Top 10 Things to Do for Active Travelers in Detroit | Midwest Living

Top 10 Things to Do for Active Travelers in Detroit

We get it: People who love to spend their days biking, hiking and kayaking might not think of Detroit as the ultimate place for a Midwest weekend getaway. But our list shows why this embattled city offers plenty of fun places to play.
Biking in Detroit.
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Campus Martius Park skaters.
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Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes.
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Westin Book Cadillac. Photo courtesy of Bill Bowen.
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1) Wheelhouse Detroit At this little RiverWalk rental shop, you can reserve a spot for a guided two-wheeling journey through neighborhoods or saddle up a cruiser for a scenic ride along the riverfront at your own speed. Themed tours cover Detroit architecture, culinary destinations, urban agriculture and more. Wheelhouse also rents well-maintained hybrids, tandems, road bikes and BMX bikes. (313) 656-2453; wheelhousedetroit.com

2) Drive Table Tennis Social Club Who knew Ping-Pong could be so sexy? This hot spot, moving in late February 2014 to the Penobscot Building downtown, elevates rec-room table tennis to sophisticated levels with trendy Euro-chic music, swanky leather couches and stenciled walls. A portion of the income goes to a local charity. (313) 962-1830; drive-detroit.com

3) Detroit Segways From May through October, rent Segways near the Renaissance Center. Explore the city on your own, or take a guided tour through areas such as Greektown, the theater district and culture-packed Midtown. Tours last two or more hours; reservations required. (313) 477-8941; detroitsegways.com

4) Dequindre Cut GreenWay Opened in 2009, this trail follows the Grand Trunk Railroad line, running below street level from the RiverWalk through residential areas up to Eastern Market. An extension will continue it north. Look for intriguing art and graffiti along the 1.35-mile route. (313) 566-8200; detroitriverfront.org/dequindre/

5) Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes No, Allison, Jessica and Katie aren’t women who work here; they’re just a few of the 50 or so sweet and savory offerings at this popular creperie. The brainchild of rock star restaurateur Torya Blanchard, the European-style shop griddles up made-to-order crepes stuffed with fillings such as cheese, veggies, meats, chocolate, caramel and fresh fruit. Ooh la la. Two locations; goodgirlsgotopariscrepes.com

6) Riverside Kayak See Detroit from the water in a rented kayak or canoe from this Wyandotte outfitter. Strike out on your own or sign up for a two-hour guided paddle tour along the Detroit River and through the Eastside Canals (offered seasonally). Hone your skills year-round with kayak classes and lessons. (734) 285-2925; riversidekayak.com

7) Ice skating at Campus Martius Park No need to hole up indoors when temperatures drop; lace up skates and spin around the rink on the north lawn of this gathering spot. For the best winter scenery, visit during the holidays when a 60-foot Christmas tree caps Woodward Fountain, turning the rink into a miniature version of NYC’s Rockefeller Center. (313) 963-9393; campusmartiuspark.org

8) Greenfield Village You'll get a workout exploring the sprawling Henry Ford Museum attraction on foot. It takes a while to cover 300 years of American history, 83 historical structures, seven districts and four living-history farms. Highlights include Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park lab, the Wright Brothers’ original cycle shop, the home of American dictionary author Noah Webster and the Eagle Tavern. If you get tired, catch a ride on a genuine Model T or a 19th-century steam engine-pulled train. (313) 982-6001; thehenryford.org

9) Roma Cafe The oldest operating restaurant in the city, this family-owned eatery cooks up carb-loading opportunities—perfectly prepared pastas and other hearty Italian favorites—in a setting that looks like something out of The Godfather. This enduring eatery dates to 1890; courteous tuxedo-clad waiters speak with Italian accents, and the cannoli is topnotch.  (313) 831-5940; romacafe.com

10) Westin Book Cadillac The 1924 hotel underwent a $200 million face-lift a few years ago, reemerging as Detroit’s premiere see-and-be-seen accommodation. With a downtown location, spacious rooms, the sumptuous Spa 19 and several upscale restaurants, we can see why. Both Comerica Park and Ford Field are in walking distance. From $169. (313) 442-1600; bookcadillacwestin.com

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