A visit to Detroit can be overwhelming. With a seemingly endless array of activities, events, and sights to see throughout the Motor City, it’s difficult to decide how to spend your time in our wonderful town. We’ve compiled a list of eleven spectacular places that will keep you coming back to Detroit time and time again.
1. Belle Isle
You’ve certainly heard us sing the praises of Belle Isle before, but with good reason: this island park is one of Detroit’s most beautiful gems. No matter your age, you’ll find an activity to enjoy at Belle Isle. Peruse stunning greenery at the Whitcomb Conservatory or take a quick trip under the sea at the Belle Isle Aquarium. Top it off with lovely views of the Motor City skyline, and you’ve got a full day of unique fun.
2. Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Avenue)
The DIA is a classic spot for art-lovers in the Motor City. Each year, thousands of visitors from across the world walk through this gorgeous gallery, which highlights everything from classic works to more modern pieces. Be sure to check out the large murals created by renowned painter Diego Rivera before you peruse the rest of the museum — you’ll be stunned in the best way possible.
3. The Fox Theatre (2211 Woodward Avenue)
We highlighted the Fox in a recent article, which you can find
. There’s no doubt that this performing arts center is one of the city’s proudest assets, and it’s easy to see why. Ornate decor, a fascinating history, and a continuous stream of world-famous artists performing on its stage have made the Fox a true icon in the Motor City and beyond. Stop in for a play, concert, or other live event!
4. Motown Museum (2648 W Grand Blvd.)
Known affectionately as "Hitsville U.S.A.," this site was once the residence and recording studio of Motown icon Berry Gordy. All sorts of music memorabilia awaits visitors inside, bringing the spirit of Motown to life in the city where it rose to prominence. We Detroiters sure are lucky to call so many wonderful artists our own, from Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin.
5. Campus Martius Park (800 Woodward Avenue)
This lively park in downtown Detroit is a wonderful place to spend a few hours relaxing and appreciating some much-needed green space in the middle of a bustling metropolis. In colder months, check out the park’s awesome ice skating rink or settle in for a picnic lunch with loved ones when the weather is more pleasant. There’s something here for everyone!
6. Historic Fort Wayne (6325 W Jefferson Avenue)
This former military headquarters in Detroit was originally built in 1842 and covers 96 acres of land. History buffs will be in heaven as they peruse barracks, guard houses, a hospital, and officer quarters throughout the fort. Today, Fort Wayne is a great place to catch a few Civil War reenactments, virtually step back in time, or even visit one of its many annual events — ranging from flea markets to outdoor concerts.
7. Comerica Park (2100 Woodward Avenue)
Baseball fans are sure to have blast with a visit to the Motor City’s professional baseball stadium, which serves as home field for the beloved Detroit Tigers. Since 2000, Comerica has been a true center-point of the city, providing fans of all ages with a fun and exciting atmosphere in which to enjoy America’s favorite game. No matter how many times you visit, there’s a perpetual sense of wonder in a ballpark this grand.
8. The Ambassador Bridge
You can’t come to Detroit without taking a look at the beautiful Ambassador Bridge, which connects the Motor City to its Canadian neighbors across the Detroit River. This 7,500-foot suspension is the busiest international bridge of its kind in the country, and it has served as an icon of friendship since its construction in the late 1920s.
9. Detroit International Riverfront
Speaking of the Detroit River, there’s no better place to enjoy sweeping views of the water than with a walk along the Detroit International Riverfront. Stretching on for a total of five and a half miles, the Riverfront is an ideal place to enjoy a leisurely stroll with family members, stop in at a local restaurant for a bite to eat with gorgeous waterfront views, or even just sit and stare at Canada across the way!
10. Gilmore Car Museum (6865 West Hickory Road, Hickory Corners)
Car enthusiasts will be ridiculously excited with a stop at the Gilmore Car Museum. The museum covers 90 acres of land and features over 300 automobiles, motorcycles, and other vehicles from throughout history. You simply can’t come to Detroit without appreciating its historical importance in the automobile industry — after all, they don't call us the "Motor City" for nothing!
11. The Guardian Building (500 Griswold Street)
Venture to the Financial District to check out this Detroit landmark, which will stun you with its unique architecture, ornate design, and fascinating history. The building was originally constructed in 1929 and stands a breathtaking 36 stories high. Marvel at the building’s use of Pewabic Pottery (a Michigan product in itself) and towering cathedral-like features. It doesn’t get much prettier than this.
Of course, it would be impossible to include each and every Detroit attraction on one short list. Did we forget any of your favorite spots in the Motor City? Have you checked out any of the places above? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.