It's like a Hallmark card come to life -- from an earlier time, before America was divided into red and blue.
Details: Henry Ford Museums
GETTING THERE: Fierce competition has made Detroit one of the cheapest destinations from Washington area airports, with lowest round-trip fares routinely running about $144. Northwest, Spirit, United and US Airways fly nonstop, and other major carriers have connecting flights.
The Ford Rouge Factory Tour includes a 360-degree multiscreen theater.
(The Henry Ford)
GETTING AROUND: Greenfield Village and all things Ford are accessible by walking if you stay at the Dearborn Inn (see below). Otherwise, this place was built by and for cars, and you'll need one. Downtown Detroit is about a half-hour drive from the village complex. Within 15 minutes of the village you'll find the largest Arab population outside the Middle East -- and some of the best Middle Eastern food in the United States.
WHERE TO STAY: Find tickets-and-room packages at 50 hotels at www.henryfordmuseum.com. This month's featured package: Holiday Inn Southgate (17201 Northline Rd., Southgate, 734-283-4400) includes room and tickets for two for $99 per night, or $125 for four. The most convenient choice, with a quaint, special feel, is the Dearborn Inn (20301 Oakwood Blvd., 800-MARRIOTT). Weekend rates, cheaper than weekday, start at about $94 per night.
WHERE TO EAT:
Middle Eastern: If you visit the area and skip the many Middle Eastern restaurants, you've missed the best part. I've never had a bad meal at any Dearborn Lebanese restaurant, but I keep returning to La Shish (22039 W. Michigan Ave., Dearborn). Other locations can be found at www.lashish.com. New Yasmeen Bakery (13900 W. Warren) has great sandwiches and salads in addition to baked goods and desserts, and a simple but modern space to enjoy what you don't take out.
Greek: In Detroit's Greektown, Laikon Cafe (569 Monroe Ave.) and Hellas (583 Monroe St.) are two favorites. But all the restaurants are more dependably delicious than you'd find wandering into a restaurant in Greece. Sandwiches start at under $5, and entrees under $10.
Soul food: Southern Fires (575 Bellevue St., Detroit) serves huge portions of first-rate down-home cooking in a renovated warehouse. Such entrees as fried chicken, catfish, smothered steak and meatloaf start at $7.95 and come with two big sides and cornbread.
MUSEUMS: The Henry Ford Museum (20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn) is next door to Greenfield Village. Museum-only admission: $14. Village: $20. Rouge Factory Tour: $14. A package of any two is $26. All three: $48.
INFO: You'll find links to all the Ford-related attractions, including prices and directions, at www.henryfordmuseum.com, or call 313-982-6100. For info about visiting Detroit: Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-DETROIT, www.visitdetroit.com. -- Cindy Loose