We teamed up with popular Michigan travel blogger and Instagrammer, Jackie @frommichiganwithloveblog, to showcase some of the coolest Michigan destinations. Join Jackie and her family as they take a road trip to Ypsilanti and visit museums, the coolest shops and cafes, and have plenty of family fun. 

My family and I love exploring within our home state of Michigan. In fact, we’ve been exploring Michigan for ten years! Of all the towns and cities there are to visit, we especially love to explore lesser known places and small towns.

Recently, our family traveled to Washtenaw County. We spent time in Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti is urban with what seemed like an endless variety of options of what to do with several attractions and family-friendly dining options to try. 

We've put together our family friendly day trip itinerary to Ypsilanti to inspire you to explore!


On our Ypsi day trip, we explored different museums, shopped at eclectic boutiques, and dined at a restaurant located inside a former grocery store that operated for over 100 years!

The name Ypsilanti comes from the Greek General Demetrios Ypsilantis in 1825, a Greek war hero who led Greece to victory in the war for independence in 1829. Over the years, Ypsilanti’s population grew, driven by economic opportunity from the auto industry and nearby colleges and universities.


We started our day with a latte from Cafe Liv, a neighborhood cafe located in a former auto shop. There is a small parking lot on site with about 3 parking spaces, but plenty of street parking available for free on the weekends. We loved the welcoming and vibrant vibe this cafe exuded which had several tables available to sit at.

Inside cafe liv with latte

Our second stop was to the historic Prospect Park, which is Ypsilanti’s oldest park. This 10 acre park has plenty of open, green space, a Michigan state historic marker, a historic defense cannon from Maine that was installed in 1902, a colorful skate park, picnic tables, and playground. This was another nice space to visit to move around with little ones.

Prospect park view of cannon

Next, we were off to a museum that’s been on my bucket list for awhile - the Yankee Air Museum. This museum is located around the historic Willow Run Airport and houses many historic aircraft used during war from World War One to the Gulf War. Walking through the museum is like walking through airplane history with exhibits on both world wars, women in flight, the Tuskegee airmen, Vietnam war, and more. Many of the exhibits have an aspect of ‘play’ connected to them making this museum fun for little ones to visit. There are several hands-on exhibits, where kids can learn how parts of an airplane work, sit inside an airplane cockpit, learn about gravity, fly an airplane simulator, and more.

By this time, we were all hungry! A restaurant not to miss is the C. King and Co. Cafe in downtown Ypsilanti. While it’s only a couple years old, its name, ambiance, and location all honor a local grocery store that once stood at its exact spot for over a century, from the 1830s to 1940s. Founded by a Michigan Chef who once cooked for celebrities as both a corporate and personal chef, Rich Muszynski, C King and Co. Cafe turned to the community to ask what type of restaurant they wanted in their neighborhood. They answered with a high quality Neapolitan style pizza joint.

In addition to pizza, C King and Co. Cafe serves unique salads, classic and specialty cocktails, and on the weekends, an out of this world brunch menu. The decor and vibe here are just as tasteful as the food with an historic, Victorian elegance. It almost feels as if no time passed between the days the building served as a grocery store and now is a restaurant.

After Lunch

We explored downtown Ypsilanti. Some stores we popped into included Salt City Antiquesa2vintage, and The Rocket. Salt City Antiques really blew me away! While I enjoy visiting antique stores to poke around, Salt City Antiques was the most organized and colorful antique store I’ve been to. Everything was merchandised so thoughtfully - almost like stepping into a retro museum of living rooms and dining rooms from the 1960s to 1980s.

inside salt city antiques

Across the street is a2vintage, a vibrant record shop where you can also find thrifted attire. The Rocket delighted my whole family. It sells a variety of toys, candy, and novelty items for all ages and interests. It’s a shop you could probably spend hours in just looking around!

One of our final stops in Ypsilanti absolutely blew me away! The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum houses several makes and models of cars that were manufactured in Ypsilanti. In addition, there are some fun interactive attractions that my family and I appreciated. For example, you can climb behind the wheel of the 1981 DeLorean on display. If you visit with kids, they will love getting their picture taken inside the Fabulous Hudson Hornet car. This car was the inspiration behind the character “Doc Hudson” of Disney’s Cars fame!

The front half of the museum is home to the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum housed in what once was the US’ final Hudson car dealership. Even after the Hudson Car Company dissolved, the former dealership was preserved by the original owner’s son, Jack Miller who sold Hudson parts and cars until the museum was formed. It’s so cool to visit such an authentic, preserved place!

Our last stop before heading home was to the Highland Cemetery to view a couple memorials. The first is a Civil War Memorial erected in 1895 to honor the Union troops who fought during the Civil War, second is the local tomb of the unknown soldier, and third is the newest memorial added in 2022. This memorial honors the 40 Black Civil War casualties and veterans buried here. Definitely a hidden gem worth checking out.


Going on a day trip adventure within Washtenaw County is a great way to experience the diversity and charm found within Michigan. Ypsilanti provides an urban setting with a wide variety of attractions, while nearby destination, Milan, offers a small-town atmosphere with thriving historic downtown. Follow Jackie's adventure to Milan next: 

View more of Jackie's area bucket list ideas here:


About the Author 

Jackie poses at Yankee Air MuseumJackie and her family explore Michigan sharing all the unique, family friendly, and totally cool things to do to inspire Michigan travel. See where her and her family are headed to next. Follow Jackie's Instagram, @frommichiganwithloveblog and join the journey! 



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