The largest city in Michigan, Detroit is a bustling 'burg situated on the border of the U.S. and Canada. Known for its industry (mainly in the automobile sphere), Detroit is also a cultural and artistic hub with plenty to see and do for intrepid tourists. For lovers of music, architecture, and sports, this Michigan city will check all the boxes on any vacationer’s itinerary of fun spots to explore.
The Sounds Of Music
One of Detroit’s most famous landmarks is the Motown Museum. Known as Hitsville USA, this fun spot is an epicenter of music history. Some of the most well-known Motown artists recorded here at Studio A—including greats like The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. Step inside and prepare to jam; all while learning about Detroit’s incredible Motown heritage and its contribution to the music of some of the all-time greats. Unfortunately, due to extensive flood damage, indoor tours are closed until Spring 2022; however, see below for some of the fun outdoor activities worth checking out on your visit.
- Location: 2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
- Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 10 AM-6 PM, Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
- Tickets: Information currently unavailable due to indoor closures, see their website for special event ticket prices.
- Visitors can still get a taste of history by checking out the museum’s outdoor space, which includes the “Still Going On” exhibit; a retail shop; and Dancing in the Street Park.
- Be sure to check out new and upcoming Motown artists at any of their free virtual events.
- Even though the indoor tours are currently closed, it's still a great place to visit and a fun photo op.
Art And Architecture To Explore
There are several museums in the Detroit area that are worth checking out—and many are located in Midtown, making it easy for visitors to plan a day trip to remember. From famous artworks and unique Detroit history; to stunning architecture and a science hub complete with a planetarium, the Motor City is a cultural hub with something for everyone.
The Michigan Science Center
Located in the heart of Detroit’s cultural district and adjacent to many other area attractions, the Michigan Science Center combines education and fun through its many immersive exhibits and programs. Over 200 hands-on exhibits, a 4D theater, a planetarium, and more make this a great spot for the entire family to enjoy.
- Location: 5020 John R St., Detroit
- Hours: Thursday through Sunday 10 AM-4 PM, currently closed due to flood damage.
- Tickets: Available online, though a number of walkup tickets are available daily.
Detroit Institute Of Arts
Considered one of the top ten museums in the country, the Detroit Institute of Arts has over 100 galleries with pieces ranging from ancient to modern.
- Location: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Hours: Wednesday through Friday 9 AM-4 PM, Saturday/Sunday 10 AM-5 PM
- Tickets: Reservations are required, tickets can be purchased online.
- Current exhibitions include Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City 1950-2020 and Experience & Expression. Future exhibits include Van Gogh in America and The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion.
Catch A Game
Detroit is home to the Major League Baseball team Detroit Tigers and NFL club Detroit Lions, so be sure to catch an exciting game at one of these amazing parks.
So much more than a baseball stadium, Comerica Park is a destination unto itself. There’s plenty to do here besides cheer (or jeer) the Tigers, including a theme park, a baseball museum, and lots of delish spots to catch a meal.
- Location: 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Tickets can be purchased online and there are plenty of deals, including the Pepsi Summer Family Value Deal which includes tickets, hot dogs, chips, and drinks starting at $69.
Football season is just around the corner—so be sure to check out a Lions game starting August 13th, 2021.
- Location: 2000 Brush St., Detroit
- Grab a bite to eat at one of the many delicious spots throughout the stadium.
- Ford Field is not just football—it’s also a great place to catch a show! Upcoming shows include The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour in November.
Other Things To Do In Detroit
- Explore downtown Detroit to catch some beautiful outdoor gardens and stunning architecture. Nearby attractions include The Guardian Building and Campus Martius Park.
- Learn about the auto industry, its history, and its impact on Detroit. Check out the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant and the Ford House to get a piece of the Motor City’s unique history.
- Stroll along the beautiful Detroit RiverFront to get amazing views of the city and explore Gabriel Richard Park, catch some entertainment at Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, or check out Milliken State Park—where there’s a 63-foot lighthouse to explore!
- Chow down on Detroit-style deep dish pizza at Detroit Style Pizza Company, home to Shawn Randazzo, World Champion Pizza Maker of the Year in 2012.
Be sure to sign up for the free D Discount pass which saves you up to 20% or more on the city’s best-known attractions. Current passes are valid through Friday, December 31, 2021.
Attractions Include (but are not limited to):
- The Carr Center
- Detroit Experience Factory
- Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
- Ford House (Edsel and Eleanor Ford House)
- Michigan Science Center
- Regional DART Passes are available and allow unlimited rides on DDOT and SMART buses and the QLine Streetcar. Passes start at $2 for a 4-hour pass.
- While there is no subway in Detroit, there is the Detroit People Mover, an elevated train through downtown. However, the People Mover is currently closed, though set to resume operations in September.
There’s plenty to see and do in the Motor City—with art, history, architecture, culture, and personality to spare, Detroit has it all for any visitor looking to explore this vibrant Midwestern metropolis.