Just outside of Detroit and about 20 minutes from Detroit Metro Airport, you’ll find Dearborn, a city with a vibrant culture that has one of the largest Arab-American communities in the United States.
The city is also the birthplace of the automobile thanks to Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company, which still has its headquarters in Dearborn. If you’re looking to spend a day in Dearborn, here’s what to do.
The Henry Ford is among the best museums in the country and features four different things to do. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is home to some of history’s most important artifacts. You can walk through the museum and see several presidential limousines, the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated, the bus Rosa Parks was riding when she refused to give up her seat, and more.
Permanent exhibits include a racing exhibit called “Driven to Win,” “With Liberty and Justice for All,” “Heroes of the Sky,” “Made in America” and more.
Greenfield Village is right next door and spans 80 acres of American perseverance with historical buildings and homes. They include Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright brothers’ home, and you can take a ride in a real Model T.
The Ford Rouge Factory Tour will give you an inside look at how Ford makes an F-150 as you go inside the real factory floor to see the process, and there’s also a Giant Screen Experience where you can see some of America’s great stories.
Right in Downtown Dearborn, the Arab American National Museum is the only museum in America dedicated to Arab American contributions.
Exhibitions at the museum cover the Arab world and the history of Arab Americans, and show off their history and culture and work in the United States.
They also have a range of galleries that cover the history of Arabs coming to the U.S., and you can learn so much in your time there.
Arab American Museum, Michelle and Chris Gerard
Automotive Hall of Fame
More than 800 men and women have been honored in the Automotive Hall of Fame, and it’s a must-visit for anyone who loves racing and cars. It was established in 1939 and today, it works to celebrate those in the international motor vehicle industry.
You can see a variety of exhibits, including the birth of the auto, an aeropede, one on the Lincoln Highway, one on motorsports and more.
Where to eat and drink
While you’re in Dearborn, make sure to check out the Detroit Brew Trail and see some of the breweries in the city, and there are also plenty of places to try some delicious food.
You’ll find some of the best Mediterranean food at Al Ameer in Dearborn, which won a James Beard award in 2016. The restaurant has been serving up food since 1989.
Reservations are required for M Cantina, and the restaurant serves up “nuevo Latino street food” from their chef’s birthplace in Central Mexico.
They have a wide variety of tacos, sandwiches, corn, sides and more.
Along Michigan Ave. in Dearborn, Miller’s Bar has been serving up delicious burgers for decades, and it’s often rated among the best burgers in Detroit. One unique thing, too, you just pay at the bar and tell them what you had.
According to the shop, Qahwah is the Arabic word for coffee and originated in Yemen in the 14th century, and they aim to bring delicious coffee from Arabia to the people visiting at Dearborn.
While you’re there, sit down and enjoy a coffee, and then grab a bag to take home so you can remember your visit to Dearborn.
Qahwah House, @kitalovve
Jolly Pumpkin Dearborn
This is another location for Jolly Pumpkin, based in Dexter, and serves up great beers from Jolly Pumpkin and from North Peak, serving up Oak-aged Michigan wild beer. You can also get some tasty foods there.
Jolly Pumpkin Dearborn, @yukaritrip
Downey Brewing Company
Located in a warehouse/business district, Downey serves up a variety of beers in their taproom and brewery that also has a lot of things do to. Grab a board game with your friends, or play darts, foosball, games and more.
Dearborn Brewing was the first microbrewery in Dearborn along Michigan Ave. and has nearly a dozen beers on tap to go with seltzers, wine, and wine spritzers.
Finish the night off with a delicious Middle Eastern dessert from Shatila. The bakery was founded in 1979 and is known for their baklava, or you can try their pistachio ice cream.
Where to stay
There are plenty of options for overnight stays in Dearborn, with hotels all around different parts of the city.
This hotel is located just a few minutes from The Henry Ford and has easy access to the highways for you to get back to the airport or your home when you’re done. It also includes spacious guest rooms, The Bistro, complimentary parking, WiFi and an indoor pool.