Troy, Michigan, lies 22 miles north of Detroit, and the short distance from the “Motor City” contributes to its family-friendly character. Troy was ranked first in safety among Michigan cities by CNN Money in 2011 and has been recognized for its appeal as an affordable and pleasant place to live. These gains made since its settlement in 1819 have not diminished residents’ appreciation of the city’s past.
One of the top attractions in Troy preserves and celebrates that era with a life-sized, walk-in collection of vintage structures, all carefully moved from their original locations intact. Troy Historic Village invites the public to view 10 of these historic buildings, which are fully furnished with authentic artifacts. The struggles of early area farmers come to life as visitors pass through an 1840s log cabin and imagine its inhabitants cooking at an open hearth or making butter with a paddle churn. Visitors of all ages can write on slates in the one-room school house, shop at the old-fashioned general store and sit for tea at the Old Troy Church. The village is near the intersection of Wattles and Livernois Roads.
Golfers visiting Troy get a taste of history while hitting the greens at Sylvan Glen and Sanctuary Lake Golf Courses, both within a 10-minute drive north of the historic village. Golfers can enjoy natural heather and wetlands, accented with vintage farm equipment and shade trees, over 18-hole, par-70 and par-71 courses. Sylvan Glen was established in 1922 and welcomes more than 50,000 golfing patrons a year. During the winter, cross-country skiers and sledders traverse the hilly grounds. Sanctuary Lake offers a practice facility, featuring 70 hitting stations and eight target greens.
For an international lunch, tourists frequent Priya Restaurant on the south side of Troy for incredible Indian fare. The restaurant’s blend of northern and southern Indian culinary styles creates flavorful dishes like dosas and tandoori chicken.
To cool down year-round, families dive into wet and wild fun at Troy Family Aquatic Center, a 5-minute drive south of the historic village and across from Phillip J. Huber Park. Kids find plenty to do among the water slides, waterfalls, sand volleyball courts and wade-in pool. Those visiting Troy in winter can play at the aquatic center’s indoor facility, which also features water slides and games.
The top attraction in Troy for shoppers is the Somerset Collection, across I-75 from the aquatic center on Big Beaver Road. Considered one of the best malls in the country, the complex houses big brand names like Betsey Johnson, Burberry, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co.
Families visiting Troy can agree on an Italian-style dinner at Picano’s restaurant on Rochester Road. Locally owned, and established in 1985 by an Italian native, Picano’s fare ranges from authentic veal and seafood dishes to flat-stone oven-baked pizzas. The dining room centerpiece is a mural of Monte Cassino, a historic monastery in owner Dominic Picano’s hometown—and a reminder of the reverence that Troy residents have for the past.