Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Clarkston, MI

  • Published 2023/02/13

If you head northwest of Detroit towards Oakland County, you’ll find Clarkston towards the upper area of the county.

Clarkston is a Michigan city established in 1992, but the area’s history runs far longer than that.

According to old signs and documents, the city was once a village, established in 1832.

Currently, Clarkston is a city that features a size of 135 hectares and a population of 24,121.

When visiting this city, you will find a selection of fun spots and sights to explore.

To know the top places to check out in this city, here are the 20 best things to do in Clarkston, Michigan:

Grab a Bite at the Taste of Clarkston

The welcome arch of Taste of Clarkston

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Food enthusiasts will surely want to check out the Taste of Clarkston event.

Taste of Clarkston is a festival that features all kinds of eateries and live entertainment.

The festival usually occurs around September and is only one day.

A band performing during the Taste of Clarkston event

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There are several restaurants featured at this event, and they range from thirty to fifty restaurants.

More than being able to sample various dishes, you can find different exhibitions featured.

It is a short event you need to look out for and is one of the different ways you can check out the local delights.

People walking around Taste of Clarkston

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Explore Nature and Activities at the Independence Oaks County Park

The Independence Oaks County Park is the best place for recreational activities in Clarkston.

The park sits on Sashabaw Road and features several facilities for different activities.

With a land size of 1,286 acres, there is plenty for you to explore at this park.

When it comes to the recreational activities you can do at this park, they range from fishing to archery,

Some facilities you can find in the area include a camping space and picnic area.

You can also look out for the swimming beach and nature center.

If you want to explore the natural sights available at the park, you can take a hike through the trails that are over 12 miles long.

Unfortunately, some activities like archery and cross-country skiing are only available during specific times of the year.

There is no shortage of activities and views you can enjoy when visiting the Independence Oaks County Park.

Book a Game at the Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club

Enjoy a round of golf and a fun dining experience by stopping over at the Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club.

There are different facilities available at this golf club aside from the 18+ hole golf course.

One of the facilities you’ll find at the club is a dining space that opens during specific seasons.

When dining in this restaurant, you can enjoy an array of American cuisine dishes, plus a selection of wines, beers, and cocktails.

Aside from a fine dining experience, the club features a venue for different events.

If that isn’t enough, the Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club offers a service where golf, eat and stay in one out of three accommodation locations.

By visiting the Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club, you can enjoy much more than a game of golf.

Bring the Family to The Fairytale Fun Place

Are you looking for a space for the family to enjoy?

Then The Fairytale Fun Place is where you need to go.

The Fairytale Fun Place, which you can find at Dixie Highway, is an indoor playground that features different facilities and services for the kids to enjoy.

These facilities include a pizza cafe, party rooms, and live character entertainment that ranges from princesses to superheroes.

More than being an indoor playground space, The Fairytale Fun Place is a party venue that features different events and themes.

Some of the events held at the venue include nerfing gun challenges and remote control car races.

If you’re looking for a place for the family to enjoy, The Fairytale Fun Place is the place to go.

Enjoy a Performance at the Pine Knob Music Theatre

The Pine Knob Music Theatre, formerly known as the DTE Energy Music Theatre, is an outdoor amphitheater that’s been around since 1972.

The outdoor amphitheater was a construction done by the Nederlander Organization and sits at Bob Seger Drive.

Various musicians have graced the stage of this venue, and it continues to host several performances today.

Some of the prominent figures that performed at the Pine Knob Music Theatre include Bob Dylan and Diana Ross.

Over fifteen thousand people can fit at this venue, which you can find at Bob Seger Drive.

If you’re interested in checking out the performances at this theater, your best bet is to make a booking online to avoid any inconvenience.

Take a Look around the Clarkston Farmers’ Market

There are several places to try local delights, and one of them is the Clarkston Farmers’ Market.

The Clarkston Farmers’ Market is a farmer’s market you can find on Waldon Road and generally opens on Saturdays from June to October.

When exploring this market, you can find several vendors ranging from those that sell crafts to fresh products like honey.

In addition to finding local products, the market features live performances and other treats you can seek out.

If you’re interested, you can also try your hand at being a vendor at the market.

Dig into Latin Food and Coffee at Honcho

Exterior of Honcho

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Take a chance to grab a bite of Latin food by visiting Honcho at East Church Street.

Honcho is a restaurant that features Latin-American street fare and doubles as a coffee house.

Coffee bean pouches in Honcho

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Some of the dishes you can try at this eatery include burritos, enchiladas, and even a taco party kit you can take home.

As for the coffee side of the restaurant, they offer a selection of classic brews along with teas and juices.

For a flavorful meal to dig into, you need to check out Honcho.

Name sign of Honcho

Ilze_Lucero /

Get Gifts and Sweets at the Union General Store

You can find a selection of fun shops in Clarkston, and one of them is the Union General store on South Main Street.

As a store that’s been around since 1997, it has its share of history and unique features.

What makes the Union General store stand out?

It doubles as a cupcake shop.

There are dozens of cupcakes available at the shop, plus some cakes and macarons.

A few flavors you can try in the cupcake section include caramel apple and coconut.

When it comes to the general section of the shop, you can find items ranging from home goods to bath items.

Whether you want to shop for something or treat yourself to something sweet, the Union General is the place to go.

Drink and Play at Buck Shots Bar & Grill

Buck Shots Bar & Grill is one of the several places you can enjoy a meal and drink in the city.

You can find the bar and grill at Gateway Park Drive and explore their drinks ranging from beers to cocktails and other liquor.

In addition to the list of drinks available, the bar and grill feature a game room that includes pool tables and a jukebox.

When it comes to the dishes you can enjoy at this venue, it includes burgers, sandwiches, and other snacks.

For some good drinks and entertainment, the Buck Shots Bar & Grill is a place to check out.

Shop and Eat at Essence on Main

Among the different shops you can find in Clarkston, Essence on Main is a shop where you peruse for house items while also enjoying a deli.

Located on South Main Street, which is a part of the historic downtown district of the city, Essence on Main is a specialty market that offers different products and housemade dishes.

In addition to offering deli sandwiches, the store features a menu with quiche and salads.

As for the store section, you can find items including house items and a selection of drinks.

You can also find different gift baskets featuring a variety of items.

If you want to explore the shopping scene in Clarkston, Essence on Main is a place to check out.

Have a Drink at Parker’s Hilltop Brewery

To explore the drinking spots available in Clarkston, you need to check out Parker’s Hilltop Brewery.

Parker’s Hilltop Brewery features a selection of beers, wines, and other liquor blends for you to sample and sits on Dixie Highway.

More than being a location where you can enjoy various drinks, the Parker’s Hilltop Brewery is an event venue that features table games, bar games, and alcohol packages.

Check Out Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the Park is one of many events you can check out in Clarkston and generally occurs from June to July.

The event generally involves a series of concerts that start in the evening and are free to attend.

There are six concerts you can attend, and they take place at the Depot Park, which you can find in the city’s historic downtown area.

In addition to the concerts, you can find concessions and other fun amenities at the venue.

If you’re looking to enjoy a fun summer evening, checking out the concerts is a top option.

Dine at Mr. B’s Roadhouse

Check out the local delights by stopping over at Mr. B’s Roadhouse.

Mr. B’s Roadhouse is a restaurant that features casual meals and a selection of beers and cocktails.

Located on Dixie Highway, the restaurant offers dishes ranging from burgers to pizza and pasta.

You can also book the eatery for an event and enjoy a party with friends while watching sports on TV or playing games.

It is a relatively simple eatery compared to other places in Clarkston, but it is still worth visiting to try the drinks and meals available.

Spend a Break at Clintonwood Park

Clintonwood Park is a park you can find at Clarkston Road and features 120 acres of space and different facilities.

Some of the facilities you can find at this park are mainly sports areas along with picnic pavilions, a playground, and a spray park.

Aside from these, there are rental facilities that include an event hall and shelter.

It is one of the many spots you can visit with the family or spend a day of relaxation in the outdoors.

Visit the Clarkston Heritage Museum

Are you a fan of history?

Then make a stop at the Clarkston Heritage Museum.

Located at Clarkston Road and existing since 1999, the Clarkston Heritage Museum features different artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Clarkston’s past.

You can find thirty exhibits to peruse, and you’ll find that they change twice a year.

This change usually happens to meet a new theme.

If you are interested in exploring local sights and stories, the museum is the place to visit.

Do Some Family Relaxation at Depot Park

Little free library of Depot Park

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Depot Park is arguably the most famous city park in Clarkston, known for its amenities and beautiful scenery.

Equipped with the basics you’d want in a city park, Depot Park has pavilions, picnic grounds, and scenic walking trails.

If you time your visit well, Depot Park has tons of events year-round, featuring live music during the summer.

This makes this park one of the best to experience the vibrant community of Clarkston.

Depot Park can be accessed along Depot Road.

Take Photos of the Nelson Clark House

If you’re an avid fan of history, there’s a historical landmark in Clarkston called the Nelson Clark House.

Nelson Clark House is the home of Nelson Washington Clark, a Michigan pioneer who founded a grist mill and dam that eventually was called Mill Pond Dam—another historical attraction in the city.

Today, his house is part of the U.S. Register of Historical Places, as it dates all the way back to the 1830s.

Conveniently found along North Main Street in the busier areas of the city, Nelson Clark House doesn’t have any fencing, so you can easily take photos of it.

There’s even an informational board there to give you more learning behind this historic home.

Experience the Waters of Mill Pond Dam

Mill Pond Dam is both a scenic attraction and a historical marker in Clarkston.

Attributed to the pioneering works of Nelson Washington Clark, Mill Pond Dam played a critical role in the economic prosperity of Clarkston during the 19th Century.

Today, you can experience Mill Pond Dam as you have access to its waters, full of ducks and fish that have made this pond their home.

Whether you’re fishing, taking a dip, or doing some photography, Mill Pond Dam is a relaxing place in the middle of the city.

You can access this pond for free, found along Washington Street.

Visit the Clarkston Independence District Library

If you’re looking for some quiet time indoors, Clarkston Independence District Library is both free and a great place to visit.

Both a historical attraction and a public library, you’ll hit two birds with one stone when you visit this, as there’s some heritage to experience here as well.

But if talking about utility, Clarkston Independence District Library gets the job done, offering a wide selection of books for both children and adults.

The facilities are modern and spacious as well, and they’re well-managed by a team of expert librarians.

Found along Clarkston Road, you’d be hard-pressed to miss out on this if you have a love for libraries.

Have Some Beachside Fun at Deer Lake Beach

Deer Lake Beach is one of the finest attractions in the heart of Clarkston’s city proper, found along White Lake Road.

The sandy lakefront beach is the prime attraction here, offering spacious grounds where families and friends can do all sorts of fun activities.

Whether it’s building sand castles or doing a bit of beach volleyball, this place is a great all-rounder to cool down during the hotter months in Michigan.

If you want to go boating, this is a great starting point as well.

While it’s not the quietest beach as it’s right next to a busy road, Deer Lake Beach makes up for it with convenience, especially if you want to see Deer Lake without venturing far.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Try the Products at Cook’s Farm Dairy

The Michigan area has plenty of fun places to explore, but if you want to find someplace near the Clarkston area, check out the Cook’s Farm Dairy at Ortonville.

Cook’s Farm Dairy is a farm that features different products you can purchase and sample.

When visiting this farm, you can encounter different farm animals and get a chance to help with the work.

You can also book a tour and get ice cream for a treat or check out the seasonal events at the farm.

The products available at this farm range from dairy products that include various ice cream flavors and fresh products like honey and jams.

For a memorable farm experience, you need to check out Cook’s Farm Dairy.

Leap into the Water at Water Warrior Island

Travel southeast of Clarkston towards Orion Township and seek out Water Warrior Island.

Water Warrior Island is a waterpark that features different inflatable facilities and rental items.

The facilities include slides and jumping pillows and form an obstacle course you can run through.

As for the rental items, they include kayaks and paddleboards.

If you’re looking for fun in the water, check out Water Warrior Island.

Find Scares at the Erebus Haunted Attraction

Discover thrills and scares by visiting the Erebus Haunted Attraction located within Pontiac.

The haunted attraction is less than twenty minutes away from Clarkston and contains four levels.

Erebus Haunted Attraction usually opens during the Halloween season and features different effects and characters that’ll give you a scare.

In addition to the scares in the building, you can enjoy other services like getting a horror makeover.

You’ll find plenty of thrills by visiting the Erebus Haunted Attraction.

Final Thoughts

Are you looking for fun activities?

Or do you want to enjoy yourself with drinks and meals?

Then Clarkston is the city for you.

Clarkston has no shortage of unique spots you can discover, and there are several locations where you can sample local delights.

If you want to have fun exploring a city, make a stop in Clarkston.

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