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Patch Passport: Plan a Day Trip to Hartland

Here is a list of must-do and must-see things in the Hartland area.

We wrote this daytrip guide to Hartland for a summer series called Patch Passport. The other Patch sites in Michigan — from St. Clair Shores to Dexter and two dozen in between — have done the same. 

All summer long, we'll offer up a weekly day trip guide to another southeast Michigan destination.

Welcome to Hartland

Many of you may have driven by our little town when rushing down U.S. 23 in either direction to Ann Arbor or Flint. Some of you may have even stopped off for a quick pit stop, whisking through one of the fast food restaurants or stopping for gas.

However, many people have no idea about the history our small village holds -- the one that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy highway.

If you're looking for a new adventure, take the day and drive off the highway to see what you're missing. You're first stop should be . Ask the owner, Jeff, for his recommendation on one of the shop's many flavors of cream cheese and then skip around the corner to  where Cathy will be waiting with your coffee and a smile. We are on a first name basis here, so tell them Patch sent you!

Explore the village

After your bagel and coffee, head down the road to where our little town began. It's full of historic locations such as the  and the , both of which have a rich history that can be linked to Robert J. Crouse, one of Hartland's earliest social activists. And who knows? As you drive down Crouse Road, you may just run into a member of the Crouse family -- because yes, they are still here today. 

Next up: Hit the well-maintained , where the history of the small village surrounds you. The oldest known burial is from 1840 and includes famous local names such as Crouse and Tremaine.

How about lunch?

After your trip through time, walk across the street to the for Best Lunch Spot at the , located in another historic location on Main Street. Or feel free to stay back in time and stop in for tea at  and enjoy a homemade luncheon that includes a full afternoon tea. Reservations are required for the full tea experience, but feel free to stop in for a quick glass of lemonade on the welcoming porch of the impressive and historic Gannon House.

Shopping

After lunch, head upstairs in the Tea Room for some fun antique shopping or, get back in your car and drive back toward the highway. Across the street from Bagel Express and Kahuna Coffee you will find , a fun and always-changing consignment store with personality. Talk to for fun decorating tips or just fun stories.

Where to have dinner?

At the end of you day, you are in the perfect position to walk to several great dinner locations.

Here are the restaurants that consistently receive thumbs up from Patch readers; click on the links for in-depth reviews and more:

  •  (try the steak on the stone -- it's a fun and unique dining experience)
  •  (the homemade chips are worth the drive)
  •  (try the margaritas and enjoy the salsa)

Best time to visit?

For everyone curious about the history of Hartland, come to the town's Heritage Day the fourth Saturday in September. History tours on hay wagons carry you past the town's historic sites. The  is open to visitors along with several buildings such as the  that welcome locals and tourists alike to come in and check out the church's stained glass windows -- where each one has a story to tell. 

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