Small Town Joy

As we settle into what has been called “the new normal” in our nation, people are looking for activities that will be fun and yet promote a sense of safety.

My wife Mary and I are always looking for activities and stimulants to occupy our time and we think we found one that I suspect a lot of you will relate to.

We are touring small towns in Michigan. We pick out a town – load up our GPS – and then drive to the downtown area of the town. Once there, we park our car and wander through the town enjoying a little bit of Americana. All the downtown areas of these idyllic towns are wonderful, with small Mom and Pop stores.

Here is a list of where we have been recently:

Holly is a delightful town. It has a cupcake shop – a wonderful coffee store – and several restaurants. Our favorite is Avia, which has the best corned beef sandwiches. I talked to the owner and he tells me that he buys his corned beef from a vendor in Detroit’s Eastern Market – no wonder it is so good.

Also, the Holly Hotel is a main stay with great food. This town boasts a railroad track which goes right through the area. Many years ago, Mary and I were dining at the Holly Hotel and a train carrying President George Bush went by. He was standing on the rear platform and he waved to everyone. Maybe that’s why he was elected!

Hadley is a very small town and yet there is a certain character about it. I remember being in a duathlon years ago and part of the race was to ride our bikes into Hadley. It meant going down a steep hill to enter the town and I reached speeds of 40 miles per hour on my bike! Yikes! Then I had to turn around and go back up that hill. By the way, I won my age group because there was no one else in my age group!

Here are the other towns we have visited – all with their own personality:

Almont: just as an aside, the school superintendent is Bill Kalmar – yes, we have the same name. Wonder if residents of Almont think my columns are from the superintendent and if residents of Lake Orion think I am the superintendent?

In any event, Almont, like most small towns, has a welcoming atmosphere and the downtown area has several neat little shops for browsing.

Metamora: a wonderful horse town. Not much of a downtown but the White Horse Inn is a great restaurant and people travel long distances for the wonderful food.

Ortonville: a farmer’s market on Saturday is a must and there is a neat gazebo in the middle of town.

Davisburg: has a small downtown area and you can see some old horse and buggy shops that have seen better days but a delightful place to walk around.

Fenton: huge downtown area on a lake. We will return because there is a tasty Mexican restaurant in town – Sagebrush Cantina. Just like in Lake Orion!

Armada: all the stores in town have pictures of the high school graduating class. And each picture of the grad also has their baby picture. Really a great idea.

So, that’s it for now. Looking at the Michigan map for our next adventure. Someone suggested East Tawas and of course we have to make our trip to Grand Haven and have a Pronto Pup.

In closing, if you see us in downtown Lake Orion, because we always wander through our downtown area on a regular basis, say hello and we’ll safe distance you a cup of coffee at ABeanToGo!

Bill Kalmar

Orion Twp.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.