Set your GPS for adventure
Driving by Albion without stopping means missing out on burgers, gangsters and baby goats – so set your GPS for adventure (aka exit 121 on I-94).
Families will love Kids ‘N’ Stuff hands-on museum, where kids are invited into imaginative play at a miniature grocery store, mechanic’s garage, farm and theater (complete with stage and costumes). Experiment with water and air, or try to build the tallest tower on Block Mountain.
Afterward, Foundry Bakehouse and Deli is only a block away for freshly baked cookies and cupcakes and lots of new pastries to try. Foundry also serves good sandwiches at lunch.
If you want an amazing burger, Mlive certainly thinks Albion is worth the trip, awarding the title of Best Burger in Michigan to Albion Malleable Brewing Co. All burger patties are made with ground in-house meat from brisket, sirloin and chuck.
Stick with the signature burger (signature sauce, pickles, lettuce and cheese) or be adventurous with the Jolly Roger (char-grilled poblano pepper, smoked gouda, jalapeno-honey mustard and bacon).
And if you like a dark beer, try Malleable’s porter. It’s called American Moulder, in honor of the city’s old iron factory.
For another taste of Albion’s past, visit the restored movie palace: Bohm Theatre. The theater has plush seating and a dramatic stage. Movies are shown on the weekends and once a month there’s a blues jam that brings musicians from Chicago and Detroit.
The seats in the balcony are purple because legend has it that’s where the Purple Gang would sit and conduct business, during movie matinees.
The murderous gang started as Detroit bootleggers during Prohibition, then turned to bank robbing once alcohol was legal again. They moved operations to Albion, where it was rumored they kept a bulletproof car with enough room for a locked safe in the back.
For those looking for the finer things in life, Albion has books and chocolate.
Yellow Bird Chocolate Shop makes small-batch chocolates by hand from ingredients directly sourced. That means the money goes directly to communities growing cacao beans, teas and spices.
The truffles are sweet, but maybe test your taste-buds with a high chocolate content and some surprising ingredients, such as garlic or Kyoto green tea.
Stirling Books and Brew will serve you tea in a cup, along with other specialty drinks. The small bookstore is a hangout spot for college students and locals alike. There’s a cozy fireplace going in the winter.
For a G.O.A.T. yoga experience, head out into the country. Esham Family Farm has baby goat yoga classes – indoors when it’s cold, outdoors when it’s warm.
An expert will lead you through moves to help relax your body and release tension, while curious baby goats do what they do best: Be adorable and climb on everything. New goats are born every spring and fall, so they never get too big for hugs.
Spend the night in Albion at the Courtyard by Marriott, located downtown on the same street as the Bohm, Kids ‘N’ Stuff and all of the restaurants. The rooms are bright, spacious and convenient.
Or if you’re bringing a dog, book a room at Palmer House. The bed and breakfast combines 19th-century style with 21st-century comfort. The Victorian mansion has WiFi and Jacuzzi baths, while also serving breakfast on fine China and linen. It has a partnership with Galazio of Albion, for packages that include dinner at the traditional Mediterranean restaurant.