The city of Detroit is going through a period of revitalization and rebirth, which makes it an ideal time to stop by and see what all the buzz is about. This is a lively city that is drawing entrepreneurs and new businesses to draw upon its rich history and create something truly innovative. There are some amazing museums, neighborhoods, and parks to visit here, as well as a wide variety of sports games to catch throughout the year. These are our favorite things to do in Detroit right now!
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Detroit Riverfront (Nearby Hotels)
On a nice day in Detroit, there’s no better place to be than the riverfront. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has helped facilitate dramatic renovations here and make this area much more green, safe, and fun. This is the place to come to for running and biking races, walking tours, concerts, and even yoga classes. At the East Riverfront, you’ll find plazas, parks, pavilions, and lots of green space. Progress on the West Riverfront is underway as well. The Dequindre Cut Greenway is a lovely recreational path that connects the East Riverfront, Eastern Market, and some neighborhoods too. Entrance ramps to check it out can be found at Atwater Street, Franklin Street, Woodbridge Street, Lafayette Street, Gratiot Avenue, Wilkins Street, and Mack Avenue.
Belle Isle Island (Nearby Hotels)
Many people will be surprised to learn that there is an island located off the shores of Detroit. Belle Isle is about one mile by three miles in size and a beautiful addition to your time spent along the Detroit riverfront. There is plenty of park space for walking and running and also an aquarium and museum to learn about local history. The Bell Isle Aquarium offers free admission and parking, and it’s open from Friday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. Inside, you can see one of the largest collections of air breathing fish in the world and all seven species of gar in North America. Other attractions here are the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the golf range, the Belle Island Nature Zoo, the beach, and Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse.
Detroit Institute of Arts (Nearby Hotels)
No large American city would be complete without a great art museum, and in Detroit, this is the Detroit Institute of Arts. Inside, you can explore impressive works of art from many different cultures, regions, and time periods. The art museum was established in 1885 and is home to the well-known Self Portrait of Vincent van Gogh. Other famous artists on display include Matisse, Rembrandt, and Picasso. The Detroit Institute of Arts is typically open Tuesdays through Thursday from 9am to 4pm, Friday from 9am to 10pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland County residents receive free general museum admission.
Greektown Neighborhood (Nearby Hotels)
There are lots of incredible places to eat in Detroit, making this a top place to visit for foodies. One of the neighborhoods that shouldn’t be missed is Greektown. Lots of Greek immigrants moved to Detroit in the 20th century, and that rich cultural heritage still lives on today in this neighborhood’s restaurant scene. Expect to find a lively atmosphere with excellent food and bakery favorites. There is also free public Wi-Fi and over 5,000 parking spots for easy accessibility in Greektown. Stop by Greektown on any Thursday between 4pm and 7pm for Happy Hour, when select drinks are $3 and select food items are $5 at multiple locations.
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Tour (Nearby Hotels)
Detroit is well known for sparking the automobile industry in America, and you can learn about this fascinating history by taking a tour of the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. The plant was built in 1904 and is a National Historic Landmark. It is the birthplace of the Model T, and public tours depart at 10am noon, and 2pm. The attraction is open from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays through Sundays in April through November and those same hours on Fridays through Sundays from December through March. Adult general admission tickets are $12. To continue your education about Detroit’s automobile history, make sure to also check out the Henry Ford Museum. Inside you can see the car where John F. Kennedy was assassinated and even the first steam locomotive from 1829. The Automotive Hall of Fame in nearby Dearborn is worth a stop as well if you have some extra time to explore the area.
Motown Museum (Nearby Hotels)
Motown music may not be frequently played on all the radio stations these days, but this unique style of funk and soul has deep roots in Detroit. You can head over to West Grand Boulevard to check out the Motown Museum, which is where Marvin Gaye recorded many of his familiar hits. This was also where Motown records were produced in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. General admission for adults is $15. Tickets for tours are first come, first served and often sell out, especially on Saturdays.
Eastern Market (Nearby Hotels)
A little north of downtown, you’ll find the historic market known as Eastern Market. This was originally a farmer’s market that opened up in 1841 and has expanded tremendously since then. This is one of the largest year-around markets in the U.S. today, and this is also a place for tailgating before Detroit Lions NFL games and a venue for holiday markets in November and December.
Catch a Tigers Baseball Game (Nearby Hotels)
Detroit is a huge sports city, so there are lots of opportunities to catch a sports game while you’re in town. The Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team plays at Comerica Park, which also has its own museum of baseball history. You can take a tour of Comerica Park in the summer months, and the tours typically last about 90 minutes. Public tours run on Tuesdays and Fridays on both game days and non-game days. The adult tour price is $5 or $6 depending on whether there’s a game that day or not. Even if someone in your travel group isn’t a big baseball fan, it’s still fun to see the Ferris wheel and carousel here at Comerica Park.