15 Best Things to Do in Utica, MI

Utica, MI
MichaelAnthonyPhotos / shutterstock.com

Utica is a city in Macomb County, Michigan, home to 5,025 people.

It exemplifies the ideal contemporary small city since it provides modern conveniences without sacrificing its charming atmosphere.

Their public and religious schools are among the best in the state.

It is an excellent destination if you're looking for a small-town feel with big-city conveniences.

Get ready to experience the best things to do in Utica, Michigan!

Grab Lunch at the Shamrock Irish Pub

Exterior of Shamrock Irish Pub
MichaelAnthonyPhotos / Shutterstock.com

After a day of sightseeing, stop into Shamrock Irish Pub for a hearty lunch.

Established in 1935, the Shamrock Irish Pub is a charming example of a traditional Irish watering hole.

Brick walls and lofty ceilings harken to a bygone era.

There isn't much to choose from because everything is cooked on an open flame at the bar.

There are deals on burgers, beers, and fries.

Likewise, you can enjoy various drink specials with top-notch burgers and service.

You can find the Shamrock Irish Pub on Auburn Road.

Meet the Reptiles at the Reptarium

The Reptarium, known as "Michigan's Favorite Reptile Zoo," provides visitors with the chance to interact with various reptiles and other animal ambassadors in realistic habitats.

This is a paradise for reptile enthusiasts, especially those who admire green anacondas.

There is an excellent variety of species, many of which are eager to meet and greet visitors.

Get acquainted with their two-headed snake and other unusual reptiles from around the world.

If you're interested in holding an animal, the staff will bring you a reptile, though only the ones you can legally touch.

You could even handle and feed the lizards and snakes.

Buy affordable souvenirs for your kids at the Reptarium gift shop.

Likewise, book your tickets in advance for a specific time slot.

Take a Brief Walk at the Clinton River Heritage Park

A bridge at Clinton River Heritage Park
ARON1 / Shutterstock.com

The Clinton River Heritage Park in Macomb County is close to the intersection of Van Dyke Avenue and Canal Road.

This park is ideal for those who want to hike the River Bends Trail or visit Dodge Park.

An excellent concrete route links the Sterling Heights Nature Center and Dodge Park trails.

They have access to a kayak launch, so you may enjoy paddling along the river.

Occasionally a family of wild turkeys would come through, a wonderful sight to behold.

Bring your family to the Clinton River Heritage Park!

Other Things To Do Nearby

Explore River Bends Park

View of River Bends Park's flora
Fsendek / Shutterstock.com

River Bends Park, which spans over 850 acres, is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna and holds significant historical value.

This park is excellent for cyclists, walkers, and skateboarders.

The Clinton River is a natural boundary between the park's two halves.

You can find picnic sites, three shelters, bathrooms, and access to miles of hiking trails on the park's eastern side.

In addition, an 18-hole disc golf course is on the flood plain on the river's east bank, providing an opportunity for more active enjoyment.

In the western region, you can visit a beautiful nature reserve.

Picnic area at River Bends Park
Fsendek / Shutterstock.com

This area features a radio-controlled car racing track, a sledding hill, and an archery trap and range.

A few kid-friendly play areas are available, and finding a parking spot is a breeze.

Beautifully maintained, River Bends Park is a sight to behold.

The picnic tables in the pavilion are attractive and well-maintained.

You can find this place in Shelby Township, Michigan, six minutes from Utica.

An arched pathway at River Bends Park
Fsendek / Shutterstock.com

Connect with Nature at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center

The Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center continues the work of its namesake, Jo Burgess, by providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn about and connect with nature.

Inside the center, there are a few kid-friendly activities.

Children will find all sorts of interesting critters to see, as well as supplies for creating their artwork, reading, and doing other fun activities.

It is also an excellent nature facility where kids can see snakes and other reptiles.

Sitting areas are outside so you can rest and take in the scenery.

There are two possible trails, each with stunning views.

If you're going to hike any of their two trails, bring some bug spray.

Their excellent and knowledgeable staff are helpful and friendly.

You may find the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center on River Bends Drive in Shelby Township, Michigan, eight minutes from Utica.

Explore Sterling Heights Nature Center

Visit the warm and inviting Sterling Heights Nature Center for a detailed view of their static displays.

In addition, there's a 900-gallon aquarium stocked with fish found in surrounding lakes and rivers and a wide variety of exciting amphibians and reptiles.

This place is a fantastic destination for families with young children.

To commune with the natural world, begin your hike through the woods.

There are many pleasant pathways in the park, some extending to the Clinton River.

A stroll along the river or in the adjacent park will provide vistas that most people wouldn't expect to discover in a busy metropolis like Sterling Heights.

Exploration is free at the Sterling Heights Nature Center during open visitor hours.

If you want more choices, you can select from many fantastic low-cost programs available for visitors of all ages.

They are at Sterling Heights, Michigan, five minutes from Utica.

Get an Adrenaline Rush at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Freestyle trampoline jumping, dodgeball, and trampoline-based workouts are just some of the Sky Zone Trampoline Park activities.

Everyone, from kids to adults, will have a fantastic time.

Children can burn off steam on the trampoline.

Your whole family will have a great time here bouncing around on the trampolines, leaping into the foam pit, and crashing to the mats of the Ninja Course.

If you are tired, you can relax in one of the many available seating areas while your children enjoy the trampoline park.

The Sky Zone Trampoline Park is in Shelby Township, nine minutes from Utica.

Organize a Private Event at the Packard Proving Grounds

Exterior of Packard Proving Grounds
MichaelAnthonyPhotos / Shutterstock.com

The Packard Motor Car Company founded the Packard Proving Grounds in 1972.

Today, the state has designated the area as a Michigan Historic Site.

In addition, the National Register of Historic Places has added it to the record.

The Packard Proving Grounds are a fascinating historical site with endless potential.

Several vintage automobiles are on display, complete with original engines and models.

A car inside the Packard Proving Grounds
MichaelAnthonyPhotos / Shutterstock.com

The venue is versatile since it's a blank slate you can decorate any way you like.

Check out the vintage vehicles there, and learn from the guides who are experts in their field.

Despite renovations, the building still makes an effort to capture authenticity.

In the summer, the site also hosts a weekly farmer's market.

You can find the Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township, five minutes from Utica.

History marker of Packard Proving Grounds
MichaelAnthonyPhotos / Shutterstock.com

Relax at Waldenburg Park

The 17-acre Waldenburg Park is on Mile Road, Macomb, Michigan, ten minutes from Utica.

It has a place for kids to play, picnic pavilions, Horseshoe Pits, a basketball court, Corn Hole Games, bathrooms, and a trail for walking.

The park also has many places to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Likewise, young kids will surely love the monkey bars in the playground, standing just the right height from the ground.

If you like to go on adventures, run on the bridges and paths, and you can throw sticks into the river.

Moreover, ramps allow people in wheelchairs to access different park areas.

Waldenburg Park also hosts special events like "Pet a Reptile Day" so kids can have a lot of fun.

Study the Past at Clawson Historical Museum

Explore interesting relics from the past in the Clawson Historical Museum.

The Clawson Historical Museum is inside the 11-room home of Oswald and Deborah Fisher, which dates back to 1919.

Learn about the past by inspecting vintage pieces of furniture, paintings, garments, and other relics.

They also offer an extensive archive of images and other materials for study.

Discover the fascinating past of a Michigan mill town at the Clawson Historical Museum.

Scheduled group visits are available, and admission is free.

You can find this museum in Clawson, Michigan, 20 minutes from Utica.

Play a Round of Golf at Firefighters Park

Firefighter Park sits on 96 acres on the North side of Square Lake Road in Troy, Michigan, 15 minutes from Utica.

Firefighters Park contains both open space and wooded sections.

The Rouge River runs through the park in the north end and along the east boundary.

There is something for everyone in the park, including disc golf, soccer fields, baseball/softball fields, sand volleyball, fishing, and other play areas.

They have an enjoyable and moderately challenging 18-hole disk golf course.

The variety of possible shots throughout 18 holes makes for some thrilling play.

It also features large playgrounds and miles of walking pathways shaded by tall trees.

If you need some downtime, Firefighters Park features an excellent pavilion shelter available for rent, along with plenty of trees and picnic tables.

Discover the Natural World at Cranbrook Institute of Science

Exterior of Cranbrook Institute of Science
ajay_suresh, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cranbrook Institute of Science is an excellent location to get insight into the wonders of the natural world and how scientific discoveries impact our daily lives.

Though smaller than some museums, this is a great spot to spend the day exploring, learning, and even enjoying a picnic by the main paths.

Besides its world-class collection of antiques and artifacts, the museum also features engaging, interactive exhibits that the whole family can enjoy.

In addition to permanent and temporary exhibits, the Cranbrook Institute of Science also hosts special events in their planetarium.

The grounds of Cranbrook Institute of Science
RonaldL / Shutterstock.com

Check out the T. rex skeleton, or maybe even pick up a meteorite.

The special rotating exhibit requires an additional fee to enter.

There's no reason to rush exploring this place; take your time and enjoy it at your own pace.

You can find this science center in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 23 minutes from Utica.

Enjoy the Outdoors at the Farmstead Park

Farmstead Park is an excellent green space with various outdoor activities available.

They have a basketball court playground, a soccer field, a basketball court, and a sand volleyball court, so there's always something to do.

Farmstead Park is a beautiful place to take a stroll with your pet.

After a long walk, there are several options for rest and recreation, such as the pavilion, picnic sites, and grill.

Large parking area for those who plan to use the Clinton River bike paths.

There is something enjoyable for people of all ages to do.

The Farmstead Park is in Sterling Heights, Michigan, six minutes from Utica.

Get in Touch with Nature at Holland Ponds

Holland Ponds is a 200-acre park that adjoins Chief Gene Shepard Park and Yates Cider Mill.

It's a great spot to get in touch with nature, with all the ponds and trails that wind through the area.

It is a beautiful park with lots of seating and easy access to Yates Cider Mill for a stroll.

There are plenty of exploration opportunities because of the trail's multiple forks.

Spend all day wandering on the trails and exploring the different side paths.

In addition to various plant species, this area is also home to a wide variety of bird life, including the beautiful blue heron.

However, egrets, turkey vultures, and other raptor species are occasionally spotted.

You can visit Holland Ponds at Ryan Road, Shelby Charter Township, seven minutes from Utica.

Bring Your Bike to the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park

The International Velodrome at Bloomer Park is well-known for its one-of-a-kind 1/8-mile bicycle racing track, open for use all year.

If you're looking for a place to take a stroll, ride your bike, or enjoy some fresh air, look no further than this nicely kept park.

The park is a great place to go on a hike or have a picnic and barbecue.

You can also let the kids run around on the playgrounds.

The International Velodrome at Bloomer Park is one of only 26 velodromes in North America.

The IVBP is an oval track 1/8 mile long with corners banked at 44 degrees.

On the wooden track, you can only ride fixed-gear bikes, which don't have gears.

Likewise, the Wolverine Sports Club Track Cycling Team practices and races there, but the velodrome welcomes every rider.

You can find the velodrome at Rochester Hills, Michigan, 15 minutes from Utica.

Revisit History at the Troy Historic Village

A church at Troy Historic Village
Traveler100, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out the Troy Historic Village in Troy, 15 minutes from Utica, to experience life during the 1800s at Troy Township.

It has beautifully landscaped gardens and well-maintained historic structures that recount the city of Troy's rich past.

Each building encourages you to stroll through its elaborate interior.

A gazebo at Troy Historic Village
WeaponizingArchitecture, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many of the town's historic structures have undergone restorations, including the main building, a log cabin, a Greek Revival home, church, and other turn-of-the-century structures.

Students can join educational field trip programs that emphasize hands-on historical exploration.

Bring your kids to the Troy Historic Village and learn history together!

Final Thoughts

Utica is a great city with many exciting opportunities.

There are numerous places of worship here, parks, historic landmarks, and charming boutiques.

Utica is a great place to go shopping because it has everything from large malls to small, locally owned businesses.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Utica, Michigan!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.