(Photo courtesy of panoramio.com)

By RENEE SUMMERS, A&E Editor

Though recent days in southeast Michigan have been gloomy and cold, it’s still a good idea to get outside and move around.  One place that is fun to explore even as we wait for the weather to break is Downtown Plymouth.  The city of Plymouth is bordered by Northville to its north and Westland to its south.  The city’s population hovers just below 9,000 people.  

The heart of Downtown Plymouth is located where Ann Arbor Trail and Main Street meet, and this is where the action is at.  It is here that the city held its 35th annual ice festival early last month at its own Kellogg Park. It remains one of the best known winter festivals in Michigan.  

The city was settled in 1825 and incorporated as a township in 1867.  This year will be full of celebrations as the city observes its 150th birthday.  

The downtown district is both pedestrian and bicycle-friendly and there are plenty of both to be seen when the weather is warm.  But even in February, there is still much to see and do.  The area provides more than 30 eateries ranging in both variety and expense.  The list includes an Irish Pub, Thai and Mexican cuisine, upscale grills and Coney Island stops. For ice cream and sweets, or even hot chocolate, the Alpine Chocolat Haus, founded in 1985, is one such delicious diversion. Check out their website at alpine-chocolat-haus.com.  

If you enjoy shopping, you’ll love Plymouth.  There are more than 50 shops to explore, ranging from specialty gift boutiques and home furnishings to apparel shops. RSVP, located on Penniman Avenue, specializes in stationery and greeting cards, gifts and even provides assistance in planning your wedding.  See all they offer at rsvpplymouth.com.

In addition, the area includes over a dozen salons and spas and a variety of other businesses and professional services.  There is ample public parking for both cars and bicycles.  

Come on out and see Downtown Plymouth in the winter.  You’ll fall in love with its small-town appeal and will be all the more eager to return when Michigan temperatures warm up.  You can find a map and other information at downtownplymouth.org.