AUBURN HILLS: Mixing Nature With Nightlife

on June 3, 2013

Riverside Park

Auburn Hills is just a simple 40-minute drive from downtown Detroit and offers one of my favorite type of day trips: one that’s planned around an evening event.

It’s so nice to pop out of the city for a day, and then be able to relax while eagerly anticipating a solid night out with the promise of great music or a great ballgame.

Thanks to The Palace of Auburn Hills, this day trip concept is possible. It affords visitors the chance to spend the day at one of several wonderful nature parks, and then cap the trip off with an NBA game or a concert at The Palace — a massive, somewhat secluded venue.

Of course, The Palace is home to the Detroit Pistons, so many Michigan families have made the pilgrimage, especially during the championship run of ’88-’89, when the team won big during its first year at the new stadium. But the key is not just showing up for game-time, it’s about spending the afternoon canoeing or sunbathing at nearby River Woods Park. If you just can’t get basketball off your mind, there are actually some nice spots and nets at River Woods to get your own pickup game going.

CLICK HERE for the Detroit Pistons’ game schedule.

If basketball doesn’t quite get you revved up, think about the great band you’re going to see that night while you paddle a canoe in the scenic Clinton River, or just head for a peaceful walk through the forest. You can launch out from Riverside Park if you do decide to canoe.

Huge bands have played The Palace. The Police — led by frontman Sting — actually christened the venue as its first entertainment act. Since then, The Palace has been a stop for the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Grateful Dead, Bon Jovi, Neil Diamond and Britney Spears. CLICK HERE to check out the latest concert information for The Palace.

After the show, you can head back to the nature vibe started earlier on and camp out under the stars, or you can do it up with a bit of luxury and room service at SpringHill Suites Detroit Auburn Hills. Prices vary, of course, but you can get you and your entourage a great room for just $120.

If you still have some get up and go the next morning. There are also some shopping options close by at malls like Great Lakes Crossings & The Village of Rochester.