I hadn’t intended to write a Detroit Travel Guide but because I had a lot of people wondering what I actually did in Detroit when I went and why I was excited about this city’s future (see my 4th of July outfit post that was shot in Detroit), I decided to share my top picks for Detroit.
Over the last few years a lot of people, from local billionaires to ordinary residents, are trying all sorts of different things to help the city get back on track. The people of Detroit are open to new ideas, which has created a culture of optimism that you can’t help but latch on to.
Everyone knows that it’s a city still going through hard times, but the people who have stayed or are coming back are strong–spirited and enthusiastic so it’s hard not to feel their energy. Detroit locals are friendly and warm and I can’t wait to go back again, not only to do more + see more of what I didn’t fit in over a weekend but to also see it come back as city to reckon with and a great place to live/explore (and there is a lot more to Detroit than just urban decay).
A charming and cute inn run by helpful and friendly owners, right in the middle of Corktown – a great neighborhood.
Everyone kept telling me to eat here and it lived up to expectations – make sure you come hungry!
Delicious breakfast and coffee run by an Australian in Corktown.
Famous hotdog places from Detroit. Between the two, I kind of loved Lafayette more!
I didn’t actually get to eat here but I’ve been wanting to enjoy a Guns + Butter meal for sometime now! They’re about to open a new brick & mortar restaurant after a successful series of pop-ups, so when you go to Detroit, try to go and report back, please!
A delicious and charming place from all accounts but alas didn’t have time to check out.
Great cocktails + fun vibe.
Go so you don’t regret not going like I did from a lack of time!
A fabulous and free walking tour of Downtown by Dhive (a wonderful organization that helps people live/work in Detroit)
My favorite building in Detroit because of its grand Art Deco style.
Such a surprise and delight to see the bold, bright colors and American Indian motifs.
A beautifully decorated performing-arts centre built in 1928 as a flagship movie palace for the Fox Theatre chain.
A now empty Beaux-Arts Classical style train station designed by the same teams who also built the NYC Grand Terminal.
A good classic Art Deco style building.
A colorful outdoor art project started by Tyree Guyton as a way to create some beauty in a neighborhood that was deteriorating. Take a walk around and have a look as there is lots to see!
A huge and empty former car-manufacturing factory famous for being a playground for graffiti artists (including Banksy), urban explorers and those looking to steal scrap metal.
Where the first Ford Model T was assembled!
A must-see art museum.
A giant 8,000-pound, 24-foot-long sculpture made out of bronze, honors the late boxer Joe Louis and curiously, it faces Canada.
The Detroit River Front Conservancy has done an amazing job in rebuilding the promenade, introducing bike paths and green spaces that stretches along the river between downtown and Belle Isle.
A lively neighborhood filled with shops, eateries and public art.
75cents will take you on a quick scenic tour around downtown in a monorail.
Saturday markets were bustling and by far the best farmer’s market I’ve been to.
I spent 3hrs in here….so, yes…go.
Selling beautifully crafted products (watches, leather goods and bikes) from Detroit.
The free walking tour ended with this quote:
“Detroit is a city big enough to matter in the world, but small enough that you can matter in it.”
….which touched my heart, just like the city did in many ways.
Have you been to Detroit? What other things did you love about it? What did I miss or should do next time? Let me know in the comments below!
** You’re going to hear a lot of people tell you about how dangerous Detroit is. Like any other city, it has its issues but you need to keep your wits about you, stay out of trouble and keep your belongings out of the sight when left in the car – just like you would in any city. Most of the time, Detroit just felt quiet because there weren’t as many people around (compared to say, NYC and Chicago) but I didn’t feel unsafe in general.