At just 75 cents a ride, the Detroit People Mover is a steal. It loops through downtown, stopping close to Greektown, the RiverWalk and the big sporting arenas. (Stay in the middle of it all at the Westin Book Cadillac; rooms from $143.)
Open since 1891, the Eastern Market is the nation’s largest public market and has more than 250 vendors; try the Reuben at Russell Street Deli. (The Saturday market, indoor vendors and restaurants draw crowds year-round.)
Stroll the 1-mile Dequindre Cut from the market to the RiverWalk for dinner at The Rattlesnake Club, where seasonal, locally sourced dishes shine and a brick patio overlooks the river.
Spend the evening taking in a game at Comerica Park, Ford Field or Joe Louis Arena.
Sweet and savory dishes fill the menu at Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes. It’s only a few minutes from the Detroit Institute of Arts, where a retooled collection of 60,000 pieces draws from all cultures and The General Motors Center for African-American Art contains the nation’s largest curated collection of its genre.
Ten minutes northwest of Midtown is the birthplace of Motown Records, where guides breathe life into the stories behind the signature sound.
Drive a few minutes south to the Corktown neighborhood for dinner and cocktails.
Slows Bar-B-Q is worth the wait, or bring your appetite to Roast, celebrity chef Michael Symon’s restaurant. Pre-Prohibition-style cocktails rule the nights at Sugar House.
For more information: Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 338-7648; visitdetroit.com
Add a day
The Henry Ford campus in nearby Dearborn merits an entire day. America’s pioneering automaker collected memorabilia (including the rocking chair President Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated and the bus on which Rosa Parks stood her ground). You can also experience re-created turn-of-the-20th-century life and catch a ride in a restored Model T at the site’s Greenfield Village. (313) 982-6001; thehenryford.org
5 Great Places to See Detroit's Spirit
1 D:hive Detroit Tours A grassroots group of passionate Detroit-boosters has launched free and affordable tours out of an unassuming storefront on Woodward Avenue. (313) 962-4590; dhivedetroit.org
2 City Bird This brother-sister team’s hip housewares and gift shop near Wayne State University’s downtown campus brims with city-theme products and gifts. (313) 831-9146; citybirddetroit.com
3 Pure Detroit Shops in three iconic buildings sell high-quality Michigan-theme sportswear, food and memorabilia, as well as books detailing Motown’s architectural roots, Great Lakes Coffee and chic handbags fashioned from seat belts. (313) 873-7873; puredetroit.com
4 Detroit Artists Market For 81 years, this market has provided support for regional artists within an attractive urban setting. The 2,500-square-foot hub sells sculptures, oils, watercolors, textiles and more. (313) 832-8540; detroitartistsmarket.org
5 Motor City Brewing Works The state’s second-oldest brewery pours Detroit-theme beers made with city water, including Ghettoblaster, a flagship ale and a Bohemian lager. Pizzas cooked in brick ovens sport fresh ingredients from the Eastern Market and herbs grown in beer barrels on the deck. (313) 832-2700; motorcitybeer.com