Townsend Hotel Explore Birmingham: The Most Walkable Downtown in Metro Detroit
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Explore Birmingham: The Most Walkable Downtown in Metro Detroit

This Michigan summer bucket list item is brought to you by The Townsend Hotel.

To the north of Detroit, Birmingham is a vibrant, upscale Michigan community. The downtown area has all of the amenities that you would expect to find in a large city while maintaining a small-town feel. The best part is that you can walk to everything — parks, boutique shops, restaurants — while enjoying luxury accommodations at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Because of that, it’s the perfect getaway destination in Michigan for the summer.

ShainPark purebirmingham Explore Birmingham: The Most Walkable Downtown in Metro Detroit

Shain Park & Outdoor Things to Do in Birmingham

Birmingham has plenty of recreational amenities. Across more than 26 parks are baseball and soccer fields, playground equipment, tennis courts, golf courses, and picnic areas.

Shain Park is one of the most popular downtown Birmingham parks. It’s located on Merrill Street right next to The Townsend. The park features a new children’s playscape, a granite-decorated plaza fountain, a performance stage area, and a bandshell. At the center, you can see a statue that sculptor Marshall Fredericks created. For summer 2021, Shain Park will host one movie night per month, showing “The Little Mermaid,” “Elf,” and “Cars.”

About a 10-minute walk north of The Townsend is Booth Park, which is larger. The Rouge River flows right through it, and you can walk the Booth Trail that runs alongside the river. The park has a large playscape, an amphitheater, a rain garden, and a labyrinth with a tunnel.

If you’re interested in walking other routes throughout Birmingham, the city has several urban paths and wooded trails. The Townsend Hotel even rents Shinola bicycles to guests and provides a 9-mile bike route for you to follow.

For more outdoor enjoyment, check out The Farmers Market. Aside from artisan foods, the vendors sell a range of unique, Michigan-made items.

Luxury Movie Theater in Birmingham Michigan

Are you in the mood for a movie? It only takes about 5 minutes to walk from The Townsend to the Emagine Palladium, which is located just off Old Woodward Avenue. This 8-screen multiplex is housed in a circa 1927 building and shows first-run and indie movies. It has posh features, such as leather power-reclining seats, cuddle chairs, and a liquor bar with beer, wine, and cocktails.

robert kidd art gallery birmingham Explore Birmingham: The Most Walkable Downtown in Metro Detroit
Photo Courtesy Robert Kidd Gallery

Unique Art Galleries in Birmingham

If you want new artwork for your home or just want to soak up some culture in Birmingham, there are two outstanding galleries across the street from The Townsend. The David Klein Gallery has been open since 1990, focusing on contemporary and modern, postwar American pieces. Klein works with a long list of artists and regularly features new exhibitions.

Next to it is the Robert Kidd Gallery, which was founded by two Cranbrook Academy of Art graduates in 1976. It became notorious for having consistently high-caliber exhibitions and for working with a growing list of prestigious contemporary and modern artists. Along with exhibitions and events, the gallery features a variety of paintings, photographs, pop art, prints, and sculptures.

Shopping at Boutiques in Downtown Birmingham

Downtown Birmingham is recognized nationwide as a shopping destination because of its assortment of local boutiques. From fashion and jewelry to home furnishings, you can find anything among the nearly 300 shops. Most of the boutiques that we love are located on Maple Road and Old Woodward Avenue and are within a loop that only takes 25 minutes to walk from The Townsend Hotel and back.

At Cicchini Custom Clothier, you get a truly one-of-a-kind experience shopping for men’s clothing. The consultants and master European tailors make a range of casual, professional, and formal clothes of high quality.

If your pet stays with you at The Townsend, it’s only fair to surprise it with a little treat too. Teacups & Toys, a Pet Boutique has a wide array of bedding, bowls, collars and leads, clothing, and hand-crocheted toys made in Turkey.

No one in Birmingham knows fine jewelry better than Lucido Fine Jewelry. Owned by two brothers with more than 40 years in the jewelry business, this third location is run by the sister in the family. Considered the “Crown Jewel,” the Lucido brand and business practices perfectly complement the high-end, boutique-style downtown. It’s a great place to find Rolex pieces.

If it’s your first time in Michigan, check out the selection of accessories, decor, and gifts at Suhm-thing. It has amazing Michigan-made candles, small-batch foods, jewelry, and more.

For the best jeans, go to Caruso Caruso. This premier clothing and accessories shop has specialized in denim since 1981, and the staff can find the perfect jeans for any body, style, and age. The 6,000-square-foot boutique features retro floor tiling, high ceilings, and denim decor that really impress when you walk in.

A favorite among Birmingham locals, Adventures in Toys has an unprecedented selection of toys — old and new. In fact, it’s the largest selection in the Metro Detroit area. The store prides itself on offering terrific deals.

Empowering women to “Live Fashion Forward,” Tender is a women’s boutique. You can find clothing, handbags, jewelry, and shoes from several chic fashion designers.

As the most popular antique shop in Birmingham, Crimson Rose Antiques offers a diverse collection of quality antiques and vintage items from between the early 1800s and the 1960s. It has one of the biggest selections of costume jewelry as well.

Revive is a hidden gem where designer fashion, sportswear, and streetwear collide. It has an assortment of luxury branded hats, T-shirts, and shoes.

Farther west of The Townsend than the above boutiques (but still downtown and within walking distance), Birmingham Chocolate makes handcrafted fine chocolates in small batches for everyday and special occasions. You can buy the chocolate by the bar, in small treat packages, or in assortment boxes of various sizes.

Birmingham’s “Day on the Town”

On July 31, 2021, downtown Birmingham will hold Day on the Town, the largest retail event of the year. During the event, you can browse discounted high-end merchandise along the sidewalks and within the stores. It’s a lively affair with something for everyone.

Relaxing Salons & Spas

If you’re in Birmingham for a special occasion, why not treat yourself to a special hairdo or spa treatment? Right across the street from The Townsend is Antonino Salon & Spa, making it a great place to start your day of exploring downtown. The talented staff will ensure that your experience is comfortable and relaxing as soon as you walk in.

Spa Mariana is the most popular full day spa in the city and has four private rooms, including a luxurious couple’s suite, for massages and other services. It’s about a 30-minute walk from The Townsend to the downtown location, but you can arrange for an in-room spa treatment.

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Best Restaurants in Downtown Birmingham

While you’re shopping around downtown Birmingham, you can always circle back to The Townsend for Afternoon Tea. This experience includes fine, loose-rolled teas and fare with classical music playing in the background. The mahogany wood and Waterford chandeliers really enhance the atmosphere. We recommend making reservations through the website at least a week in advance.

If you need a stronger pick-me-up, visit Birmingham Roast. This neighborhood coffee shop has a welcoming environment and serves quality-roasted beans and beverages. The menu includes delectable breakfast and lunch items too.

Serving brunch and dinner, the Rugby Grille at The Townsend is the finest restaurant in Birmingham. For dinner, a popular favorite among guests and locals alike is the pan-seared Dover Sole with herb butter, artichoke sauce, fried capers, and roasted Brussels sprouts. The Brick Chicken and Rugby Burger are delicious too. The restaurant is known for the Hummer Cocktail but has an evolving cocktail menu throughout the summer.

For exceptional Italian cuisine, cross the street to Bella Piatti. New ownership in 2013 reinvented the restaurant with whimsical, warm decor and a traditional menu with contemporary flair. The menu features antipasti, pastas, risotto, and a variety of meat and seafood dishes.

Serving Japanese-inspired cuisine, Adachi is a fusion restaurant about a 5-minutes walk from The Townsend. The executive chef has brought superb technique and innovation to the city with many small and large plates, a full sushi bar, and specialty craft cocktails.

Just down the street from the hotel, Streetside Seafood makes culinary creations with a contemporary twist. The kitchen only uses the freshest catches, and the daily specials are dependent on what’s seasonally available. At the bar, you can choose from an award-winning selection of wines, which pair wonderfully with the dishes.

Always offering excellent Mediterranean fare, Phoenicia features a menu with a more refined approach compared to other Middle Eastern restaurants. Many of the owner’s dishes are a departure from the standard, and he only uses the freshest produce and finest cuts of meat from the Eastern Market.

Transforming into a cool bar and grill over the years, Elie’s Mediterranean Grill/Bar serves authentic Lebanese and Mediterranean dishes. From traditional to fusion, the menu includes vegetarian options, the meats are kosher and halal, and the kitchen can accommodate gluten-free diets.

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Book Your Stay at The Townsend Hotel

Located in the heart of Birmingham, The Townsend Hotel is known for offering exceptional amenities and service. With the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond designations, the boutique property has 150 luxury guest rooms — nine of which are penthouses and specialty suites.

The luxury suite is a phenomenal upgrade for couples who deserve a treat. It features separate bedroom and living spaces that are connected by French doors. Many of these rooms have balconies, and we recommend that you ask for one that overlooks Shain Park. It’s the ideal backdrop while enjoying room service during the summer. Additionally, the luxury suite comes with high-end standard amenities such as a Nespresso machine, HoMedics SoundSpa sound machine, Bose radio, and plush terry bathrobes and slippers.

To make your Birmingham getaway even more memorable, The Townsend offers package deals — the Romantic Encounter, Bed & Breakfast, and Dine In, Out are a few. Check out the special Michigan resident rate, or sign up to receive special offers via email.

Photos of Downtown Birmingham & the Townsend Hotel

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