How to Spend a Day in Ferndale

Modified: March 06, 2023 | Story by Stephanie Angelyn Casola | Photos by Bill Bowen

A visit to Ferndale, Michigan, an artistic enclave just north of Detroit, can mean anything from axe-throwing to fine dining. It’s the perfect city to see by bicycle or to take a date. Find out how to plan your perfect day in Ferndale.

Travelers in Detroit might be tempted to stick within city boundaries. That would mean missing out on hot spots, like Ferndale in Oakland County. Just north of 8 Mile, Ferndale is a destination known for art, music and DIY culture. Its small-but-mighty downtown has earned awards as a Great American Main Street for a reason.

Ferndale offers independent shops, support for local makers, and has a diverse and vibrant food scene. Located at Woodward Avenue and 9 Mile Road it is easily accessible across the metro Detroit region, too. Planning a trip in Ferndale is simple. Here’s how.


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Get Started with Brunch at Ferndale Restaurants

Start your day with coffee and pastries at the quaint Red Hook coffee shop and plan your attack. The weekend brunch game is very strong in this Detroit enclave – thanks to spots like Bobcat Bonnie’s where the Bloody Mary Bar can’t be beat.

Get Around

Part of Ferndale’s charm is its accessibility. Notably walkable, the neighborhoods are equipped with biking lanes and stations for a tune up. Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop can help beyond that. And don’t forget to check out the street art in Ferndale’s alleyways. Thanks to its location on the Woodward Corridor, the city can be reached easily by car, Lyft, Uber or SMART Bus. Ferndale is located just 30 minutes from Detroit Metro Airport for those traveling in and out of the area.

Shop Small at Ferndale Boutiques

Small, independent businesses thrive in Ferndale, and that kind of creativity is something you can feel. Well-appointed shops like Free Phoenix, 3 Winks, Whimsical Whit and Green Daffodil are perfect stops for gifts. Found Sound offers enough quality record crate digging for any music fan. Weekends are ideal for browsing the shops within Rustbelt Market for that one-of-a-kind find. Don’t miss Ferndale Radio where you can catch local deejays in broadcast mode.

Find Something New or Find Yourself

Ferndale has a lot to offer. Where else can you find axe throwing, pinball, bowling and yoga all along the same road? Crowds gather for free, outdoor movies on Vester Street in the summer months. And pet a furry new friend at Ferndale’s Catfe Lounge.

Seeking a little self-care? Ferndale has the answer. Schedule a massage or facial at Tantra Spa. Visit salons like Flip or Dye. Relax with a hot towel service and shave at Detroit Barbers. Or, try a group meditation at Little Lotus Wellness Studio or class at EnSoul Yoga.

Spend Your Night at Ferndale Bars & Restaurants

It’s no secret Ferndale’s dining scene is on fire. Like seafood? Voyager was a 2018 Food & Wine Magazine Restaurant of the Year. Find comfort in dishes at Culantro, pizza at Pop’s for Italian; sushi at Inyo or tacos at Imperial. Your favorite food truck park, Detroit Fleat offers choices, while newcomers like the Antihero feature dining and a live DJ.


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Ferndale’s night life goes from 80’s dance parties at Boogie Fever to live music at The Magic Bag or The Loving Touch. Get a good belly laugh thanks to the improv troupes at Go Comedy! Take in a show at The Ringwald Theater. Make a night of it with dinner then drinks. Start with cocktails at The Oakland Art Novelty Co., craft beer or kombucha at Urbanrest or end the night with a boozy milkshake at Public House.

Bonus: Treat Yourself

Put the cherry on top with a sweet stop at one of Ferndale’s bakeries, ice cream stops or sweet shops. Detroit Bubble Tea offers perfectly customized boba drinks. Treat Dreams translates your favorite flavors into ice cream. The hardest part is deciding between Salted Caramel or spicy-sweet Mexican Chocolate. The Cupcake Station doles out frosted goodness in mini and major size. And the cereal-topped, fresh doughnuts at Apple Fritter Donut Shop will make your day complete.

Let us know what you find – and love – when you check out Ferndale.


There’s plenty more places to visit in Detroit. Discover them all!

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Downtown Ferndale
    300 E. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale, MI 48220
  2. 2
    Detroit Barbers
    2000 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  3. 3
    Detroit Metro Airport
    2500 World Gateway Place, I-94 at Merriman Road, Detroit, MI 48242
    734-AIR-PORT (24
  4. 4
    Treat Dreams
    4160 Cass Ave., Detroit,
  5. 5
    Red Hook Cafe
    Red Hook Cafe, West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI, USA
  6. 6
    Bobcat Bonnie's
    Bobcat Bonnie’s, West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI, USA
  7. 7
    Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop
    Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop, West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI, USA
  8. 8
    Free Pheonix
    Free Phoenix, West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI, USA
  9. 9
    Found Sound
    Found Sound, West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI, USA
  10. 10
    Catfe Lounge
    Catfe Lounge, Livernois Avenue, Ferndale, MI, USA
  11. 11
    Voyager, Vester Street, Ferndale, MI, USA
  12. 12
    Imperial, Woodward Avenue, Ferndale, MI, USA