a fun photo opportunity, sit in the "tree chair" near the intersection of Ann Arbor Trail and Main Street! Address: 298 S Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: 24/7

05 // Wait... is that a post office or...?

Entrance to Westborn in Plymouth Michigan. Westborn is the only grocery store in downtown.
Only one way to find out: go inside!

This item on the list is right next to the Plymouth Coffee Bean.

Upon first glance, you may think, "A post office. Nothing to see here...". But then, you'll notice the decorations. People are entering the building... smiling? People don't normally look that happy going to the post office...

This is a quirk about downtown Plymouth I just adore. See, the thing is, the building did, indeed, used to be a post office. It was far less festive back then. Now, the building is occupied by a local grocer named Westborn Market. It has a similar vibe to a Trader Joe's except that it's locally owned.

Of all things a grocer provides, Westborn Market proclaims on its website it stocks only the best fruit and vegetables. Speaking of fruit, did you know that Michigan is the nation's leader in producing cherries? Pick up some to snack on at Westborn!

You can't tell by looking outside but Westborn has a basement level too that sells kitchenware and various decorative accessories. It's fun to briefly explore.

Address: 860 Penniman Avenue, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: 8:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m. except on Sunday-- 8:00 a.m - 7:00 p.m

06 // Hunt for all the murals/public art

A mural on the backside of a bar in Plymouth Michigan. Spotting all the public art is one of the most fun things to do in downtown, Plymouth.
I won't tell you where this one is! You're going to have to find it yourself!

On my homepage, I present myself as a city traveler and street art lover. Thus, a common recommendation I give for cities is to search for all the murals in the area. Downtown Plymouth is no exception when it comes to street art.

This DIY (do-it-yourself) miniature scavanger hunt will take you all over downtown and not just on its main streets. Two additional bonuses-- it's free to do and you'll get some exercise!

Around April or May of 2023, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) allowed the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority to post nine framed reproductions of some of the best artpieces in the museum. Like the murals, they are scattered all around downtown. Can you find all nine!?

The search for the nine DIA paintings and the five murals is one of my favorite activities and one I'm sure you'll really enjoy as well!

07 // Visit the Plymouth Farmers Market on Saturday mornings

The Plymouth Farmers Market off Penniman Ave in Plymouth Michigan. Waking up early on Saturday to visit the Farmer's Market is a great activity.
A Saturday morning at the Farmers Market.

Usually when I give recommendations for thing to do in a city, I like to suggest things you can do all year round, as opposed to seasonal.

Since downtown Plymouth is a small area, I'm making an exception here. The Plymouth Farmers Market runs from May 7 to October 2022. Guess it's not that seasonal, since it spans late spring to early autumn.

I'm not the best at waking up early on a Saturday. If you're up, showered, and ready for something fun to do on a Saturday morning, then head to the Plymouth Farmers Market.

It is adjacent to Kellogg Park on Penniman Avenue and also partially surrounds Penn Theater.

Like many farmers markets, you can browse through fresh produce and apparel made by local artists.

Address: 760 Penniman Avenue, Plymouth, MI 48170 (Penn Theater)
Hours: S 8:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m.

08 // Get in touch with your spiritual side at Earth Lore

Entrance to Earth Lore in Plymouth Michigan. Earth Lore is a one-of-a-kind store.
Outside the entrance to Earth Lore.

Located at the intersection of Forest and Wing, Earth Lore is a store chock full of personality. It sells a myriad of merchandise including but not limited to: apparel, jewelry, crystals, incense, candles, figurines, tarot cards, and spiritual literature. The outlet has a tranquil, aromatic, and welcoming atmosphere.

Earth Lore is one of the most unique small businesses in downtown. It's worth a browse through, though I'm sure you'll find something small and interesting to purchase!

Address: 895 Wing St, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: 11:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m except Sunday-- 12:00 p.m - 5:00 p.m

09 // See an indie film at The Penn Theatre

Entrance to the Penn Theater in Plymouth Michigan. Seeing a film at the Penn is fun.
The Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth.

The Penn Theatre is a cozy single-screen movie theatre known for playing indie films, classic films, and select new releases. It seats up to 402 people.

On the left side of the theatre, you'll see posters of four renowned classic movies painted on the wall. Which films? I won't spoil the fun! See for yourself!

Address: 760 Penniman Avenue, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: varies

10 // Take a lovely stroll down Main Street, Ann Arbor Trail, and Penniman

View off Main Street in downtown Plymouth Michigan.
A tall clock in the heart of downtown is common for small towns.

The advantage of visiting a small town is that you don't feel obligated to do something. Sauntering around the town while passively admiring the scenery is part of the fun!

On my blog, I often address my readers who may be on a tight budget because I've been that traveler before. If you're low on funds and feel a need to get out of the house for a few hours, going for a walk around downtown Plymouth will fulfill your need.

These three streets alone make up a vast majority of the local businesses and activity in downtown Plymouth.

Walking down these streets at night is just as enchanting, as there are fairy lights around the area all year round.

11 // Get some amazing ice cream at Dairy Go 'Round

A picture of Dairy Go 'Round.
Outside Dairy Go 'Round.

Depending on the reader, you'll either be relieved or disappointed the campus for this ice cream shop doesn't actually rotate like a merry-go-round.

While there are a couple other places in downtown you can get ice cream, I think Dairy Go 'Round has the most interesting look and the best ice cream.

Address: 1226 S Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: Su-Th 12:00 p.m - 9:30 p.m, F-S 12:00 p.m - 10:00 p.m

12 // Don't forget about Old Village

A picture of Dairy Go 'Round.
Hermann's is an amazing bar that you should not pass up!

I feel Old Village gets overlooked by a lot of people. Once people hit the train tracks on Main St, people think there is nothing more to see. They are mistaken!

Old Village is home to other terrific restaurants, small businesses, and bars. And... remember the murals I mentioned?

In the picture above is Hermann's, a very popular bar in downtown Plymouth. As I mentioned earlier, the bar scene is strong in the area. My personal favorite bar is the Irish pub, Sean O'Callaghan's.

13 // Go for a drive on E N Hines Dr

A picture of Dairy Go 'Round.
One of the public parks you'll find along this scenic road.

Okay, this attraction is not technically in downtown, but it's close enough that I feel it's justifiable to include.

Head north on Mill St. When the road splits into Wilcox Rd and Northville Rd, take Northville Rd. Very quickly, you'll have the option to turn left or right on E N Hines Dr. Which direction you turn is up to you!

This long road meanders through some of metro Detroit's most eye-catching natural beauty. It is especially fetching during autumn. Newburgh Lake sports opportuntity for fishing and there are plenty of small parks for a variety of outdoor activites.

The best part of sightseeing from your vehicle is that Traffic on E N Hines Drive is rarely congested.

14 // Have a good meal any time of day at Zack's of Plymouth

A picture of the interior of Zack's of Plymouth diner.
Inside the 24/7 diner Zacks.

This diner is 24/7. Like a Waffle House! However, if the crowds at Waffle House are too rowdy for you, then come to Zack's of Plymouth.

Zack's isn't technically in downtown but it is about two minutes away off Main St. It'd be amiss to not include this lovely diner on the list! For great taste and presentation, order the (signature dish). You'll see flames tickle the ceiling! If you're just in the mood for a quick bite, get the Awesome Fries.

Address: 9458 S Main St, Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: 24/7

15 // Free Little Art Gallery DTP

A picture of the Free Little Gallery DTP in downtown Plymouth.
See more art around downtown Plymouth for free!

A shoutout to Jan Myers for being the first person to email me about my blog and informing me of this next item:

Located across the street from the Plymouth Coffee Bean is a community outreach project called the Free Little Art Gallery DTP. Inside a structure resembling a mailbox are small square-shaped illustrations from local artists.

Per the project's name, it costs nothing to peek inside and admire the art. Other artists are even encouraged to submit art in a slot located on the mailbox's right side.

This attraction will probably take you less than a minute to see but plays a role in giving downtown Plymouth its personality. Follow them on Instagram and support the art!

Downtown Plymouth Events

The small yet vibrant downtown hosts over 130 events per year. This article would be far too long to list them all so here are paragraphs dedicated to the town's most popular events:

Music in the Air: Every Friday evening during the summer months, Kellogg Park erects a stage and hosts live music. Listeners often bring lawn chairs to sit down. Most of the musicians and bands who perform are cover bands and the genres of music most commonly played are blues, folk, pop, and soft rock.

All of the summer concerts are free to attend. It's common for the park to be fully packed with people during the concerts. Even if you don't sit down to listen, the music functions as a soundtrack when exploring the town.

Plymouth Art Fair / Art in the Park: An annual event that takes place in the summer showcasing the creative works of many of Michigan's finest artists. Artists set up tents for attendees to browse. You'll see a wide range of artistic work, such as paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, sculptures, apparel, and more!

There is no admission fee to the event. This year, Art in the Park will be held July 8-10.

Plymouth Fall Festival: I probably don't need to tell you which time of year this event takes place! Springtime! Okay, I'm kidding... it's the fall. In 2022, the festival will be held the weekend of September 9-11.

The Plymouth Fall Festival hosts a car show, craft show, and even... a pet show! There's plenty of barbeque, performing arts, and carnival rides.

Plymouth Ice Festival: Similar to how artists at Art in the Park feature their work, some of Michigan's most unique sculptors create mesmerizing works of art out of ice and put them on display at the Plymouth Ice Festival!

What's cool (literally and figuratively!) about this event is one could argue it's a 24/7 event-- weather permitting, of course! If you feel like exploring the streets of downtown at 3am in the winter, you can still admire the ice sculptures. The event is free.

The Plymouth Ice Festival in 2024 will be held February 2-4.

Wayne County Lightfest: It's good I mentioned taking a drive on Hines Dr earlier because this event takes place on the aforementioned road. The Wayne County Lightfest is a drive-through Christmas light show.

Unlike the previously mentioned events, this one does charge admission-- and the price you pay is determined by the type of vehicle you drive. Tickets can be purchased online in advance. If you purchase at the entrance, you must pay in cash. Most commercial vehicles (e.g. sedans, SUVs) will be charged only $5. RVs, limos, and commercial vans are charged $20. Mini-buses (20 passengers) are charged $20 and buses (40+ passengers) are charged $50.

The lightshow is available from 6-10pm Wednesday through Sunday. For 2023, the event commences on November 17 and terminates on Christmas Eve (December 24).

Where to park in downtown Plymouth

Downtown Plymouth is a very popular spot so parking most times of the day can be difficult to come by. Every street has spaces to park up to two hours. In my opinion, downtown Plymouth isn't strict on enforcing time limits and first time violators just receive a warning.

If you aren't lucky enough to find parking off the street, there is a two-story parking structure off S Harvey St, as well as parking near the Plymouth District Library.

Is Plymouth Michigan safe?

Yes! According to one source, the crime rate for Plymouth, MI (including its downtown) is 73% below the national average.

I have never felt unsafe walking in downtown late at night.

Conclusion

Seven days a week, thousands of people in metro Detroit come to this wonderful place. This area is seriously one of my favorite spots in southeast Michigan. I hope you have enjoyed my list of the 15 most fun things to do in downtown Plymouth!

Since I visit this spot often, who knows... maybe I'll bump into you! If you see me working on my laptop at "the Bean" or just walking about, feel free to say "hi"!


Thank you for reading! Like... seriously. So many people just skim sh*t and don't read anything past the headline. You're one of the good ones!

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