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Iosif and Ella Meluta’s son, Alex, was diagnosed with asthma when he was 6 years old. To combat the disease, the Melutas sought out the therapeutic effects of salty air, taking him on seaside vacations, visiting salt rooms throughout the United States and Canada, and traveling to Eastern Europe’s salt mines. Eventually, Iosif and Ella created a salt-infused microclimate right in the Detroit area, the Salinair Salt Room, which Alex could incorporate into his everyday life. Nowadays, thanks to regular salt-room sessions, Alex is pursuing his dream of playing pro tennis.

The salt room’s healing properties are not just available to Alex. Clients of all ages who are struggling with conditions such as asthma, common colds, and stress can lounge in its zero-gravity chairs as they nap or surf the web during halotherapy. The therapy simply entails breathing the room’s air, which is suffused with salt microparticles and negative ions that soothe respiratory systems. As sessions unfold, adults can enjoy the relaxing effects of dimmed colored lights and music, and kids can play with Alex and his stash of toys.

42610 Van Dyke Avenue
Sterling Heights,
MI
US

The 300-foot straightaway comes to an end in one of six wheel-testing curves. The Honda 6.5-horsepower engine hums in anticipation. The moment foot touches pedal, hydraulic brakes give their answer and the racing wheels cling to the textured concrete as the go-kart deftly whips through the turn. Coming up on the end of an eight-minute streak of adrenaline, racers zip past the final stretch of the 1/5-mile race track, tearing ahead of each other as the computerized timing system clocks each score to fuel future bragging rights and rematch challenges.

From Kart 2 Kart's café and bar, applause rises as family, friends, and opponents sizing up the competition send their appreciation down to the track, which they've been watching as they nosh on a selection of snacks and beverages. Juniors, meanwhile, wait their turn to hit the blacktop in age-appropriate Formula-K karts. Before strapping in, all racers receive instruction and a safety lesson, during which they learn how to operate the equipment, then strive to set records that can earn them a spot on the website's scoreboard.

42705 Van Dyke Ave
Sterling Heights,
MI
US

Strings of colored lights twinkle from the rafters of Gator Jake's Bar Grill Patio, where walls of retro neon and pressed-metal signs lend the dining room a vivacious vibe. The menu brings creole and southwestern perspectives to the table, providing etouffees, steak-fajita subs, and barbecue chicken monterey to complement a glass of Beringer wine, a specialty cocktail, or a beer called Guinness, Killian's, or Corona. Wall-mounted flat-screen televisions broadcast major sporting events as the sounds of clacking pool balls, whirring darts, and songs from the jukebox and periodic live entertainment fill the air. Open until 2 a.m., Gator Jake's—which took third place in the 2011 Detroit A-List's race for Best Sports Bar—welcomes patrons to stay for a late-night birthday party or celebrate the opening of a foreign stock exchange far, far away.

36863 Van Dyke Ave
Sterling Heights,
MI
US

Chili Pepper's Tanning Inc. Megastores’ trophy case is getting full—in addition to being named one of Detroit’s best tanning salons three times in a row by CityVoter, it has acquired accolades from Local 4 and CBS Detroit, which commends its spray tanning. Its growing awards reflect Chili Pepper’s growth; since opening in 2002, Chili Pepper’s has expanded to 15 locations, spreading across Detroit like the buffalo pox.

In every location, five levels of tanning beds turn skin a sun-kissed gold or deep bronze. Mystic Tan sessions let customers avoid things associated with booth and outdoor tanning—UV rays and pool lifeguards who push you in the water to practice saving you. No matter which option they choose, patrons can turn to knowledgeable Smart Tan–certified staff members who help clients decide what is best for their tanning goals.

44699 Mound Rd
Sterling Heights,
MI
US

The self-proclaimed home of the $1 draft, Dooleys Tavern keeps 20 beers cascading from their taps. Those suds complement the chefs' pub food, which includes American tavern classics such as half-pound burgers and up to 50 chicken wings doused in a choice of four sauces. The draft beer house also concocts American dishes with an Irish twist such as corned-beef sliders and a pizza filled with mashed potatoes and topped with bacon and red onions.

Seven nights a week, Dooleys’ three locations keep guests entertained until 2 a.m. on an outdoor patio, in a room full of classic bar games, and with plenty of HDTVs showing the game. The trio of taverns also accommodates up to 100 guests for private parties. Additionally, the Mount Clemens location pairs feasts with sidesplitting routines from standup comics in Carmen's Showroom.

12414 Hall Rd
Sterling Heights,
MI
US

The knowledgeable staff at BetterHealth Market helps visitors to navigate a vast inventory of products for natural and nutritious living ranging from aromatherapy oils to gluten-free cookies. Natural, organic, and raw groceries from brands such as Amy's Kitchen and Nature's Path keep home cooking flavorful and wholesome, and a range of supplements, vitamins, and minerals helps to ease health issues, increase energy, or incinerate burritos that have overstayed their welcome. A wide variety of teas and coffees offers options such as fair-trade beans and yerba mate to healthfully wash down each nourishing morsel. Customers can peruse the prepared foods department, which includes salad bars, fresh raw juices, all natural smoothies, specialty sandwiches, and salads.

33452 Van Dyke Ave
Sterling Heights,
MI
US