Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Wayne County, MI

  • Published 2023/05/13

Wayne County is an impressive hotspot of art and history in the state of Michigan.

Organized in 1815, this county got its name from General Anthony Wayne.

It is home to 28 historical districts, including its county seat Detroit, which is famous for its Motown music heritage.

This county is within the southeastern region of Michigan, where some of the most populous counties in the state are.

It also takes pride in being Michigan’s original charter county, offering a deeper sense of history to its culture.

Some of the county’s cities include Belleville, Westland, Woodhaven, and Taylor, among many others.

If you’ve been contemplating visiting this county, take this article as your sign!

Here are the 15 best things to do in Wayne County, Michigan, to help you make the most of your trip:

Learn About Past Inventions at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Interior of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Belikova Oksana /

There’s always a reason to learn more about the innovations that shaped America’s past.

And at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, you have the opportunity to explore this part of history.

With over 300 years of innovation to showcase to the world, this museum comes with numerous sister facilities and amenities.

From glass art origins to automobile success, you have many discoveries to bring home with you.

A vehicle in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Aldo91 /

Get to learn more about the Wright Brothers’ path to flight victory.

And step into modern and low-cost housing that the Dymaxion House offers.

Come by with your little one and turn this museum experience into a source of inspiration for them.

You can find the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation on Oakwood Boulevard in the city of Dearborn.

A car in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Stanislavskyi /

Spend Time in Nature at Belle Isle Park

A conservatory at Belle Isle Park

Kemboslice /

Near the Detroit metropolis, Belle Isle Park is a standalone attraction all on its own.

This island park is notable for its 982-acre property and outstanding facilities—both indoor and outdoor.

Open year-round, this public park is where the world-famous Belle Isle Aquarium resides.

This historic aquarium contains a massive selection of fish species, including the known 7 species of gar unique to North America.

The grounds of Belle Isle Park

Molly NZ /

Stepping inside, you’ll find yourself in another world with the aquarium’s elegant and intricate exterior design of green opaline glass walling.

Widen your botanical knowledge at Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory—another facility you can find within the park.

Other buildings you should check out include Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Belle Isle Nature Center.

Belle Isle Park is accessible via Pleasure Drive.

A memorial fountain at Belle Isle Park

Saif Snaps /

Go for a Round of Fun and Entertainment with Loved Ones at the Sportway of Westland

Looking for a family-friendly spot for some outdoor recreation?

Then, the Sportway of Westland is the place for you.

This all-around facility contains a double-seater go-kart track to help you live out your car racing dreams.

For your aspiring baseball player loved ones, there are batting cages with helmets and bats already offered.

Try your hand at miniature golfing within the pirate-themed golf course onsite.

This entertainment center is also open for private parties and other events.

Situated on Ford Road, the Sportway of Westland is a must-visit, so be sure to add it to your itinerary!

Join a Bird Walk at Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Welcome sign of Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

JJonahJackalope, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is one of the best free attractions in Wayne County.

Located within the city of Taylor, this public garden has been serving residents and visitors alike since 2005.

One of its charming assets is its open-air Conservatory, so you can fully immerse yourself in the place’s offering of native plants.

In fact, this conservatory is the only one of its kind within the state.

The grounds of Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

JJonahJackalope, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore luscious gardens filled with new blooms, woodlands, and even unique structures like the Masco Pavilion and Blue Stone Terrace.

The vibrant display of plants all around makes the venue ideal for weddings and other private gatherings.

Never miss out on the best corners of the site by signing up for a docent-led tour of the garden grounds!

Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens sits along Northline Road.

Deepen Your Cultural Knowledge at the Arab American National Museum

Exterior of Arab American National Museum

Rmhermen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A distinctive cultural experience awaits you at the Arab American National Museum.

Opened in 2005, this museum puts the Arab American heritage to the forefront with its array of historical documents.

If that doesn’t convince you to stop by this museum, then the fact that it’s the only one of its kind in all of America might just be.

Its displays tell the story of Arab Americans from the first immigrants in the 19th century to the community it has now formed in today’s generation.

And to ensure a fun and interactive learning escapade, the museum hosts film screenings, literary programs, and other presentations centered on Arab Americans and their experiences.

This museum also holds and continually collects some of the best Arab American artworks.

The Arab American National Museum is a Dearborn attraction that you can find along Michigan Avenue.

Try Your Hand at Sledding at Civic Center Park

Woodhaven’s Civic Center Park is a well-rounded public park you should come by when you’re in the area.

This public space is the go-to venue for many community programs and sports events.

This is because of the park’s variety of sports courts, including a disc golf course and a football field.

If you’re into tennis, sand volleyball, and even hockey, you’ve also got a place at this park.

For the little ones, there’s a seasonal splash pad and a playscape area.

But perhaps what makes this park stand out in Woodhaven is its famous sled hill that gets flocked over by many visitors during the winter months.

Get going to Hall Road for ultimate fun at Civic Center Park.

Browse through the Art Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Exterior of Detroit Institute of Arts

EQRoy /

Put your creative caps on because, at the Detroit Institute of Arts, you have a lot of art exploring to do.

This museum labels itself as a cultural and community gathering place focused on the arts.

Founded in 1885, this museum spans 658,000 square feet with more than 100 galleries inside, an auditorium, and a laboratory.

Browse through varied inspirational pieces, including contemporary art, Islamic art, European-centered decorative arts, and more!

Interior of Detroit Institute of Arts

Jacob Boomsma /

Some of its acquired artworks are pieces you may know or have studied before, like Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait.

Did this pique your interest?

The Detroit Institute of Arts welcomes you to its walls on Woodward Avenue.

People in Detroit Institute of Arts

Jacob Boomsma /

Feel Inspired by the Art at Hamtramck Disneyland

Daytime view of Hamtramck Disneyland

Miolson1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hamtramck Disneyland is one of the unusual attractions you shouldn’t forget to visit while in Wayne County.

This spot, unlike the name suggests, is not actually a Disneyland location.

Instead, it’s an eccentric public folk art installation created by Dmytro Szylak for the city of Hamtramck.

Started in the 80s, this 1,945-square-foot art space presents whimsical pieces fused with European inspiration into one cohesive collection.

Art installations at Hamtramck Disneyland

Miolson1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These pieces moved with the wind and offered unique features.

Along the area, you may even find photographs, posters, and other memorabilia.

And though Szylak passed away in 2015, his legacy in folk art continues to make rounds in today’s generation with this Hamtramck attraction.

Open your eyes to artworks of new proportions at Hamtramck Disneyland on Klinger Street.

Spot Native Trees and Plants at Bennett Arboretum

On the lookout for nature jewels in Wayne County?

You don’t have to look anywhere else than Bennett Arboretum.

Originally developed somewhere in the 1930s as part of the Middle Rouge Parkway, it has now become a native plant sanctuary you can visit from time to time.

It contains some of the most rare and native trees from all over the world.

Its two-mile trail is an easy hike for many, so if you’re traveling with little ones, you won’t have to worry.

After several urban explorations within the county, it’s time to connect with nature and unwind at this public arboretum.

Bennett Arboretum is a Northville staple along Hines Drive.

Admire the Intricacies of the Guardian Building’s Architecture

Exterior of the Guardian Building

Bryan Pollard /

If you’re looking for architectural art pursuits, look no further than the Guardian Building.

This historical landmark in central Detroit is one of the best examples of art-deco architecture for a skyscraper.

You can even find hints of Aztec and Native American style with the building’s vibrancy and intricateness.

Built and finished in 1929, it’s the brainchild of architect Wirt C. Rowland, who took inspiration from the Roaring Twenties for the building’s look.

Interior of the Guardian Building

EQRoy /

While admiring the building outside is already a worthwhile activity to do in Detroit, the inside is just as marvelous.

The building has multiple event venues you can rent for your special birthdays and parties.

The Guardian Building is on Griswold Street, shimmering with a high-class exterior unlike any other.

Colorful ceiling in the Guardian Building

EQRoy /

Start a Ghost Hunt at Eloise Asylum

Exterior of the Eloise Asylum

Dwight Burdette, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Need a bit of adrenaline-inducing thrill to your usual outing?

Wayne County has Eloise Asylum in the city of Westland.

This haunted attraction stands out with high-technology horror features and actors to play the part.

Aside from escape rooms, this facility also hosts paranormal tours of the property some Saturday nights.

Want to learn what a visit to the Disney of Haunted Attractions is like?

Eloise Asylum is ready to make you shout in fear on Michigan Avenue.

Browse through a Collection of Aircraft at Yankee Air Museum

Are you a fan of aircraft and flight engines?

Then, Yankee Air Museum might be a good stop for you.

This special museum, founded in 1981, offers some of the most iconic aircraft models in America on display.

These include B-17 Yankee Lady, C-47 Hairless Joe, and many more!

You also have the chance to fly while riding these aircraft!

So, set your sights on this museum while planning your Wayne County trip.

Yankee Air Museum is off of D Street in the city of Belleville.

Commemorate the Lives of Many Fallen Soldiers at The War Memorial

Exterior of The War Memorial

Ayman Haykal /

One of Grosse Pointe Farms’ points of pride, The War Memorial is more than your usual memorial facility.

This tributary hub resides in the 1910 Italian Renaissance-style building originally intended as the residence for Russell A. Alger, Jr. and his family.

After the patriarch’s death, it became a memorial for over 3,500 Grosse Pointers who served in the World War II regime.

This was in 1949.

Now, several years later, the place has become both a place of self-reflection and celebration.

Because aside from its lined plaques of remembrance, this memorial facility also opens its doors for events and gatherings.

Pay your respects to many fallen soldiers at The War Memorial on Lake Shore Drive.

Marvel at the Abundance of Wildlife at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

River and boardwalk at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

Fsendek /

Trenton’s Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is your best bet for a nature retreat with a variety of native animals and plants onsite.

This refuge is the only one of its kind in all of North America.

It features the John D. Dingell Jr. Visitor Center and sits along the Detroit River.

The varied habitats you can anticipate exploring within the property include marshes, shoals, and coastal wetlands, among many others.

Nature scene at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

Fsendek /

The site comes with a kayak launching dock and picnic areas, too.

So, you have many activity options to choose from on your planned visit.

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is on West Jefferson Avenue.

Roam the Grounds at Greenmead Historical Park

A church at Greenmead Historical Park

Barbara Kalbfleisch /

Keep your nature adventurer spirit alive with a drop by Greenmead Historical Park.

This 95-acre public park is your best bet for an outdoor historical undertaking.

Purchased in 1976, it contains some of the city’s oldest structures and facilities.

These include Greenmead Farm, another historical village, and the Virginia B. Matley Nature Trail.

A house at Greenmead Historical Park

Andrew Jameson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This site is a great representation of Livonia’s architectural heritage.

At the park, you’ll also find the distinguished Simmons House.

Come by this public park during one of its hosted events, like Take Pride in Livonia Day and its Easter Spring Tea Party.

Greenmead Historical Park is on Newburgh Road in the city of Livonia.

Schoolhouse at Greenmead Historical Park

Andrew Jameson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Wayne County’s promise of entertainment in the form of history and art is one of the reasons why many come by this county again and again.

From its outstanding attractions to its unusual adventure spots, you are sure you are in for a good time when traveling to this Michigan County.

So, what are you waiting for?

Keep this article in your bookmarks for future references on the best things to do in Wayne County, Michigan.

© All rights reserved.