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Is Detroit Fun? Here's What You Need to Know

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Detroit is often considered to have lost its luster, but there are many great things to do in the city if you know where to look. While it may not be the most prominent tourist destination, Detroit is home to some fantastic attractions and fun activities. Detroit has something for everyone, from touring art museums to checking out live music venues. So is Detroit fun? The answer is definitely yes! Keep reading for some of the best things to do in Detroit.

Top 10 Attractions & Things To Do in Detroit

With so much to see and do in Detroit, it can be tough to narrow down your options. But don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are our top 10 things to do in Detroit:

1. Explore the Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts is a museum that displays a wide variety of art from all different cultures and time periods. A few of the most popular pieces in the museum include paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. In addition to more traditional art forms, the museum is also home to a performing arts collection that includes film and theatre memorabilia.

The Paul McPharlin Puppetry Collection is also a highlight of the museum. This collection is one of the most comprehensive in the world and includes puppets from all different cultures. You can also find a variety of African American art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This collection includes a wide range of media, from paintings to sculptures.

2. Catch a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park

Comerica Park, the home field of the Detroit Tigers baseball team

The Detroit Tigers baseball team plays their home games at Comerica Park, a theme park and baseball museum. The main concourse celebrates the team's accomplishments and milestones with exhibits and a "Walk of Fame."

Families can enjoy the carousel behind the first base and the 50-foot Ferris wheel in the third-base section. The park is also famous for the "liquid fireworks" in the center field that goes off when a home run is hit. Attendees of the games and events at Comerica Park are sure to be impressed by all the park offers. You won't want to miss out on all the fun!

3. Stroll through Belle Isle Park

Belle Isle, Dertroit, Michigan, USA

The island of Belle Isle is a great place to spend a day exploring. There is something for everyone with its beautiful parkland, hiking trails, and sports facilities. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is a must-see with its collection of palms, cacti and desert plants, tropical plants, and lily ponds. The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is a great place to visit if you're interested in ship models and exhibits about the history of shipping on the Great Lakes.

Other highlights include the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, where you can feed deer, and the recently remodeled Belle Isle Aquarium. For those seeking a more active day, there are several recreational activities on the island, including a driving range, bicycle and boat rentals, a massive slide, and swimming holes.

4. Take a tour of the Ford Plant

With so much history, it's no wonder that Detroit is a popular tourist destination for car lovers and history buffs. The Model T was invented at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, which is also significant in the history of automobiles. Today, visitors can tour the plant and see some of the original equipment and vehicles used during the early days of production.

In addition, the plant has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, so there's a lot to see and learn here. If you're interested in learning more about the history of Detroit and the auto industry, a visit to the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is worth your time.


5. Spend some time at Detroit Zoo

Sleeping Arctic Fox

The Detroit Zoo is a great place for a family day out. It's 125 acres of fun and excitement, with something to interest everyone. The zoo is separated into different habitats, each home to different animals from all over the world. My personal favorite was the African habitats, which were home to exotic animals like lions, zebras, and giraffes.

There's also an Asian Forest habitat, Australian Outback habitat, North American wildlife area, and Arctic region. Each one is just as interesting as the last, with plenty of things to see and do. You can even go inside the butterfly garden, free-flight aviary, and reptile conservation center. And if that's not enough, there are also several playgrounds, a train ride, and a 4-D theatre. So whether you're young or old, there's something for everyone at the Detroit Zoo.

6. Visit the Motown Museum

Motown Museum, Hitsville, USA

The Motown Museum is a small building located in Detroit, Michigan, that was used as a recording studio between 1958 and 1972. The studio was where many of the famous Motown hits were created, including songs by Marvin Gaye.

The museum is filled with exciting exhibits that chronicle the history of the Motown sound and Detroit's rise to fame. Some of the highlights of the museum include the actual recording studio. There's also an apartment where Barry Gordy and his family lived. Admission to the museum is very popular and often sells out, so be sure to call ahead to reserve your tour.

7. Visit Historic Fort Wayne

U.S. history buffs want to add Fort Wayne to their list of must-see destinations. The fort, which dates back to the 1840s, features a Bastion fortress built in the five-pointed style. Tourists can enter the fort through the Sally Port, a fortified wooden door made with three layers of wood. Once inside, visitors can explore the large limestone barracks building, which was constructed in 1848. The first floor of the barracks offers a glimpse into what life was like for a soldier in the 1860s. You can also tour the powder magazine, the oldest building in the fort, and the extensive open parade grounds.

8. Shop at Eastern Market

Eastern Market in Detroit

Eastern Market is a historic market in Detroit, Michigan, operating since 1891. The market is open on Saturdays all year, with local vendors selling fresh fruits, baked goods, jams, and jellies. In addition to the vendors in the sheds, there are dozens of excellent local shops, restaurants, and cafés on the streets surrounding Eastern Market. The area is also well-known for its public art, especially the murals that adorn several of the buildings in the district.

Visitors can see most murals along Orleans and Erskine Street near Shed 6. Before making the rounds, you might as well start your adventure at Shed 3's Welcome Center on Adelaide Street, where you can pick up a map and use the ATM. Eastern Market is a great place to find fresh produce, local goods, and public art all in one place.

9. Explore the Michigan Science Center

Michigan Science Center

A visit to the Michigan Science Center is a great way to spend a day exploring and learning. The center offers various exhibits, shows, and activities that engage and entertain all ages. The IMAX dome theatre, planetarium, and 4-D theatre are just some of the top attractions at the center. In addition, there are live stage shows and over 220 interactive exhibits within the various galleries.

The galleries at the Michigan Science Center are a highlight for many visitors, especially the ones where kids can be hands-on with the exhibits. Some of the most popular galleries include STEM Playground and Smithsonian Spark! Lab, and the galleries on weather, math, health, space exploration, steel manufacturing, and automation.

10. Discover the GM Renaissance Center

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit skyline is dominated by substantial skyscraper complexes, the most prominent of which is the Renaissance Center. This seven-tower complex is a top tourist destination, housing the Detroit Marriott, offices, restaurants, and shops. Visitors can also find an observation deck on the 72nd floor that offers excellent city views. The center's most famous attraction is the massive GM showroom, which displays vehicles from the company's earliest models to its newest cars and trucks.

Top 4 Day Trip Ideas from Detroit

It can be hard to know where to start in a city as big and exciting as Detroit. If you're looking for some direction, check out these four popular day trip ideas from Motor City.

1. MotorCities National Heritage Area Antique Car Tour

Detroit is known for its automotive industry and history. Well, on this tour, you'll get to see some of the most important sites in early auto manufacturing history. Ride in a 90-year-old Model A Ford to locations like the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, where the first Model Ts were developed.

Car enthusiasts will love this tour, but anyone interested in history and culture will enjoy it too. The tour lasts around two and a half hours, and during that time, you'll get to see some of Detroit's most famous landmarks from a unique perspective. If you're a fan of classic cars, then don't miss this chance to ride in one!

2. Ann Arbor

Liberty Street Scene in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is a beautiful city with tree-lined streets and a pedestrian-friendly downtown core. The downtown is filled with bookstores, coffee shops, art galleries, and restaurants. There are also plenty of breweries for beer lovers to explore.

Visitors can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the Huron River. Ann Arbor is known for its liberal artsy atmosphere and is a great place to visit year-round. Try out one of these scavenger hunts to really get to know the area!

3. Milford

View of the water in Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark near Milford, Michigan

One of the best things about Milford is its access to outdoor trails and water activities at Kensington Metropark. With over 4,400 acres of recreational space, nature lovers can enjoy fishing, camping, and bird-watching opportunities, while moderate enthusiasts are sure to enjoy picnic and swimming areas, seasonal concerts, paved paths, disc golf, and much more.

The park is open all year, so visitors can take advantage of sledding and cross-country skiing in the winter, ice skating, and ice fishing on frozen lakes. It's also home to a year-round farm center, where visitors can view various animals and learn about maple tree tapping and syrup-making.

4. Cuyahoga National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a beautiful park located in northeast Ohio. The park was created to protect the land along the Cuyahoga River, and it features more than 100 waterfalls, including Brandywine Falls, which tumbles over a 60-foot cliff into an incredible gorge.

Visitors to the park have the opportunity to take a two-and-a-half-hour train ride through Cuyahoga Valley on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. You can also choose to explore the park on your own by cycling or hiking on one of the 125 miles of trails that wind through marshland, past sandstone gulches, and along the river.

Top 3 Places To Stay in Detroit

Detroit Aerial Panorama

You can find a variety of hotels in Detroit to suit any budget. Below are three of the city's most popular hotels.

1. Detroit Foundation Hotel

The Detroit Foundation Hotel is a sleek and stylish hotel located in Downtown Detroit. The hotel is set in a historic fire department headquarters building from 1929 and offers chic and classically furnished rooms with modern amenities like 49-inch flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Suites at the Detroit Foundation Hotel add additional living space with sitting areas and pull-out sofas, and some suites even feature private bars, pool tables, and dining areas. The hotel also boasts a New American restaurant with an industrial-chic bar, as well as conference rooms for business travelers. Whether you're visiting Detroit for business or pleasure, the Detroit Foundation Hotel offers everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

2. Atheneum Suite Hotel

Riding the People Mover light rail is the best way to get around Detroit's downtown area. The Atheneum Suite Hotel is right next to a station, making it a convenient choice for travelers. The hotel is also just a block away from Greektown Casino and within walking distance of Ford Field stadium. Each suite at the hotel is elegantly decorated and comes with free Wi-Fi and a coffeemaker. Some suites also have whirlpool tubs in the marble bathrooms. You will be truly spoiled if you upgrade to a suite with a kitchenette and wet bar. The hotel also offers a free local shuttle and ample banquet space for events.

3. TownePlace Suites by Marriott Detroit

With a convenient location, just 4 miles from both the Henry Ford Museum and the Automotive Hall of Fame, TownePlace Suites by Marriott Detroit is the perfect choice for your next visit to the area. The hotel offers a variety of warm and comfortable studio suites, each equipped with a pull-out sofa, kitchenette, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and desk with an ergonomic chair. For added convenience, the 1- and 2-bedroom suites also feature separate living areas. Other complimentary amenities include breakfast and parking. Guests can also enjoy the hotel's outdoor pool, fitness center, and business center, as well as BBQ areas and a convenience store.

Final Thoughts

Aerial view of Detroit, Michigan at night

These are only a few of the many great places to visit in Detroit. No matter your interests, you're sure to find something to enjoy in this diverse and vibrant city. So, if you're looking for a fun-filled vacation full of excitement and adventure, be sure to add Detroit to your list! You won't be disappointed.

Regardless of what activities you get up to, we would like to wish you all the best on your trip! Remember to take lots of pictures, have fun and take care!

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