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.
Slows BarBQ
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What to do

Belle Isle Recreation flourishes on this island in the middle of the Detroit River. The state’s newest state park 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 Smack in the middle of a traffic roundabout on downtown’s Woodward Avenue, a green spot caters to picnics and skyscraper gazing.

Comerica Park While fans cheer on Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers, youngsters enjoy a Ferris wheel, carousel and batting cages. (313) 471-2000;

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. (248) 645-3000;

Detroit Institute of Arts The breadth of the collection staggers the mind, but it’s known for Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry mural and for emphasizing the relevance of each piece. (313) 833-7900; 

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

Eastern Market Shoppers flood six blocks of sheds each Saturday to peruse more than 250 vendors selling flowers, fruits, spices and more.

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. (313) 884-4222;

The Henry Ford An avid interest in collecting and preserving American history led Henry Ford to open The Henry Ford museum and adjoining Greenfield Village, featuring more than 80 authentic structures. In Dearborn, 20 minutes from downtown Detroit. (313) 982-6001;

Motown Museum Entertaining guides explain exhibits of costumes and instruments at the birthplace of Motown Records. (313) 875-2264;

The People Mover At just 75 cents, it’s a steal to ride the loop, which stops close to Comerica Park, Greektown and the RiverWalk.

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

Where to eat

Buddy’s Pizza Locals have thronged to this former speakeasy—in its 70th year now—for its signature Sicilian crust piled with fresh toppings and hand-grated cheese.

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. (313) 567-4400;

Roma Cafe Tuxedoed waiters serve exceptional Italian food at Detroit’s oldest restaurant.  (313) 831-5940;

Slows BarBQ Mammoth sandwiches like the Yardbird—smoked chicken with mushrooms, cheese and applewood bacon—make the Corktown spot popular.

Toasted Oak Grill and Market In Novi’s Baronette Hotel, the restaurant showcases regional foods by an award-winning chef. (248) 277-6000;

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

For information: Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 338-7648;

Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce (313) 584-6100;  

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