Those of us who are fortunate enough to call New Baltimore home are spoiled, and many of us don’t even know it. Waterfront cities are common in the Detroit area, but none of them feel quite like New Baltimore – a small, resort-like town, just 40 minutes from the bustle of Detroit.
Just 20 years ago, many now-busy intersections did not require traffic lights, and a majority of side streets in the area were dirt roads riddled with potholes.
Since I began residing here, the city’s population has doubled, as people have discovered what a wonderful, eclectic town New Baltimore is. While the roads now have more traffic, the city has not lost any of its luster. Rather, it has only gained steam with new businesses opening while still maintaining its quaint, small-town feel.
Only in New Baltimore can you get a fresh Belly Button cookie from the historic Stahl’s Bakery, imbibe in a wine tasting at Washington Street Wine House, and enjoy a delicious, healthy lunch at Little Mustard Seed, or have a handmade dinner at Fin’s Eatery & Spirits or Camille’s By the Bay.
Visitors can also visit the newly constructed Tennyson Building, featuring three businesses: Willy & Babbish Boutique, a woman’s clothing, décor, and gift shop; Whimsy & Wine, a shop offering painting parties, drinkware, and décor; and Emerson’s By the Bay, a yogurt bar also offering coffee and snacks.
It’s not that there’s just food to eat, wine to drink, and places to shop in New Baltimore – the city also has a definitive community feel. That sense of community comes together through festivals, events, and just a general sense of neighborhood camaraderie. Part of the city’s identity for two weeks in June is the unmistakable Fishfly. Instead of bemoaning their arrival, New Baltimorians have embraced their brief visit with their annual festival.
The Fishfly Festival is an annual five day event that takes place near the end of June. Families can enjoy the parade, some fireworks, the festival tent, or even a cardboard boat race. Personally, the Fishfly Festival was one of the things I looked most forward to every year when I was a kid.
New Baltimore is also home to the beautiful Walter & Mary Burke Park, where, during the summer, you can simply relax on a bench, or fish, boat or kayak on the water of Lake St. Clair. During the winter, ice fishing is an option, and anybody is welcome to plummet into the frigid Lake St. Clair water during the annual polar bear plunge. I’m too cowardly to partake, but those who do help out the local Lions Club.
With the city experiencing such a steady growth, New Baltimore is an area ripe for successful businesses. Bad Brad’s BBQ on Green Street now has a handful of locations around metro Detroit, and Little Mustard Seed has shown that all-natural ingredients speak for themselves.
I am excited to see how the city continues to evolve while preserving its history. I may be spoiled by where I live, but I don’t take it for granted. Come by for a visit, I think you’ll like what you find.