Warm and Inviting Howell, MI from W2W Vol 9 Issue 5

There’s nothing that beats the winter blues like discovering fun, new adventures. You don’t need to travel far for your escape! Michigan is home to some great weekend getaway places, including Howell – the 2018 Great American Main Street winner. Located along I-96 just west of US-23, its downtown is brimming with charming shops, independent dining, and fun things to do, so grab your calendar and start planning a little holiday of your own!
Nestled along Grand River Avenue just a few blocks from downtown is Angie’s Inn on the Grand, an amazing bed and breakfast that caters to groups of crafters. The Inn features a large craft room with a 5-foot table for each crafter and Cricut cartridges galore. Schedule your weekend at the Inn and let the pampering begin!
Be sure to save plenty of time to walk into town for some shopping and dining. Home to three restaurants owned by locally celebrated chef Adam Merkel, Diamond’s Steakhouse, Cello, and The Silver Pig are quality places to experience trendy or traditional dishes. Merkel is a regular guest on Detroit morning news programs cooking segments. Another local favorite is 2FOG’s. Designed to replicate a speakeasy, the old brick walls and rustic decor lend authenticity to this restaurant and bar located in the basement of the Heart of Howell building, a historic redevelopment project that has made this 100-plus year old building one of Howell’s most loved places to shop and eat.
Looking for a traditional pub? Stop by Cleary’s at lunchtime for some great Irish grub and beer. Come back Friday night for live music and specialty martinis! Across the street is Moe’s BarBar, a fun place for food and drinks, but also a barber shop. Top it all off with a treat from M Street, a baking company that is home to the most amazing snacks and shakes piled high with candy bars and goodies! Howell also has a shop called the Chocolate Boutique that serves up the best cannoli and baklava along with a whole menu of the yummiest delectables imaginable.
Perhaps you prefer wine paired with savory pizza served up cozy and fresh at the Howell Mainstreet Winery? They close a little early, so stop there for lunch. Chances are that you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll end up staying until dinner. Venture next door to the Heart of Michigan, a shop filled with all sorts of Michigan products and made-from-scratch pasties.
There’s no shortage of places to experience the best in food, spirits, and treats in Howell. From hangouts like Aberrant Ales, a craft brewing company, to Thai Café, Dairy Queen, and Chinese Delight, this downtown will satisfy your cravings! Once your belly is full, you’ll want to visit the variety of shops that line this historic city.
Carriage House Designs has been charming patrons for over 20 years with its quirky and fun giftables. From fairy garden items to Polish pottery and jewelry to funky trinkets, there is truly something for everyone here. Right next door, Howell Western Wear has an amazing array of boots, jeans and authentic western attire with the friendliest service in town. And on this same block, affectionately known as the Alley District, is Finding Roots, which offers good vibes, locally crafted wares and art, and amazing gifts with a focus on positive energy and community. On the flip side of the alley is Like Mother, Like Daughter Vintage Treasures. It is stocked full of the most gorgeous, rustic vintage and antique items, each hand-picked and carefully selected. You will fall in love with the alley itself. Known originally as Peanut Row, it has a personality all its own and is a hotspot for photographers wanting to capture amazing wedding, family, and graduate photos. It is often decorated per the season and is lined with colorful furniture.
Need a break from all this great shopping? No problem! Uptown Coffeehouse is a local favorite for its delicious beverages and warm, inviting atmosphere. Sit for a spell and enjoy an Uptown Mocha or another delicious concoction before heading over to Walnut Street Marketplace, a warehouse full of treasures for home or office. Here you will discover handpainted furniture, décor, and specialty items for every nook and cranny of your home. Before heading back to Angie’s Inn on the Grand for a night of relaxation, make a trip to Kokopelli’s Korner for great gifts, tea, and uplifting spiritual items. Try the complimentary tea while you shop for soaps, candles, tea, oils, books, jewelry and more.
Howell has so much to offer, even in the heart of winter, that you’ll want to visit more than once just to take it all in, like a stop at The Howell Opera House, the hometown movie theater, yoga studio, or even a refreshing walk through the lovely neighborhoods with large historic homes and a small community lake and park. Once you’ve visited, you’ll become a regular year round. In fact, the city hosts several events all year long including Balloon Fest, Melon Fest, Legend of Sleepy Howell, Witches Night Out, and Fantasy of Lights. So schedule a little TLC for yourself and head on over to the seat of Livingston County for some crafting, relaxation, food, and fun.