Rochester is an urban center situated on the northside of the Detroit Metropolitan area. The Village of Rochester was formed in 1869, although there are buildings that predate that. Almost a century later it was awarded city status. Industries such as refineries and factories flourished in Rochester because of the abundant water supply from Paint Creek and the Clinton River. The now abandoned railway and Paint Creek have been transformed into a green corridor and play an integral part in the lives of the Rochester community. The new open air Village of Rochester Hills shopping complex is another gathering point.

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1.Paint Creek Trail

Paint Creek Trail
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The Paint Creek Trail is a 9 mile long linear park, created along the abandoned Penn Central Railroad from Lake Orion to the Transportation Depot in Detroit. It follows the Paint Creek. It was the first rail trail to be established in the state of Michigan and has been connecting communities since 1983. No motor vehicles are permitted on the trail. It has a 2 degree slope across the entire trail making it ideal for walking, jogging, horse riding and cycling. Trout fishing, bird watching and geocaching are also popular activities. There are 8 parking locations which service the approximately 100 000 visitors per annum. Several events are held throughout the year.

Office: Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road, Rochester, Phone: 248-651-9260

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2.Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall
© Meadow Brook Hall

James Francis Dodge, the automobile pioneer, purchased the 1443 acre property known as Meadow Brook Farms before his death in 1920. In 1929, his widow built a 88000 square foot Tudor revival mansion on the property. The 110 room Hall was donated to the State of Michigan in 1957, along with much of the original artwork. It is the 4th largest historic house museum in the USA. Until recently, it was the home of the world's largest annual collector car show. In order to raise funds for the preservation of the building, historic tours are offered and the space is hired out for weddings and corporate functions. There is also a museum shop.

350 Estate Drive, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4401, Phone: 248-364-6200

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3.The Village of Rochester Hills

The Village of Rochester Hills
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When this lifestyle center opened in 2002, it was the first of its kind in Detroit. The Village with its eclectic collection of architectural styles replaced the former Meadowbrook Village Mall which was enclosed. There are more than 50 tenants in the Village, including stores, dining facilities and a gallery. The gardens are landscaped and the fountain turns into a fire pit. Annual, monthly and weekly community events are held in the Village.

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4.Rochester Hills Public Library

Rochester Hills Public Library
© Rochester Hills Public Library

Since 1872, there has been a library service in one form or another in Rochester. The official library was established in 1925 and occupied its current premises, along the Paint Creek and Trail, in 1992. There are 70000 card holders and around 45000 monthly visitors. Card holders can enjoy e-services remotely, including e-book and music downloads, and access to genealogy records and language libraries. There is also a bookmobile service. The program of events includes Sunday concerts, summer reading, weekly lectures and parent-child workshops. The Makerspace has a variety of tools, hardware and software for hire as well as a 3D printing service.

500 Olde Towne Rd., Rochester MI, 48307, Phone: 248-656-2900

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5.Dinosaur Hill

Dinosaur Hill
© Dinosaur Hill

Forty years ago, a tract of unusable land either side of the Paint Creek was set side as a green corridor for educational and recreational purposes. Over the years fundraising efforts resulted in a bridge across the crick, the relocation of an historic old log cabin and the construction of a nature center and offices. The area is in the floodplain of the Paint Creek. It is geographically unique and houses several species of flora and fauna. Campfire nights, cookery classes and exploration under logs and in the ponds are on the program. School groups and private parties are catered for.

333 North Hill Circle, Rochester, Michigan 48307, Phone: 248-656-0999

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6.Rochester Play

Rochester Play
© Rochester Play

Motivated by the need to provide a clean, safe, fun and entertaining place to occupy their three children, the owners of Rochester Play developed an indoor play center and party location. The café provides healthy food and the age-appropriate play areas provide exercise that develops gross motor skills. All children need to be chaperoned by an adult. Parents can either play with their children or enjoy the free WiFi or large screen television. Daily, monthly, frequent use and group rates apply. Parties and platters can be organized in the indoor area or outside. The play center is open 7 days a week.

380 E. Second St, Rochester, MI, Phone:248-650-7529

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7.Downtown Cafe

Downtown Cafe
© Downtown Café

In 2001, Tim Mulaney saw a need for a breakfast and lunch restaurant so he started Downtown Café. After renovations he had $35 left to put in the till. His belief that his customers wanted a fresh cooked meal, made from scratch from seasonal ingredients paid off. Pancakes, corned beef and quiches are all made on the premises. Orange juice is freshly squeezed. Soup, salads and a variety of sandwiches are the mainstay of the menu. Non-alcoholic beverages are also served. The restaurant opens 7 days a week from 7 am to after lunch. There is a take-out option.

606 N. Main, Rochester, MI 48307, Phone: 248-652-6680

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8.Kruse & Muer Restaurants

Kruse & Muer Restaurants
© Kruse & Muer Restaurants

After working for Chuck Muer, of Charley's Crab Restaurants, for 17 years, Bob Kruse decided to start a venture of his own. Chuck offered to invest in the enterprise and today there are seven Kruse and Muer restaurants in the southern Michigan area. They each have their own distinctive character. Kruse and Muer In the Village is situated in Rochester and offers an eat in, take out and catering menu for lunch and dinner. Charley's chowder is on all of them. The other items include soups, salads, pastas, pizzas, seafood, meat dishes, sandwiches and combinations of these. The restaurant is open 7 days a week.

134 N. Adams Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, Phone: 248-375-2503

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9.Rochester Mills Beer Company

Rochester Mills Beer Company
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The Rochester Mills Beer Company has been making handcrafted lagers and ales since 1998. The pub is situated in the historic Western Knitting Mill. The building has been restored, exposing several of the original features. There is an outdoor patio and an indoor bar with a pool table. On Thursday to Saturday evenings, there is live entertainment. The menu details an eclectic range of American cuisine, and year round, seasonal and specialty beers. The pub can be booked for private functions and catering is offered off site. A production mill was established and the company has grown to be one of the biggest of its kind in Michigan.

400 Water Street, Rochester, MI 48307, Phone: 248-650-5080

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9 Best Things to Do in Rochester, MI