7 Stories Of Unusual Michigan City Names

names | The Awesome Mitten

Have you ever wondered where some of Michigan’s weirdest names originated from? Using Walter Romig’s Michigan Place Names and the power of internet research, I learned seven fascinating stories. Bad Axe (Huron County) Located in the thumb, Bad Axe is a small town of about 3000 people. The name “Bad Axe” stems from Captain Rudolph […]

Take A Detroit Daycation This Summer!

Pull out your sandals, sunscreen and shades: this is the season of adventure! Not everyone has the time or money to go on extravagant vacations this time of year, but you don’t need a lot of money to do something fun. In fact, there are plenty of mini-vacations you can fit into one day. Here […]

What’s So Funny? Your Guide to Live Comedy in Michigan

Mick Foley at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle. Photo courtesy of C&G Publishing

Tim Allen, Dave Coulier, Kristen Bell, Madonna, Keegan-Michael Key, James Earl Jones…what do all of these actors have in common? They were all either born or raised in Michigan! From movie stars to musicians and so much more, the entertainment world is full of Michiganders. And for those of us still living in the Mitten State, […]

8 Oakland County Restaurants Where You Can Taste The World

When I get the chance to experience new cultures, I like to take it. I have recently started trying more food from countries all around the world. Listed below are eight restaurants scattered throughout Oakland County that will craft a culinary experience your taste buds won’t soon forget. China and Japan: Yummy House (Commerce Charter Township) Located in front […]

24 Shops To Celebrate Record Store Day In Michigan

You’ve heard of Christmas in July, but April 22nd is practically the best holiday of the year for music lovers. Record Store Day celebrates the love of vinyl, independent record shops, and vibrant music communities all across the nation. This year claims to be even bigger and better. It’s the 10th anniversary of Record Store […]

5+ Michigan Organizations To Support During Autism Awareness Month (And All the Time)

Autism | The Awesome Mitten

April is a time for enjoying Michigan sun, showers, and seeking out the first buds of spring. It is also a month where we especially strive to appreciate and support our friends, family, and others with autism. For those who are unfamiliar with autism, it is a developmental disorder that spans dozens of signs and symptoms. Some people […]

Why The Detroit Zoo Over All Others

Why the Detroit Zoo Over All Others - The Awesome Mitten

Why should you go to the Detroit Zoo over all the others? Specifically, why the Detroit Zoo right now?  It is winter, cold, and the end of February. The last thing on many peoples’ minds is a day trip to the zoo. That’s only reserved for summer vacation fun with the kids, right? On a […]

10 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Michiganders

10 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Michiganders - The Awesome Mitten

Near the end of last year, the 2017 class of award-winning musicians was announced for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although none of this year’s listed artists hail from Michigan, and we do appreciate the nice, yet perplexing reference to “South Detroit” in Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” there are plenty of musicians lucky enough to […]

11 Michigan Events to Fall into October

11 Michigan Events to Fall into October - The Awesome Mitten

As the air begins to chill and the leaves change hues, fall is an exciting reality for Michiganders. October is here and it’s time to embark on autumn festivities and fun. Whether your idea of fall fun includes tasty seasonal treats, a haunted night out, carving a pumpkin, or enjoying the bright hues of the leaves, […]

Michigan Events to Welcome in the Fall this September

September Michigan Events - The Awesome Mitten

Summer is over and the days are beginning to fill with the vivid colors of fall. The school year is starting back up, and football season means your weekends will once again be filled with tailgates and flannels. However, there is no shortage of great events this month! Check out these awesome September Michigan events […]

Royal Oak Celebrates Ford Arts, Beats & Eats

Arts Beats & East Royal Oak Michigan - The Awesome Mitten

Ahh, Labor Day. Every year, I’m filled with bittersweet sentiment as this holiday (symbolic of the end of summer) approaches. Bitter, of course, because this means the awesome summer weather we’ve been enjoying coming to an end but sweet as we look forward to all that Autumn in the Mitten has to offer (fingers crossed for a […]

Good Times at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak

Finding good comedy at a great price can be tough, but it can be found at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle. Located in downtown Royal Oak, just north of Detroit, this 18-and-up comedy club opened for business in January of 1979, and they have been dishing out comedic talent ever since. It has acted as a […]

Ways To Warm Up During a Michigan Staycation

Ways To Warm Up During a Michigan Staycation - Awesome Mitten

We’re (hopefully) in the last stretch of winter, and everyone is yearning for warmer weather. Now is the time to take your Michigan “tropical staycation” and get the winter blues off your mind. My first advice? Start off with some tropical food and drink to get in the island mindset. Some options include Jamaican Jerk […]

Southerner Meets Michigan: The Vintage Lover’s Guide To Detroit

The Awesome Mitten-The Vintage Lover's Guide To Detroit

Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong decade? I often do, probably because I’m constantly drawn to Benny Goodman tunes and can’t shake the fact that my hair was made for a 1980s music video. Don’t get me wrong–I love my smart phone and DVR, but there’s something special about eras […]

14 Ways To Show Your Valentine A Good Time In Metro Detroit

February is the month of love and Metro Detroit offers tons of romantic and unique date options. Here are 14 suggestions for you and your Valentine: Grab a glass at Valentine Vodka: The name gives it away as the perfect date spot! Small and cozy, this bar serves up a bunch of signature drinks made out of […]

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Royal Oak


After a successful first year at their original Shelby Township location, Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room has officially opened the doors on a second location in Royal Oak. A venture from the founders of the Michigan By The Bottle website (an online community which promotes the Michigan wine industry), the Royal Oak tasting room […]

Become a Royal Oak Local

Royal Oak - Awesome Mitten

I’ve lived in Royal Oak for over half my life and it’s definitely one of my favorite Detroit suburbs. It’s a city that has evolved so much since I was young and continues to do so every day! It has a vibrant residential area, but still strives to keep a thriving downtown. With all that […]

BRU Fest 2014

BRU Fest is back again this year and better than ever. Now in its fourth year, BRU Fest is a favorite of metro-Detroiters, including us here at the Awesome Mitten (I myself featured and attended the event last June). And how could you not be a BRU Fest enthusiast? On June 14th, the event will bring […]

Jim’s Frostie Treats Keeps It in the Family

Awesome Mitten - Jim's Keeps It In The Family

“I only eat vegetables and hot fudge sundaes!” laughed Jim as I sat down to talk with him and his daughter, Kathy, about their famous ice cream shop in Royal Oak (located on 11 Mile between Main and Campbell). Jim opened Jim’s Frostie Treats in 1974 after owning the building as a Dairy Queen for […]

10 Things I Miss In The Mitten State (In No Particular Order…)

1. The beaches Growing up in Michigan, seeing the water is the most common occurrence you can think of.  In a way, it doesn’t even faze you; it’s all part of the daily routine.   However, once you move out of Michigan you begin to realize just how much you took those lakes for granted.  […]

Pretty Awesome Pasties: Hermann’s Bakery

  Thanks for the comments and suggestions in response to our last post, which recapped the pasties we’ve taste-tested so far. We’ll be trying your suggestions for future posts, so keep them coming! Today, we’ll highlight some pasty serendipity—a pasty encounter in an unlikely locale… Royal Oak. Royal Oak, Royal Pasties Royal Oak is known […]

Monk: Belgian Beer Bliss

Monks. God bless those silent bald dudes and their love for perfecting beer. If it wasn’t for their die hard dedication to ale then we would still be drinking watered down garbage. It was the monks who first introduced the hop plant to the brewing process and took the time to write down recipes. When […]

Find Your New Spring/Summer Wardrobe…For Free!

Ahhhh. It’s that time of year again. Classes are ending. Birds are chirping. The sun is (occasionally) shining and spring is truly in the air. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of the snow! Now, if you’re anything like me—a born and bred Awesome Mittener–as soon as we hit that 55 degree mark, I’m pullin’ […]

Christmas Events in Michigan!

The Awesome Mitten (Christmas in Michigan)

‘Tis the season all over our beloved Mitten! Although the holidays are crazy for everyone, Christmas in Michigan is worth taking time for. This year boasts a crazy amount of Christmas activities, festivals, parades, craft shows, concerts and exhibits that are appropriate for your grandmother, children, significant other, sister and parents. I’ve chosen a few […]

Michigan’s Best Live Music Venues

The Awesome Mitten - Michigan's Best Live Music Venues

Michiganders are smart: we know that life is not complete without live music. More often than not, the venue can make a large difference in the enjoyment of the musical experience, so it is time to dive into some of the best live music venues that the Mitten State has to offer. 1.Bell’s Brewery A […]