The hallmarks of Detroit as a destination — cars, culture, music and sports — echo into the metro area’s Oakland County, an attractive mix of tony suburbs with upscale shopping, dining, entertainment, commerce and industry. The county is home to the North American headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Oakland University, transportation services company Penske Corporation and Taubman Centers, owners of regional malls throughout the country. If you’re seeking a meeting destination that’s sure to impress, you’ve found it in Oakland County.
The well-equipped Management Education Center, located 20 miles north of Detroit in Troy, offers 25,000 square feet of meeting space with nine conference rooms, two large amphitheaters, a 400-person auditorium, a newly remodeled dining room and spacious reception area.
Several Oakland County hotels boast onsite meeting facilities as well, from major brand hotels like the Crowne Plaza-Auburn Hills, Embassy Suites – Troy/Auburn Hills or the Radisson Hotel Detroit – Farmington Hills to boutique properties such as Rochester’s Royal Park Hotel or The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.
Detroit Pistons basketball, big-name concerts, sporting events, trade shows and special productions are all hosted at The Palace of Auburn Hills. A recently completed $40 million renovation and upgrade served to modernize the facility, elevate the fan experience and help The Palace to retain its spot as one of the highest grossing arenas in North America.
Oakland County Parks deliver a myriad of Michigan outdoor activities along with indoor banquet facilities for groups of up to 400 and lush green outdoor reception space for up to 3000. Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills is the lavish auto baron mansion of Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow to the Dodge estate. This elegant American castle can accommodate groups of up to 600 for an outdoor reception during warm weather months.
For those who like to shop during off-convention hours, the upscale Somerset Collection in Troy, the outdoor Village of Rochester Hills or the stylish boutiques, art galleries and cafes of downtown Birmingham are fashionable finds. And it’s always Christmas at Olde World Canterbury Village in Lake Orion.
Royal Oak and Ferndale provide edgier downtowns with restaurants, shops, nightlife and comedy clubs. The annual Woodward Dream Cruise, the world’s largest celebration of nostalgic car culture, runs through both communities.
Bring the Family
Legoland Discovery Center Michigan will open its doors in late March at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills. Legoland promises a fun, interactive experience with rides, a 4-D cinema and a popular mini-land area displaying Lego replicas of iconic Detroit attractions.
Great Lakes Crossing is also where you’ll find the 35,000-square-foot Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, with more than 5,000 sea creatures including an eel, stingray, octopus, jellyfish and seahorses. Six sharks swim in a 120,000-gallon heated ocean tank. Watch them through a 180-degree underwater tunnel.
In Royal Oak, guests can get their dose of “vitamin Z” at the 125-acre Detroit Zoo, with swimming polar bears, jumping kangaroos and floating butterflies. A wolf habitat opened last summer. Later this spring, the zoo will unveil a brand new penguin conservation center. For a unique venue for smaller banquets and receptions, think the zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life or Wildlife Interpretive Gallery.