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Discover Detroit with Coffee Walks

By: In The D Staff | May 16, 2022

You tried the gym for a while—hated it. Yoga—too stinky. You gave running a go, but the sweat…my god, the sweat! 

It’s fun to try different ways to get fit, but it’s difficult to keep them up. Doctors always recommend walking but that can become tiresome too. That’s why you should try morning coffee walks. 

What is a morning coffee walk? Just what it sounds like–it’s just walking with a friend and drinking coffee. But preferably in a new place. It’s simple, but can really make a difference in your exercise habits. You’ll actually want to keep this up!

Here’s why it’s better than a plain old walk—and why it’s more effective: 

  • You’re shaking things up and seeing new things, going places that aren’t totally familiar so the scenery is fresh and you’re entertained the whole time; 
  • You’re talking to someone—you’re bonding with an old friend or making connections with a new one, you’re venting, you’re laughing, you’re having fun! 
  • And you’re giving yourself a reward. And no waiting until after. You get your prize right out the gate—or whenever you want to grab your coffee.
 

Here’s what you do…

  1. Find a friend—or friends—and make a plan. The friend is important. It’s safer and it will make it so you have to do it. You’re committed. 
  2. You decide where to go. You’re not going to walk in your neighborhood. You can if you’re short on time, but try to go somewhere new at least sometimes so you keep things interesting. 
  3. Make sure your route includes a coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be coffee. If that’s not your thing or if you’re going in the evenings and you don’t want the caffeine, pick something else. But if you’re walking to help with weight loss or maintenance pick something that isn’t a ton of calories and ideally, pick something that you can get to-go. But these are not hard and fast rules. Make it work for you! 
  4. This is a great way to start your day so mornings are recommended, but if that doesn’t work, do it anytime. 
  5. Don’t forget your phone so you have a map or a tracking app! 

This is a perfect way to see our lovely city so here are a few Detroit ideas to get you rolling:

Meander through Midtown

Start at the brick-paved, tree-lined block of Canfield between 2nd and 3rd  so you can drool at the stately Queen Anne and Victorian homes from the late 1800s. Round the corner and you’ll hit Awake Café where you can pick up a coffee to go and chat with the friendly staff, then zig-zag between 3rd and Cass. Walk by the El Moore Gardens where you can see their elaborate gate fashioned from the old Dalgleish Cadillac water tower and metal from the gates of Thomas Edison’s workshop. Hit up Avalon or Warda Patisserie to pick up some treats to bring home to the fam. As you make your way back to your car, you can laugh at the dogs living their best life at the dog park at Cass and Canfield. If you’re ready to go all-in with walking, pop into Run Detroit. They’ll hook you up with your favorite new kicks, life-changing socks and all the sweat-wicking, compression gear your heart could desire. 

Downtown / Detroit River Ramblin’

Park downtown around Congress and Shelby, then make your way to Coffee Down Under for an Aussie cuppa’ Joe that will give you the kangaroo-kick in the butt that will fuel your walk. Hop over to the Guardian Building just a block away, head into the lobby, tilt your head back and gawk at all the art deco splendor. When you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, exit onto Woodward and head toward the river. Admire the Spirit of Detroit statue and make your way across Jefferson (don’t forget to fist bump Joe Louis!) and head to Hart Plaza. Toss a coin into the fountain and make your way to the steps down to the river. At the bottom of the steps, pause to honor the International Memorial to the Underground Railroad. Then, head in either direction along the River Walk—toward the Ambassador Bridge or toward the Ren Cen and Belle Isle—either direction promises wonderful river-side scenery.

Mansion Hiking

Head over to West Village to Red Hook to get your coffee, then hit the bricks! Amble along under the beautiful trees, and over into Indian Village to the serious mansions and decide what you want your next house to look like.  

Eastern Market Art Stroll

Get to Eastern Market on a non-market day for a more peaceful walk. Enjoy a “choose your own adventure”-style coffee from The Café at Bea’s and then get going on your walking adventure. Wind through the streets, take in some of Detroit’s most amazing murals and explore the parts of the market you might not normally see. If you want to extend your adventure, get over to Wilkins and Orleans and head down the ramp to the Dequindre Cut and check out some more art. If you’re feeling energetic, you can go all the way down to the river.

New Center Saunter

Fuel up at The Gathering Coffee Co. or Milwaukee Caffé in the North End or at Stella Good Coffee in the Fisher Building. Do a little window shopping along Woodward or check out all the Albert Kahn architecture in the area. Head out into the neighborhood just north of the Fisher Building and make your way over to the charming brick block of Pallister lined with beautiful old street lamps. 

Make sure to record your mileage with a tracker or an app so you can record your progress. The miles will fly by!

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