Detroit January 03, 2018
9 Surefire Ways To Always Spot A Tourist In Detroit
With plenty of attractions, events, and activities to explore throughout the city, Detroit certainly draws in its fair share of tourists throughout the year. While we welcome these visitors with open arms, we can’t help but poke fun at some of their choices. It’s easy to tell when a non-Detroiter is in your midst! Here are nine undeniable behaviors that signal the presence of a tourist in the Motor City.
1. They keep asking for directions to South Detroit.
True Detroiters know that "South Detroit," as referenced in Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believing," isn’t a real neighborhood. In fact, if South Detroit existed, it would probably be smack dab in the middle of the Detroit River. If you hear someone asking for the easiest route to South Detroit, they’re not from around here.
2. They’re piling their coney dog with ketchup.
This is the ultimate sin of coney dog dining! We know, we know: each person is entitled to their own tastes, but there’s something truly wrong about ruining a perfectly delicious coney dog with ketchup. If you catch someone drenching their dog in red sauce, it’s safe to say that they’re from out of town.
3. They seem shocked and disappointed by a Lions loss.
Anyone who’s familiar with the Lions knows that they’re pretty prone to losing, particularly in heartbreaking situations that make fans question their loyalty to the team. This disappointment is never a shock, though, so anyone who looks surprised while walking out of Ford Field is likely to be from outside the city!
4. They’re not quite sure how to navigate those Michigan lefts.
Oh, the infamous Michigan left turn. Once you understand its function and navigation, it becomes a simple and easy part of the driving process. But a tourist from out of state might have absolutely no idea what to do upon approaching one of these turns, which can make for some frustrating traffic experiences.
5. They butcher the pronunciation of "Gratiot."
Poor Gratiot. This street name has always thrown people off with its French pronunciation, but we Detroiters have mastered it. If someone approaches and asks for directions to an address on "Gra-tee-oat," it’s safe to assume that they’re a tourist who has simply never come across this name before.
6. They’re not quite sure about this whole octopus thing.
Ever been at a Red Wings game, joyously watching as the traditional octopus is thrown onto the ice, only to see a fellow attendee gasping in horror? Yep, you’ve spotted a tourist. Every Detroiter knows that this strange tradition brings good luck to our favorite hockey team, despite its admitted weirdness.
7. They simply can’t believe how close Detroit is to Canada.
"Wait, you’re telling me that we can SEE Canada from our hotel room?" Yes, non-Detroiter, it’s true! Many out-of-towners find it difficult to believe that our city is a literal stone’s throw away from Ontario, and they’re equally as shocked when they see this proximity for themselves. We count ourselves lucky to live so close!
8. They order "soda" at a restaurant.
The easiest way to weed out a tourist is to listen when they ask for their favorite fizzy beverage. If "soda" is their descriptor of choice, it’s safe to assume that they’re visiting from out of town. A second indicator? If they’ve never enjoyed the delicious taste of Faygo Redpop!
9. They aren’t enamored with Detroit… yet.
Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Detroit have gained an unbeatable admiration for our city and its resilience. Tourists, on the other hand, might visit with a few preconceived notions about Detroit and its past struggles. That said, it only takes a few days in the city to fall completely in love, and we’ll be smiling when tourists decide they’d like to relocate to the Motor City for good.
Tell us, Detroiters: how do you spot a tourist in our beloved city? Are there any dead giveaways that simply can’t be ignored? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.