Located in southeast Michigan, Adrian is a charming city with an abundance of things to see and do. From unique museums and historic sites that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history to outdoor recreation spots perfect for enjoying nature, Adrian has something for everyone.
This guide will highlight the top things to do in Adrian, from must-see attractions to hidden gems. Read on to start planning your Adrian itinerary!
1. Siena Heights University Campus
Address: 1247 E Siena Heights Dr, Adrian, MI 49221
One of the top attractions in Adrian is the beautiful campus of Siena Heights University. The lush grounds feature gorgeous architecture and scenic walking paths perfect for an afternoon stroll.
Don’t miss the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse, a striking art deco building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. You can also visit exhibitions at the SHU Art Gallery.
2. Lenawee County Historical Museum
Address: 110 E Church St, Adrian, MI 49221
History buffs will love the Lenawee County Historical Museum. This extensive museum documents the history of Adrian and surrounding areas through engaging exhibits and artifacts.
Highlights include a vintage printing press, Civil War memorabilia, Native American tools, and much more. Admission is free.
3. Croswell Opera House
Address: 129 E. Maumee St, Adrian, MI 49221
For a night out on the town, head to the ornate Croswell Opera House. This historic venue opened in 1867 and today hosts musicals, plays, concerts, movies and other performances. Even if you don’t catch a show, it’s worth stopping by just to admire the Victorian architecture.
4. Adrian Mall
Address: 1357 S Main St, Adrian, MI 49221
At the heart of downtown you’ll find the Adrian Mall, a pedestrian-only shopping district. The tree-lined street is filled with boutiques, gift shops, restaurants and public art.
Stop for a coffee and people watch or do some window shopping. Don’t miss row of historic buildings along the mall built in the late 1800s.
5. River Raisin National Battlefield Park
Just outside Adrian is the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, which commemorates the pivotal Battles of the River Raisin during the War of 1812.
Here you can take a self-guided tour of the battlefield and visit the on-site Visitor Center to learn more about the history. Rangers also offer informative talks and demonstrations.
6. Lenawee County Fair
Address: 602 N Dean St, Adrian, MI 49221
Each July, the Lenawee County Fair draws big crowds for rodeos, demolition derbies, live music, carnival rides and exhibits of livestock, crafts and more.
Grab some classic fair food and enjoy the festive, small-town atmosphere. The fairgrounds also host other events throughout the year.
7. Addison Oaks County Park
Nature lovers will appreciate Addison Oaks County Park, just a short drive north of Adrian. Activities include hiking and biking on over 20 miles of trails, fishing on the lake, camping and disc golf.
In the winter you can go sledding, cross-country skiing and ice fishing.Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife like deer, birds and more.
8. Adrian Armory Events Center
Address: 230 W Maumee St, Adrian, MI 49221
Once an armory for the Michigan National Guard, this historic building is now used for all kinds of events. Concerts, conventions, weddings, festivals and more are held in the spacious hall here. Check their calendar to see what’s coming up during your visit to Adrian.
9. Tibbits Opera House
A great place to catch a show within a short drive from Adrian. For another dose of performing arts, visit the Tibbits Opera House.
This restored 1882 building hosts musicals, plays, concerts and movies in an intimate setting. Touring Broadway shows and tribute acts are also popular offerings here. It’s a great place to catch a show within a short drive from Adrian.
10. Daily Scoop Ice Cream
One sweet pit stop in Adrian is the Daily Scoop Ice Cream shop. Their rotating selection of homemade ice cream always includes unique and delicious flavors.
My personal favorites are the salted caramel pretzel and orange dreamsicle. It’s the perfect place to cool off with a cone or sundae on a hot day.
11. Adrian Center for the Arts
Address: 1375 N Main St BLDG 46, Adrian, MI 49221
Located in a converted church building, the Adrian Center for the Arts is the place to go for art classes, exhibitions and cultural events.
Check their calendar for the latest workshops, concerts, lectures and more. The galleries showcase regional artists and rotate regularly. Admission is free.
12. Adrian Farmers Market
For fresh local produce and artisanal treats, visit the Adrian Farmers Market held on summer Saturdays downtown.
It’s a great place to get fresh produce, cut flowers, baked goods and other artisanal food items. There are also crafts, live music and activities for kids. Come hungry so you can sample all the goodies!
Vendors sell seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats, baked goods, honey, flowers and more. There are also rotating food trucks and live music. It’s a great spot to mingle with the community and support local businesses.
13. Downtown Adrian Architecture
One of my favorite things to do is just take a leisurely stroll downtown to admire Adrian’s historic architecture.
The area around the mall has many ornate commercial buildings from the late 1800s, including the stunning Beaux-Arts style Chamber of Commerce building. North Main Street is also lined with beautifully preserved Victorian homes.
14. Adrian Symphony Orchestra
Adrian has its own skilled symphony orchestra that performs concerts throughout the year at various venues around town.
Their season includes classics from composers like Mozart and Tchaikovsky along with pops concerts featuring showtunes, movie scores and more. Attending a performance is a refined night out.
15. Devils Lake Water Sports
Nestled between Adrian and Manitou Beach is Devils Lake, a popular spot for water recreation. You can spend a day boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing or kayaking on the water.
There are also sandy beaches where you can work on your tan. Rentals for boats and other gear are available from local outfitters.
16. Beecher Bakery
No visit to Adrian is complete without stopping for baked treats at Beecher Bakery. This local favorite makes delicious breads, donuts, pastries, cookies and pies from scratch daily.
My go-to is their maple bacon long john donut. Their deli also serves up tasty sandwiches and soups if you need a quick lunch.
17. Summer Festivals
Throughout the summer, Adrian hosts various lively festivals including the Art Fair on the Lawn, the Great Lakes Storytelling Festival, the Adrian Blues Festival and more.
These events feature live entertainment, food trucks, arts & crafts sales and fun for all ages. Festivals are a memorable way to experience Adrian’s vibrant community spirit.
The annual Adrian Summerfest in July is a day-long event with a packed schedule including a car show, chili cook-off, craft fair, inflatables for kids, and live music. Held at Stoney Creek Metropark just outside Adrian, it’s a beautiful setting for a summer festival.
From art fairs to blues concerts, storytelling extravaganzas to craft shows, Adrian’s summertime festival lineup promises engaging events for all interests. Attending these lively community celebrations is a highlight of any warm weather visit.
Adrian offers a delightful getaway with its variety of things to see and do. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history and culture, enjoy recreational activities, attend an event, or simply dine and shop in a charming downtown, Adrian offers an ideal blend of small town appeal and things to do.
With this range of museums, recreation, entertainment, dining and shopping, Adrian provides something for everyone. Use this guide to start crafting your own Adrian itinerary filled with activities suited to your interests.