Waterford, Michigan, couldn't be more aptly named. This small community located northwest of Detroit is filled with lakes, rivers and ponds. Virtually every house comes with a section of beachfront or easy access to one of the many waterways.
Residents enjoy a variety of watersports year round. During the summer, the larger lakes fill with speedboats towing water skiers and tubers, while the smaller lakes accommodate more tranquil activities like fishing and kayaking. Once the lakes freeze over in the winter, many ice skaters head out on the lake to practice figure of eights or take part in a friendly neighborhood game of hockey. Ice shanties can also be seen dotting the surface of the ice, providing some shelter to ice fisherman out braving the cold.
Waterford provides an ideal setting for residents who love to participate in outdoor activities and enjoy watersports of all kinds. Most people live and play in this largely residential community and commute to other suburbs of Detroit for work.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Waterford hosts an eclectic selection of restaurants. Visitors can always grab a quick sandwich at Firehouse Subs before heading to the lake for the day, but for some fine dinning with an Asian flare, head over to Hot Pepper Thai Restaurant. Every dish can be cooked to order, allowing diners to choose just how spicy they want their pad thai. The restaurant serves up a long list of noodle dishes and house specials that all come with fresh vegetables and your choice of chicken, beef or seafood. Try the Pla Lard Prik for a taste of local catfish dressed in garlic ginger and sour chili sauce.
La Marsa serves ups classic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Try the lamb shawarma with a heaping side of freshly made hummus and pita bread. The owners take pride not only in creating delicious food but also in providing healthy, nutrient rich fare to their customers. Don't hesitate to ask them more about the food philosophy. They will be more than happy to discuss the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet.
The local nightlife mainly consists of pulling up a stool at one of the many bars along the lakes or stopping by the Shark Club to play some a few games of pool. This bar and pool hall provides a great place for locals to hangout and socialize.
To celebrate special events with a big night on the town, residents head to the nearby Detroit area where they can catch a professional baseball or football game, eat at some of the award winning restaurants, catch a show at the Detroit Opera House or Fox Theater and do some gambling at one of several area casinos.
History & Culture
Up until the early 1800s, Waterford was mainly populated by a local Indian tribes. The Hurons, Iriquois, Ottawas, Sashabaws and many others called this area home and were able to thrive by living off the plentiful supply of fish and game. However, European settlers eventually pushed these tribes further west and by 1819, families where beginning to build homesteads and sawmills. Over the ensuing decades, more people began to move to the area to enjoy the natural setting and close proximity to Detroit.
Waterford has an active historical society that holds annual events to celebrate the early history of this area. Every March, the Fashion Show and Luncheon serves up delectable treats and highlights how fashion has changed over the centuries. The Log Cabin Days Festival held every June, also draws big crowds with food, entertainment and historical exhibits and re-enactments.
Drivers can easily get around Waterford by using M-59, which cuts east and west through the city or hopping north or south on M-24, although parking can be a little tricky. However, if residents don't have a car, commuting can be difficult. This small town does not offer any regular public transportation, and the narrow streets that wind between lakes don't always leave enough room for sidewalks or bike lanes. The more heavily populated subdivisions tend to be more pedestrian friendly, but with so many rivers and lakes, large areas and open land are at a premium. In a pinch, residents can call for a cab or find a ride using Uber.
The cost of living in Waterford runs on par with many of Detroit's outlying suburbs. A one-bedroom apartment rents for about $594 per month. Residents can fill up their gas tanks for prices that trend about 9 percent below national averages. Grab a drink at one of the local bars, and pay just $3 for a bottle of domestic beer.
While Waterford does play host to some of the bigger retail chains like Home Depot, the city does not have a central shopping district or even a downtown area. Business are strewn along M-59, but these tend to be doctors' offices, car repair shops and dry cleaners. For a larger variety of stores and shopping options, residents head north on M-24 to the Great Lakes Mall in Auburn Hills, which offers dozens of outlet stores and great bargains. Visit high-end stores like Sax Fifth Avenue or stop at the Gap for that favorite pair of jeans.
One unique aspect of Waterford is the abundance of thrift stores and consignment shops. Residents can spend the day searching for hidden treasures and antiques at one of these speciality stores. Visit the sprawling Digs Consignment Shop to explore a large array of furniture and knickknacks to decorate your home.
Sax 59 specializes in selling gently used clothing. Parents from around the community head there to stock up on children's clothing and toys although the store has plenty for adults to choose from as well. Shoppers can also bring in their own clothes to sell for a little extra cash.
Residents visit Meijer for all their grocery and household needs and head to the Oakland County Farmer's Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout the year to shop for local produce, crafts and all sorts of artisan wares.
The Waterford Oaks County Park provides residents with the perfect place to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. This 185-acre park has 3 miles of hiking trails, lit tennis courts, a community greenhouse and a waterpark that opens during the summer. Residents can use most of the amenities free of charge, although the public pool does charge a small fee.
During the winter families flock to the sledding hill for a day of fun in the snow and dogs are welcome in most areas of the park as long as they are kept on a leash.
Every October, the city hosts the Harvest Happening for families to enjoy hayrides, games, a petting zoo and much more. Residents also gather for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.