Look around downtown Marshall, and you’ll see a lot: books, doughnuts, antique chandeliers, toys, artwork and wine.
What you won’t see is big box stores or fast-food restaurants.
Each small business is thoughtfully curated, ideal for an afternoon spent looking for treasures. Here are some suggestions of where to look:
Start with a meal at Schuler’s Restaurant and Pub, which has been in business for more than 100 years. Winston’s Pub is good for lunch, or plan to dine in the more formal dining room.
Schuler’s is also a good spot to start because you can walk in a loop to get to the shopping.
Right around the corner is Pawfitters and Trailblazers. One part of the store is dedicated to tasty treats for pups, like cute cookies and turkey feet. The rest of the store will help you gear up for outdoor activities, when you need to stay warm and dry.
Nearby is EastEnd Studio & Gallery, where you can stop to look at the current exhibit or browse the rotating stock of fine art.
New stores have moved in along the street, beginning with Great Lakes Candy & Cones. Confectionary aficionados can pick a mix of your favorite gummies and chocolates, or walk out with an ice cream.
Crafters will appreciate Just Bead It, Glass Act and Paper & I: three stores that offer both creative creations and a chance to make your own. Take classes in how to make stained glass or browse a wide selection of vintage beads, paper, stationary and more.
Next to Paper & I is Amazing Grace Antiques. It’s a co-op for eight different sellers, so there’s a wide variety of stuff to discover. Maybe you’ll find an old velvet dress, a classic record, a bronze chandelier or a first-edition book.
Cross Michigan Avenue to start your way back. The American Museum of Magic is on this side of the road. El Tajin Mexican Restaurant is right there, for a taco break. Camp Barber can also provide you with a hot towel shave.
Serendipity & The Brew has been remodeled, bringing the coffee bar front and center. Have the baristas make you a drink or purchase coffee beans to take home. Serendipity is all about being cozy, from selling blankets and candles to kitchenware and gourmet snacks.
Celebrate the Mitten State at Living MI, which specializes in Michigan-themed gifts and products made here. Where else are you going to buy a candle that smells like Faygo pop?
Next door is New Story Community Books, where they have a whimsical selection. Pick up a book about Calhoun County history, a Kellogg cookbook, the latest bestseller or an old edition of that sci-fi book you loved as a kid.
As you keep walking, it’s worth noting two stores. The Northfield Workshop sells mandolins and it’s well-known in music circles. There’s also the Hemmingsen Drug Store, where young Lewis is dropped off to meet his uncle in “The House with a Clock in Its Walls.” Author John Bellairs based the town of New Zebedee on his hometown of Marshall.
Prepare for one last sugar rush, as Louie’s Bakery and Grandma’s Toys & Treats are next to each other. Indulge in a sugar cookie or one of Louie’s famous cinnamon nut rolls, then do some toy shopping. Grandma’s has a great selection of crafts, stuffed animals and Melissa & Doug toys that make learning fun.
Once you reach the Mole Hole gift store, you’ve reached the end of the loop. Hopefully you found some treasure along the way.