A mural painted outside the fish market in downtown Dearborn. Photo by Brighid Driscoll.

After a long Winter semester, Summer classes are probably the last thing you’re thinking about. Whether you’re taking Summer classes, or taking the Summer off, make sure to check out these cool places in the city.

Stormy Records. Photo: Brighid Driscoll.

Stormy Records is a record shop in downtown Dearborn that boasts an impressive array of used and vintage records. Beyond records, the shop sells cassettes, posters, and cleaning supplies. Upon entering the shop I was greeted by Windy Weber. Windy Weber, who co-owns the store with Carl Hultgren, is warm and knowledgeable about music, as well as the Dearborn community. The record shop feels like a record shop should, with house plants and posters of iconic musicians peppering the store and handwritten genre labels organizing the records. Stormy Records is definitely one of those places you want to wander around on a warm summer afternoon while looking for a record that reminds you of another time. Windy and Carl are kind and helpful and you may be surprised by just how vast the selection is.

Green Brain Comics. Photo: Brighid Driscoll.

Just a few blocks down the street from Stormy Records is Green Brain Comics, owned by couple Dan and Katie Merritt. I was greeted by Dan Merritt, who showed me the different displays of comics that the store is selling. I have never been much of a comic book type person, however after exploring the shop I found that there really is something for everyone at Green Brain. A graphic novel about the life of Robert Kennedy caught my eye, as well as a graphic novel about Josephine Baker. Beyond comics and graphic novels the shop also sells board games. Some of the board game selection included classics like Risk, but also a Scott Pilgrim board game and a Planet of the Apes board game among many others. You can get a taste of what Green Brain has to offer next month at their 18th annual Free Comic Book day on May 4th Saturday. The shop will have over 50 comic book titles to choose from, and attendees are given the option of taking home 3, “It’s a big event we do every year, and it just keeps getting bigger” Dan says. I have a feeling I won’t be short on reading material this summer.

Traffic Jam and Snug bakery vendor, Greg, selling breads and cookies at the Dearborn Farmers and Artisans Market. Photo: Brighid Driscoll.

A summer staple in Dearborn is the Dearborn Farmers and Artisans Market. Fresh fruit, vegetables, baked treats, and handmade goods are sold every year at the market, and this year is no different. The market also provides entertainment from Metro Detroit musicians, which definitely adds to the sunny and cheerful ambiance. The open-air market is also a great spot to enjoy lunch outside. Every week there are a few food trucks serving up delicious, fast fare to patrons. The Traffic Jam sweet breads and cookie stacks alone make the trip more than worthwhile. The Dearborn Farmers and Artisans Market opens on Friday, June 7 from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and will continue to run every summer Friday at the same time. This means that 9-5ers can hit the market for lunch or after work. This year’s market location will be in the newly built Wagner Park located between Mason and Monroe. The market is a great place to purchase gifts for friends and loved ones, and also a great place to get inspired for fresh, summer recipes. Peach cobbler, anyone?

Ford Field trails. Photo: Brighid Driscoll.

When you want a little more seclusion, a long walk through the Ford Field trails can feel like you’re miles away from the city. Ford Field has winding paths that run alongside the Rouge River. An excursion through the Ford Field woods can take you through an amateur graffiti covered underpass, all the way to the other side of the water on the Henry Ford Estates. The trail splinters off in several sections, so the hike is kind of like a choose your own adventure book. Many of the trails will have random clearings that look are photo worthy spots to sit down on a log and rest for a moment. Make sure to wait until the ground has had enough time to dry out. Springtime typically still experiences a spongy and mud slicked ground through the trails. The best time to start exploring is late May.

After a long day of exploring all that Dearborn has to offer, relax outside with a cocktail on Mint 29’s gorgeous patio. The seasonal patio has sage and terracotta umbrellas shielding tables from being overexposed to the sun, a pergola dividing wall with blooming vines weaving through, and large splashy flowers surrounding the patio. Social (happy) hour is from Monday through Friday 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and offers 40 percent discount off select cocktails and appetizers. As the sun sets, atmospheric twinkle lights hang over the patio. Truly something out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.