Guide to the Woodward Dream Cruise

Schedule of Events

Woodward Dream Cruise
Aug. 20, 2011
What started as a fundraiser for a new Ferndale soccer field in 1995 has grown into one of the most hotly anticipated classic car events in the United States, and the largest one-day automotive event in the world. With about a million and a half spectators and 40,000 participants, it’s also the most inclusive — everyone with a car is invited to drive the 16 miles of Detroit’s famed Woodward Avenue (though the two curbside lanes are reserved for classics only). Communities along the route, which begins in Ferndale and ends in Pontiac, have their own events on the days leading up to and including the cruise itself (more may be added; be sure to check the website above often for news and events). If you’re planning to participate in this exciting event, we want to make sure you get the most out of your trip. Check out our tips on where to stay and eat, and where the primo spots are to take in all the action. And if you’d like to share your own insider information, please, be our guest and leave a comment!

Woodward & East Nine Mile Road
This is the town that started it all. Ferndale is proud of its roots as the founding community of the Woodward Dream Cruise, and it shows. Car shows, live music on two stages, and activities abound.
Thursday, Aug. 18
Rock’n Live Entertainment, Stage East: 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 19
Ferndale Emergency Vehicle Show: 1:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Kids Play Zone & Vendors Area: 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Rock’n Live Entertainment, Stage East: 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Official Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: 5:00 p.m.
Lights & Sirens Cruise: 5:30 p.m.
Rock’n Live Entertainment, Stage Woodward: 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 20
Mustang Alley: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Classics & Cruis’n Legends Vehicle Show: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Kids Play Zone & Vendors Area: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Rock’n Live Entertainment, Stage Woodward: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Rock’n Live Entertainment, Stage East: 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Bloomfield Township
Mercedes Benz Lot 36600 Woodward Ave.
Whether you bring your own lawn chairs or take advantage of the bleacher seating, here’s an easy-to-get-to home base where you can relax and be surrounded by great cars, great food and great music from the ’60s. The car show stretches from the Mercedes lot to the neighboring businesses; look for the DeLorean Car Club just to the south. Parking is available in back for $5.
Saturday, Aug. 20
Classic Car Show: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Events in Pontiac are still developing as of this posting; the city lost an important sponsor for the Dream Cruise, so officials are working on other options. There will be special events downtown, and nothing can dampen this city’s enthusiasm for the Cruise. Check the website often for new developments.
Friday, Aug. 19
Ohio Players concert: 9:30 p.m.
$10 for reserved seats/lawn

Where to Eat

Toast (breakfast-lunch)
23144 Woodward Ave.
Ferndale, Mich.
This boisterous, friendly and kitschy cafe serves a great breakfast and lunch until 3 p.m. daily. Whether you crave down-home cooking like Aunt Leola’s  Biscuits and Gravy, or something unexpected like the Bourbon French Toast, the varied menu dishes up something to please everyone in your group — especially with 25 gourmet sandwiches and fresh soups made daily.

Duggan’s Irish Pub
31501 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, Mich.
The neon green sign of this neighborhood favorite lights up the night, drawing the hungry and thirsty like a moth to a flame. Most of the iconic drive-in Woodward Avenue restaurants are a distant memory, but Duggan’s keeps the flame alive by serving the Totem Pole’s Big Chief burger, and Susie Q’s fish and chips. More than generous portions — who could finish a 5-pound burrito? If you can manage to score a window seat upstairs, it’s a great place to watch the action down on Woodward.

Zumba (Mexican)
121 N Main St.
Royal Oak, Mich.
If you’re not afraid of flavor, Zumba is the Mexican restaurant for you, and by far the tastiest fast food-style restaurant around. You choose the ingredients, they make your burrito/quesadilla/tacon (a crispy cone-shaped tortilla) to order. Love salsa? You may get dizzy when you head over to the full salsa bar to find your fave. The fish tacos are awe-inspiring — and the red chili pork gets rave reviews, too.

Mr. Kabob
3372 Coolidge Hwy
Berkley, Mich.
Where can you find the tastiest Middle Eastern food in Detroit? In a gas station, of course. We’re serious. While the atmosphere may not be romantic, this is a great place to gas up and grab some delicious takeout. When you bring your group the moist, flavorful beef, chicken and shrimp kabobs and authentic Falafel, Hummus and Tabbouli, you’ll be a hero … but they might ask, “I thought you were just going to get gas?”

Jade Tiki Restaurant
3250 South Blvd.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Housed in an unassuming strip mall, the atmosphere is nothing to write home about, but the food is; the spring rolls are legendary, as are the house-made noodles and fresh fortune cookies (no plastic bag here). Try the Crab Rangoon or the Almond Chicken. As for the Tiki part — Jade offers a mind-boggling array of drinks you might expect Austin Powers to order: Singapore Sling, Zombie, Mai Thai. Just make sure someone else is driving.

Where to Stay

Drury Inn
575 W Big Beaver Road
Troy, Mich.
It’s the little things that make a hotel stay a good one, and all the little things at Drury Inn add up to one big value. Pleasant, comfortable rooms, free wireless access, 37” TVs with HBO, a complimentary hot breakfast (featuring eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy), complimentary happy hour indoor pool and Jacuzzi. Two-room suites are available. $105-135 per night.

Somerset Inn
2601 W Big Beaver Road
Troy, Mich.
If you or your significant other love shopping, this hotel is a five-minute walk from the Somerset Collection shopping mall  (stores include Anthropologie, Banana Republic, The Limited, Sephora, William Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, J Crew, Apple). 250 elegant boutique-style rooms, some overlooking the attractive central courtyard;  exceptional customer service. Free high-speed internet and premium TV channels; reasonably priced accommodations. $114-124 for a King room.

Hampton Inn 
32420 Stephenson Hwy
Madison Heights, Mich.
Recently renovated, new outdoor pool, fridge and microwave, free high-speed internet access, complimentary hot breakfast. 100 percent non-smoking. Rooms starting from about $90.

Motel 6  
32700 Barrington St.
Madison Heights, Mich.
About seven miles down the road from Ferndale, this no-frills motel fills the bill and saves you some cash at $36-46 per night. Clean, located near several restaurants, friendly staff.



Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle
310 S Troy St.
Royal Oak, Mich.
C’mon, laugh a little, it’s good for you! This stage has been the starting point for some very prominent comedy careers, including those of Tim Allen and Drew Carey; Seinfeld, Leno, and Degeneres also stopped here on their way to the top. If you’ve seen them on Comedy Central, chances are good that you’ll see them here, too: Dave Attell, Kathleen Madigan, David Alan Grier. Tickets are just $10-15. The smallish club provides just the right atmosphere for a relaxed and hilarious evening. Word to the wise: if you don’t want to be part of the act, don’t sit up front.

Silverdome Drive-In
1200 Featherstone Road
Pontiac, Mich.
Think the drive-in movie theater is a thing of the past? Not at the Silverdome — they’ve got three screens of double features just waiting for you and the gang. Bring the family or your best girl — and if Fido’s a movie fan, you can even bring your dog. Bring your own snacks and soft drinks, but leave the alcohol at home (beer and hard lemonade are available at the concession. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Enter at gate 1 off Opdyke Road.



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