Detroit Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Detroit Trip Guide

From the tip of its skyscrapers to its riverside green spaces, this major metro exudes energy. Connect to the spirit during rides on The People Mover, Pure Detroit’s free walking tours or along the RiverWalk. Check out our trip guide for tips on what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

What to do

Belle Isle The state park, on an island in the middle of the Detroit River, is home to North America’s oldest aquarium, a conservatory and the country’s only marble lighthouse. Other amusements include a swimming beach, six-lane giant slide, nature zoo, driving range and maritime museum.

Campus Martius Park On downtown’s Woodward Avenue, a green spot caters to picnics, skyscraper gazing and entertainment.

Comerica Park Cheer on Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers. Kids also enjoy a Ferris wheel, carousel and batting cages.

Comerica Park

Comerica Park

Cranbrook Educational Community In suburban Bloomfield Hills, this campus of buildings and institutions includes 40 acres of lovely gardens, plus an art museum with works by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The campus is a National Historic Landmark.

Detroit Institute of Arts The 60,000-piece collection, one of the nation's most significant, includes Diego Rivera’s 1932-33 Detroit Industry murals. 

Detroit International RiverWalk So far, 4 miles of riverfront link parks, gardens and an adventure center.

Detroit International RiverWalk

Detroit International RiverWalk

Eastern Market On Saturdays year-round, more than 225 vendors sell flowers, fruits, spices and more. Summer-only Sunday and Tuesday markets focus on areas such as cooking demos and arts.

Eastern Market

Eastern Market

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Edsel Ford (the only child of Henry Ford) and his wife built this country manor in the 1920s. From its setting on Lake St. Clair to its artistic treasures, everything is first-class. Located in Grosse Pointe Shores, 15 miles northeast of Detroit.

The Henry Ford The pioneering automaker amassed an astonishing collection of Americana, including the bus that Rosa Parks rode and a camp bed used by George Washington. See the museum and adjoining historical village in Dearborn, 20 minutes from downtown Detroit.

Midtown Hand-assembled watches at Shinola and vintage clothing at City Bird bolster Midtown's reputation for eclectic shops, but the neighborhood's museums of art, history and science also make it a cultural center. Refuel at Motor City Brewing Works with brick-oven pizzas and seasonal beers, or at Traffic Jam and Snug, a microbrewery, bakery, dairy and restaurant.

Motown Museum Explore label founder Berry Gordy's home recording studio, with original instruments.

The People Mover It costs just 75 cents to ride the elevated light rail cars, which run in a loop and stop close to Comerica Park, Greektown and the RiverWalk.

The People Mover in Detroit

The People Mover

Walking tours Free guided tours of downtown begin at Pure Detroit in the lavish 1929 Art Deco Guardian Building.

Where to eat

Buddy’s Pizza Locals have thronged to this former speakeasy—in its 71st year now—for its signature Sicilian crust piled with fresh toppings and hand-grated cheese.

Corktown restaurants A revamped dining scene is earning Detroit's oldest neighborhood some serious cool-kid cred. Creative types go to spots like Gold Cash Gold (fried chicken and other Southern-inspired food in a reclaimed pawn shop) and Katoi (Thai eats in a neon-lit former garage). Slows Bar BQ dishes mammoth sandwiches such as the Yardbird—smoked chicken with mushrooms, cheese and applewood bacon. A tour of Two James Spirits ends with tastes of made-in-house whiskeys, vodkas and more.

Slows BarBQ

Slows Bar BQ

Michael Symon’s Roast The chef’s restaurant in the Westin Book Cadillac promises paradise for meat-lovers. Come for dry-aged porterhouses larger than shoeboxes.

Pegasus Taverna After a dinner of Greek faves at this Greektown spot, walk to a game at Comerica Park or Ford Field.

Rattlesnake Club Whether you get dinner or just cocktails, plan to sit on the patio along the river.

Roma Cafe Tuxedoed waiters serve exceptional Italian food at Detroit’s oldest restaurant.

Toasted Oak Grill and Market In Novi’s Baronette Hotel, the restaurant showcases regional foods by an award-winning chef.

Where to stay

The Dearborn Inn, A Marriott Hotel Try The Henry Ford package: breakfast for two adults and two tickets to The Henry Ford.

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center The 70-story hotel in downtown Detroit offers captivating views of the city and beyond through floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows.

Greektown Casino-Hotel This stylish hotel, connected to the casino, makes a great base from which to explore downtown.

The Inn on Ferry Street Four Victorian homes and two carriage houses hold 40 rooms in Midtown, steps from some of the city's best museums.

The Westin Book Cadillac Though the exterior retains its Italian Renaissance styling, the guest rooms are modern.

For information: Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce  

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