It’s time to head to Hell – Hell, Michigan that is! The hamlet with a curious name is situated about forty minutes northwest of Ann Arbor. Hell has a history that dates back to the 1830s where it was once home to a grist mill, a distillery, a summer resort, and a checkered past. That all changed in the early 2000s, though, when it was converted into what it is today – a tourist stop. Upon arriving, you can find a family-friendly place with a lot of quirks that draws over 100,000 visitors a year from all over the world, many with large tour groups.
It’s only appropriate that I spent some time there around Halloween -’tis the season. It was time for me to uncover the fall fun found in Hell.
The Touristy Side
Immediately after entering Hell, I was greeted by multiple “welcome-to” signs and other hell-acious and fun word plays were on display everywhere. My personal favorite, near the creek that leads to Hell Dam, was, “PLEASE do not litter or pee in the river. It’s going through HELL now.”
I walked down to Hell Dam (you read that correctly) and got a picturesque autumn shot of the water falling from behind a white picture frame. I didn’t partake but make sure to take selfies at every cut out on the property, there are several. This is also an opportunity to have some family fun at the mini golf course with the kids, then head inside to Scream’s Ice Cream and Souvenirs. Here, you can shop for souvenirs and buy a Halloween costume for the little ones. For an extra laugh, make sure to mail out a burnt postcard because the post office on-site burns everything it mails. (I sent one out to my wife.)
Speaking of marriage, are you looking to take that next step with a loved one? You’re in luck! You can get married at the eight-seat little Hell’s Chapel of Love where as many as 29 weddings have been performed in one day.
To really get in the spirit, explore the official weather station on site. Thinking about it, I do think it was a little warmer in Hell than in other parts of the area. Also, you can purchase a square inch of Hell, graduate from Damnation University, or even become mayor for the day. John Colone, the one who bought Hell, serves as the unofficial mayor.
Getting hungry? You’ll find delicious and well-crafted food at Hell Hole Bar and the Hell Saloon. At the former, I experienced the in-house smoked pastrami sandwich on recommendation from the waitress. While in the restaurant, you can shop the hot sauces and other items on display. At Hell Saloon, I was told to get the Good Meets Evil (Philly) sub. I had enough for two! I heard great things about the burgers, pizza, and Hell wings at both establishments. I can’t handle hot sauce, so let me know if you try those sinfully hot wings. Be sure to grab a t-shirt for a souvenir before leaving the recently opened Hell Saloon.
For dessert, head back to Scream’s to grab an ice cream in a freshly made waffle cone at the Creamatory. I went for pumpkin ice cream, adding some bat drooping’s from the coffin. Everywhere I ate in Hell, the customer service was above-and-beyond and the people were so nice. Every person that I encountered asked me where I was from and what brought me to Hell. No comments now…
Tip: When at the Creamatory, ask if the Grave Digger is available. It wasn’t on this visit, something to go back for!
For the Outdoor Lover
Hell, Michigan sits in the rolling countryside, making this time of year perfect for a color tour along the area’s dirt roads. Exiting Hell, I captured the colors of the season along Tiplady, Cedar Lake, and Darwin Roads to name a few.
If you want some more adventure, go hiking on the miles and miles of trails nearby. I recommend setting up for the day at Pinckney State Recreation Area with beautiful views of Silver Lake awaiting. For a longer stay, head to the family-friendly Hell Creek Ranch Campground. Looking to get out on the water? Rent a canoe or kayak from Scream’s and paddle through the areas chain of lakes.
It was a fun creepy visit. I can say now that I have been to Hell! Any other towns in Michigan with a unique name that you would recommend visiting? What are your favorite things to do when you’re in Hell?