Best of Detroit 2012
Public Square - Reader's Choice
Reader's choice for Metro Detroit
Published: April 25, 2012
Best Bowling Alley
Best Alley for
4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; majesticdetroit.com/garden-bowl
No surprises here. The Garden Bowl, part of the Majestic complex on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, is more than a bowling alley. It's part of a larger experience. Depending on the night of the week, you could be bowling in the dark at glowing pins, or you could be aiming your ball at a hapless band performing at the end of the lane. DJs will usually be spinning some raucous rock 'n' roll or classic Detroit funk 'n' soul, while the bartenders couldn't be friendlier. The pizza's pretty good too. And back to those glowing pins for a minute — they'll glow even brighter if you're also, ummm, lit up.
Best Bingo Night Venue
Drag Queen Bingo at Five15
515 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-515-2551; five15.net
When we added this category last year, we were half thinking about ... well, places our grandparents might be hanging out. Last year's winner and this year's, Drag Queen Bingo, is not your typical grandmother's sort of place, unless your grandmother happens to be Ru Paul. Join Hershae Chocolate, Trixie Deluxxe, September Murphy or Lauren Jacobs at Five15 for a night of laughs, and the occasional spanking. Four rounds of Bingo cost $20. Coffee and snacks are available. BYOB.
Lake St. Clair Metro Park
31300 Metropolitan Parkway, Harrison Township;
Known for decades as "Metro Beach" (the designation was formally changed this year), this 750-acre peninsula, which protrudes into Lake St. Clair, attracts a variety of beach lovers. But that's only part of the attraction. There's a par-3 golf course, putt-putt golf, a waterpark, shuffleboard, and outdoor concerts — and those are just some of the activities. There is plenty of barrier-free shoreline and a boardwalk near the lake's edge. You can explore wetlands along the nature trail, where bird watchers flock to see owls, herons, loons and hummingbirds. There are fishing areas, a boat launch, a food bar and a beach shop. Families will enjoy the large swimming pool, water park, and "Squirt Zone," where the kids can shoot water cannons and the like.
Best Place to Bike
Best Frisbee Golf Park
Stony Creek Metro Park
4300 Main Park Rd., Shelby Township; 248-650-5300; metroparks.com
Stony Creek is packed with faithful cyclists on the weekends, ranging from expert mountain bikers to slow pedalers. There are more than 14 miles of dirt paths, which include steep hills, gravel, tight curves and pump tracks that take you through the woods and around bodies of water. A favorite among serious bikers is "the rollercoaster," a speedy trail full of such challenges as rocks and roots. Wildlife such as deer and wild turkey can be spotted on the trails. Bicycle events and races are consistent during the summer. You can even get tune-ups at the Stony Creek bicycle shop, which is open year-round. ... As for "frisbee golf" ... for starters, the sport is officially known as disc golf (our bad). As for the course itself, it's a 24-hole affair, with a nice mix of open and wooded holes. Most holes are long par 3s. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association's website, Stony Creek is rated the most difficult pro layout in Michigan. Wait — there are professional disc golfers? Whoda thunk it?
Best Nature or Hiking Trail
Kensington Metro Park
2240 W. Buno Rd., Milford; 800-477-3178; metroparks.com
Seven hiking trails take you through wetlands, forests and fields. More than 253 birds species have been sighted at Kensington, including bald eagles, woodpeckers, osprey and more. Deer, badgers, weasels and other mammals can be spotted too. The trails range from a half-mile to 2.5 miles. You can take the boardwalk to an island on Wildwig Lake, where the great herons nest.
Best Dog Park
Orion Oaks Couny Park
2301 W. Clarkston Rd. (dog park entrance on Joslyn Road between Clarkston and Scripps roads), Lake Orion; 248-858-0906; destinationoakland.com/parksandtrails
Orion Oaks has a 24-acre fenced enclosure where dogs can socialize off their leashes and experience two hiking trails, a large field area and lake access for swimming. If your pup is afraid of the water, it can ease itself in on the doggie dock. If desired, there is a separated fenced enclosure for small dogs. Picnic sites and onsite bathrooms are available for owners. A dog-owner or dog-lover who's never taken his or her pet to one of these dogtopia settings hasn't lived (certainly not to the vicarious max). And MT readers rated this one the doggone best.
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