Brighton is a city that holds a special place in my heart because I lived nearby during my single days and now while raising children. It is the “hometown of my adulthood.” There has been incredible growth the past few years, all while keeping the small town, community feel.
From eateries, to parks, to local businesses and community groups, Brighton has it all. Main Street is jam-packed with stellar boutiques and Mt. Brighton is THE happening place once the snow starts falling. I am beyond excited to welcome you to Brighton, Michigan!
Bourbons | 440 W Main St, Brighton
Stop what you’re doing and head here to eat! You will not regret it. I have absolutely fallen in love with the atmosphere of Bourbons. I have gone here with a large group of friends, with my family, and also for date night with my husband. Every single time, I leave feeling absolutely stuffed and wanting to return. The seating is chic but relaxed. The overall ambiance is beautiful…and their food is AMAZING. I have had everything from the entire appetizer menu through the salads (Southern Chicken Salad is to die for). The Mushroom Pizza is a top pick of mine, and let me tell you about their Mac & Cheese…best ever. The Low Country Boil will make you want to eat there once a week at the very least. They have something for everyone and even indicate GF on their menu.
Gus’s Carryout | 8694 W Grand River Ave, Brighton
Y’all. I am PASSIONATE about this place. Admittedly, I dream about the breadsticks that Gus’s makes…and the garlic butter to dip them in. Greek salads, hand-rolled breadsticks, award-winning BBQ ribs, delicious planked white fish, and mouth-watering pizza…their menu is stacked with delicious options. They have a few metro Detroit locations. Gus’s also offers a catering menu and truly has amazing customer service. If you are headed through Brighton and need to grab a bite, you would be missing out if you didn’t try this place out. (Don’t forget to order a double order of my favorite Breadsticks.)
No Thai! | 8367 Grand River Ave, Brighton
When I worked in downtown Ann Arbor, I would trek over to buy No Thai! on my lunch break. Here I am, living outside of Brighton with children and an appetite for takeout, and the Brighton No Thai! opens. God answers prayers apparently. Their staff is brilliant. They offer inside seating or takeout. Their menu is drool-worthy. You can choose the protein, spice level, and entrée. My order is usually the Spring Rolls, Crab Wontons, and the Pad Thai Curry with Chicken.
3 FAVORITE ACTIVITIES
Mill Pond Park | W Main St & E Grand River Ave, Brighton
Mill Pond Park is the perfect place for a scenic stroll during any season. An extensive walking trail includes paved areas and a wooden boardwalk that crosses over Mill Pond, which is full of water lilies in the summer and waterfowl. A gazebo is located at the park, which offers live shows during the warmer months. The park also includes a giant, fenced-in wooden playscape for children of all ages, public restrooms, drinking fountains, benches, covered picnic table pavilion, and numerous public sculptures. My kids love looking over the wooden rails of the boardwalk to watch for turtles!
Island Lake State Park | 12950 E Grand River Ave, Brighton
Beaches, cabins, trails, fishing areas and hunting grounds, hiking and biking trails, a hot-air balloon port, picnic areas, playground, canoe livery, snowmobiling, cross country and sledding areas, and a shooting range can be found here! My family LOVES Spring Mill pond. Spring Mill pond is inside Island Lake State Park and boasts a wonderful beach for swimming. We always arrive early and spend the morning swimming with just our family! After a dip in the water, we head over to the sand dunes there and hike up for a wonderful view!
2|42 Community Center | 7526 Grand River Ave, Brighton
The Cafe, The School for the Arts, Crossfit, Field and Gym, Playscape and Room Rentals. 2|42 is our home church and also one of our favorite places to spend time as a family, with friends, and also for just getting some work done on my own. The facilities are free and open to anyone in the community. They have a full indoor field and basketball courts open to anyone. During the cold months, I frequently bring my kids to burn energy while running the field. The Cafe, located inside and open to the public, is delicious and offers a wide variety of meal options. There is a two-level playscape…yep, you read that right… two-level playscape—free and open to the public. The staff is lovely, and the facilities would pass the “white glove” test in terms of cleanliness. I am always impressed with what this Community Center has to offer! Check out this link for a virtual tour of the facility.
FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY
Brighton Area Historical Society | CoBACH Center, 202 W Main St, Brighton
The Brighton Area Historical Society is the best connection to local history. They offer many local events and have endless resources available!
FAVORITE PLACE FOR SWEET TREATS
Jack’s Custard and Cakes | 415 Mill Pond Ln, Brighton
Family-owned, delicious treats, kind staff! In the summer, they have an adorable patio seating spot. They are also located very close to the Mill Pond Park and Imagination Station playground. Great Location! Get ready for the Pumpkin Custard! Delish!
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP
Two Brothers Coffee | 423 W Main St, Brighton
I love this place so much! Great coffee, great menu, and a wonderful location with a hardworking staff. I always head here to sit and get some work done while sipping my favorite Chai Tea Latte.
FAVORITE DATE NIGHT
Huron Valley Guns | 56477 Grand River Ave, New Hudson
Just outside of Brighton you will find Huron Valley Guns. My husband and I LOVE hitting the range for a date night. Something fun that isn’t just dinner and a movie. Huron Valley has so much to offer! They offer a class called Date Night/Great Night. The description for the class is: “Date Night…or a great night! Two people will share a lane on the shooting range for 30-60 minutes beginning at 6 p.m. Followed by dinner, with your choice of beef or chicken, at Molly Pitcher’s Lounge.” and Molly Pitcher’s lounge is directly on site! How cool is that? For $70 you cannot beat that!
FAVORITE PLACE FOR AN ADULT BEVERAGE
Single Barrel Social | 8724 W Grand River Ave, Brighton
This is a luxury lounge enclosed by 24-foot-tall glass windows and has a circular granite bar, lounge seating, and a giant drink menu! Right behind the luxury lounge is a stage and full dance floor. We went for a mom’s night out and it was truly the perfect setting! Wonderful atmosphere and a great experience! You will find me there sipping a Michigan Whiskey Sour.
BONUS TIPS TO BRIGHTON
- Brighton is a wonderful city to shop, explore, and spend time in the community. When shopping downtown, you truly cannot go wrong. One of my absolute favorite shops in Brighton is London Beauty. London Beauty is the fashion experience brought to cosmetics. The retail shop on Main Street is truly beautiful. The owner is hands-down the most wonderful woman business owner I have ever met. She is absolutely lovely and SO passionate.
- Brighton has the best festivals, parades and community events.
- Reach out to the Brighton Fire Department and they will host a class for your kids all about fire safety!
- If it is city life and shopping or outdoor hiking and adventuring that you seek…Brighton is the city for you. Brighton has a great community, with wonderful cities surrounding it that feel like family!
- If you have made it this far in my guide… here is a secret! The BEST kept secret of Brighton: Santa House! There is a Brighton resident that goes ALL out for Christmas. Decorations, lights, the whole nine yards. On top of that, he has Santa’s mailbox in his front yard and it is AMAZING. We go every single year! Drop off self-addressed notes to Santa from your children and you will get the most beautiful personalized letter back! The only way that these Brighton superstars create this much magic is that they are working for the big guy at the North Pole himself. Hands-down one of the best Christmas traditions, and it starts right here in Brighton!