Royal Oak and Ferndale are similarly walkable cities with adjacent locations along the Woodward Corridor. Both have dozens of restaurants, shops, and gathering places, but with decidedly different attitudes. Both neighborhoods include a variety of bungalows and historic homes, in addition to some beautiful modern architecture. And they are centrally located for prime access to every aspect of Metro Detroit.
Founded nearly a century before its southern neighbor in 1819, Royal Oak was originally a bedroom community for Detroit workers. In the subsequent 200 years, though, it has become a city in its own right. In contrast to its big brother, Ferndale has a distinctly more cutting edge feel. Both are the sort of place where neighbors share coffee on the front porch and gather in communal spaces.
Both towns boast so many wonderful options for gourmet grocery stores, nationally recognized chefs, and curated galleries and shops that it is hard to only recommend a few. Take a cooking class at Holiday Market, where you can find some of the freshest groceries in the area alongside delicious prepared foods. If you don’t feel like cooking, dip into Ronin for sushi, try the taco of the month at Imperial, or take in pizza with a twist and live music at Otus Supply… and don’t forget to try Oprah’s favorite grilled cheese at Café Muse.
Take in a concert at the Royal Oak Music Theater or Magic Bag Theater. When the weather warms, prepare for a season of festivals and community gatherings ranging from Arts, Beats, and Eats to the weekly Royal Oak farmers market. Visit the annual DIY Street Fair, Pig & Whiskey, or even the Woodward Dream Cruise’s Mustang Alley.
Although they are neighbors geographically, Royal Oak schools differ from Ferndale Schools in a couple of important areas. A slightly smaller district, Ferndale is prized for its diversity, ranking in the top 10% of schools in the state for this fact. Royal Oak, in contrast, is more homogenous, but also more academically challenging, offering both AP and IB course options for high school students and boasting a 17:1 student to teacher ratio.
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