Weekend City Picks: Detroit
A city rich in history and grit, Motor City’s recent revitalization has made it a vibrant destination celebrating its past and building for the future.
Arts & Entertainment
Known as Hitsville, U.S.A, visit the site of the city’s music legacy, Motown Records. This intimate museum is located near Detroit’s downtown and features Motown’s first recording studio, Studio A, as well as a photo journey of Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy.
With one of the largest and most significant collections in the United States, the Detroit Institute of the Arts is the city’s crown jewel. This cultural hub covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries.
This historic Pottery maker, now a National Landmark, was founded by Mary Chase Perry Stratton in 1903. In addition to producing nationally renowned vessels, tiles, and decorative displays for both public and private installations, Pewabic serves as place of education and community.
Framed with graffiti by local street artists and housed in a former auto dealership, the MOCA is not only home to emerging artists and provocative exhibits, but a popular destination for year-round music and literary events.
Home to the Detroit Lions and a number of special events and concerts throughout the year, the stadium is currently undergoing renovations that will include impressive 152-foot wide videoboards above each end zone.
Detroit’s open-air ballpark is home to the Detroit Tigers and features some of the league’s most impressive family attractions including a Fly Ball 50-foot Ferris Wheel and a Liquid Fireworks show housed in centerfield.
Step back in time and visit more than 300 years of the city’s historic roots by exploring the museum’s permanent installations. Walk along cobblestone streets, visit 19th century stores, and see Motor City’s auto assembly line.
Featuring striking architecture and adorned in art, the Public Library was designed as a space to encourage learning and invite guests in for an exploration in literature. Between the rows of books, look up at the stunning ceilings and through the grand archways of windows to enjoy the institution’s full beauty.
At the epicenter of the District Detroit and originally opened in 1928, the iconic Marquee will draw you in to the famed theatre’s doors, where you can catch one of the many acclaimed artists to take the stage under the stunning architecture and design.
Food & Drink
This cozy eatery serves up delectable Japanese flavors with their steaming bowls of udon noodles and rice in a Corktown space where you can eat-in or dine out.
Just down the street from the low-key Joebar, Maybel Gray’s eclectic and highly acclaimed restaurant has received national recognition with its hometown fare and daily-rotating menu.
A homecoming for two former Chicago-based celebrated chefs, the impressive meat-centric menu and modern industrial setting delights the most discerning palates. Afterward, cozy up to Grey Ghost’s impressive 50-ft bar made of reclaimed bowling alley wood.
Located in Detroit’s vibrant and historic Chinatown neighborhood, Peterboro brings a modern twist to classic Chinese-American favorites paired with inventive and playful cocktails.
One of the most buzzed about restaurants in the city, creative Vietnamese is the star in this playful old-school diner-like setting in Detroit’s Vernor Coney Island. Guest DJ’s and signature libations makes this a hip destination on the must-visit list.
Visit celebrity chef Michael Symon’s celebrated steakhouse in the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit. His hand-selected heritage meats and imaginative preparations make this cornerstone restaurant one of the best in the city.
Cocktail aficionados will come to the cozy bar in downtown’s Belt Alley for one of the 50 inventive creations on the menu designed by bar guru Joe Rob. Foodies will stay for the perfectly paired culinary concepts ranging from small bar snacks to full entrees.
This innovative wine bar and shop welcomes you in with its contemporary and industrial design and innovative selection. Browse the rows of carefully curated bottles organized by flavor rather than region before enjoying your selection at the bar accompanied by charcuterie and cheese.
Relax with live jazz, stop by for a cocktail class, or simply unwind with an old fashioned at this speakeasy-style bar offering a robust list of over 100 whiskeys.
Detroit’s local nano-brewery will give you a chance to sip on experimental, hand-crafted batches that are constantly evolving and rotating throughout the brewery. Playful names, like the Kelly R.I.P.A., and use of local ingredients, make this a must-visit for beer lovers.
Drinks here are served up with a side of showmanship when you step into the dimly lit and handsome bar. Local ingredients change weekly and each bartender crafts the impressive list of inventive and class cocktails with care and precision.
Tucked away in an alley with an unmarked door, this upscale prohibition-style bar beckons you in with its mysterious setting and rare spirits that can’t be found anywhere else. Each bartender uses complicated techniques to curate perfectly executed libations.
A historic commercial district in Detroit, visit Eastern Market and get ready to shop. From food vendors, to outdoor markets, restaurants and retail, this vibrant marketplace is a community hub that attracts locals and visitors alike.
With five locations in the city, Pure Detroit celebrates hometown pride and offers a curated selection of varying local Detroit Goods. From throwback t-shirts paying tribute to Motor City to artisanal product made locally, this is where to go when you want to take back something from the Mitten.
Whether you want to ride out of the shop on the seat of a gorgeous bicycle or simply admire the custom craftsmanship and urban style of these beautiful Detroit-made bikes, visit the Shinola Flagship for a test drive and photo opp.
Browse the aisles of rare and used books at infamous John K. King. Your literary journey will take you across 6,000 square feet of the former leather glove Factory where you can find $2 classics among incredible first editions.
The oldest aquarium in the country is home to more than 1,000 fish and 118 species of sea life displayed through the unique exhibits. The vaulted glass tile ceilings and unique architecture make this historic space worth the visit alone.
Discover, explore, and learn at the dynamic Michigan Science Center with over 200 permanent science exhibits, hands-on experiences, a planetarium, IMAX theater, and range of live shows.
March with the Penguins or roam with the tigers at the expansive Zoo comprised of local wildlife among 1500 total animals spread out across the 125-acre property. Visitors have the opportunity to encounter some of the world’s most exotic creatures.
Visit the birthplace of the Model T and walk the floors of this historic landmark that is a symbol to Detroit’s significance in the automotive industry.
This pristine 5 ½ mile stretch of riverfront boasts incredible views of the Detroit skyline and includes attractions like the water-themed Mt. Elliot Park, Milliken State Park Lighthouse, Rivard Plaza, Riverwalk Garden Rooms, and Outdoor Adventure Center.
You’ll want to head to the top of this historic five-story riverboat that will take you on a two and half hour cruise around Detroit, up to Belle Isle, and to the mouth of Lake Saint Clair. Your trip will include lunch or dinner, entertainment, and spectacular views.
Kayak Detroit’s historic canals, go for a leisurely canoe ride in Belle Isle, or swim in Lake St. Claire. Detroit River Sports offers water tours and rentals ranging from paddling out on a moonlight tour straight to a farm-to-table dinner to daytime stand-up paddle adventures.
Rent a bike from Wheelhouse Detroit and cruise along this former Grand Trunk Railroad Line located below street level. This two-mile greenway runs parallel to St. Aubin Sreet and is known for its vibrant urban graffiti and art.
Enjoy the expansive flower gardens, take in a summer concert, skate the rink, or enjoy a latte at the European-style cafe. Known as the city’s best public space and in the heart of Detroit, this two-square block district is a destination for downtown activities.
Find your zen at this community based studio in downtown Detroit. The renovated space offers classes ranging from Vinyasa to slow burn from beginners to Yogi experts.