In its heyday, Pontiac was a booming General Motors town. While still the home of several manufacturing plants, it’s clear that Pontiac has seen better days. Nevertheless, the town still has a lot to offer for visitors and residents alike.
Perched on 4.5 acres of well-groomed land, the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society (405 Cesar Chavez Ave., 248/338-6732, www.ocphs.org, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Thurs., $5 adults, $3 children under 13) comprises the Wisner Mansion, the estate to Moses Wisner, one of Michigan’s pre–Civil War governors; the Drayton Plains one-room schoolhouse; and the Pioneer Museum. The collection of vintage clothing, from the 19th and early 20th centuries is impressive, as is the collection of military uniforms from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.
Surprisingly, Pontiac has a thriving club scene, boasting some of southeastern Michigan’s hippest joints. Clutch Cargo’s (65 E. Huron, 248/333-2362, www.clutchcargos.com, hours vary) is a nightclub and music venue that regularly books big-name talent. The Tonic Club (29 S. Saginaw St., 248/334-7411, www.tonicdetroit.com, 7 p.m.–2 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 9 p.m.–2 a.m. Sun.) offers multiple dance floors and some of Detroit’s hottest DJs.
If you’re looking for a “spring break” vibe year-round, check out Tiki Bob’s (25 S. Saginaw St., 248/335-6100, www.tikibobspontiac.com, 9 p.m.–2 a.m. Tues., 10 p.m.–2 a.m. Thurs., 7 p.m.–2 a.m. Fri., 9 p.m.–2 a.m. Sat.).
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel