How many people plan weekend getaways to Detroit? Probably no one, but I think the city is worth the trip! In recent years, the city has bounced back from bankruptcy with plenty of things to see and do as well as an emerging food scene. Grab a slice of Buddy's pizza and explore the city's unique neighborhoods. If you have time, I would even suggest heading to some of the suburban areas like downtown Royal Oak and downtown Birmingham to get a better feel for the metro Detroit area!

LONG WEEKEND ITINERARY

DAY 1

  • Start off your day with a hearty brunch at Dime Store - they have a few different versions of eggs benedicts, all of which are great.
  • After you grab some food, set out to explore downtown Detroit. Detroit Experience Factory offers different walking tours of the city such as one that helps acquaint you with downtown Detroit and another that focuses on the city's architecture. They have great reviews and are worth looking into. If you opt not to take a walking tour, some spots to check out on this day include Campus Martius Park, Guardian Building, Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza, and the Motown Museum.
  • After your walking tour of the city, take a cruise on the Detroit Princess Riverboat. This is a great way to see both the Detroit and Windsor, Canada skyline. Check their website for their schedule, pricing, and additional information.
  • A great option for dinner (and probably my favorite restaurant in Detroit) is Selden Standard. It offers "new American" farm-to-table cuisine - creatively prepared dishes that are served small-plates style. The restaurant sources its quality ingredients from many local farms and producers.
  • After dinner, head to The BELT for some nightlife. Deluxx Fluxx, The Skip, Brakeman, Monarch are all located in this part of the city and are fun nightlife options.

DAY 2

  • Spend the morning at the Detroit Institute of Arts, which has over 100 galleries of American and international art on display.
  • Head over to Eastern Market afterwards for lunch and shop for local goods. The market, named for the 19th-century market that stood here, is lined with cafés and small restaurants serving foods like tacos and Coney Island hot dogs.
  • It is also packed with vendors that sell everything ranging from artwork by local artists to fresh produce from nearby farms.
  • Check out the nearby Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art project whose mission is to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art.
  • Grab an early dinner at SheWolf, a trendy restaurant serving fresh Italian dishes. Be sure to order at least one (if not more) pasta dishes as they are what the restaurant is best known for. They also know how to make a really good cocktail! Advanced reservations are recommended - it is hard to get seated without one on most days.
  • Later in the evening, head to the historic Fox Theater to watch a performance. Many internationally renowned artists hold concerts here. Alternatively, you can catch a performance of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

DAY 3

  • Venture a little bit out of the city to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation & Greenfield Village in Dearborn. The Henry Ford Museum houses antique machinery, automobiles, planes, locomotives, and several other artifacts. The museum began as Henry Ford's personal collection of historic items. Greenfield Village is located in the same complex as the Henry Ford Museum and is a "museum village" that provides insight into the formation of the US. Both the museum and the village have a lot of emphasis on the creation and evolution of the auto industry.
  • Watch a game at Little Caesar's Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. The arena also serves as a concert venue with many famous performers stopping here on their tours. The arena also has a few restaurants and vendors with some great options to grab a bite to eat.
  • Catch an evening flight back home.

LOGISTICS

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Visit when the weather is warm! Usually May through early November is a great time to visit, with the late spring and summer months being the ideal time given the weather is more cooperative. The summer season also sees an uptick in events and festivals in the area!

GETTING AROUND

I suggest getting a car or using Uber to get around the Motor City. You can easily rent cars at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Many places in downtown Detroit are also walking distance from one another. While I do not have personal experience taking any public transportation, I would also not recommend it.

WHERE TO STAY

A lot of investment is being poured into downtown Detroit, including a lot of cool, new hotels opening up. Some highly rated places to stay are listed below.

  • Shinola Hotel
  • Detroit Foundation Hotel
  • The Westin Book Cadillac
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel
  • Atheneum Suite Hotel

WHERE TO EAT

Detroit has an emerging and diverse food scene, with many renowned chefs and locals alike opening up new cool cafés and eateries. Some of my favorite places to eat are listed below. Note - some of these are located in the suburbs of Detroit such as Birmingham or Ferndale.

  • 220 Merrill
  • Apparatus Room
  • Bronx Bar
  • Buddy's Pizza
  • Central Kitchen + Bar
  • Commonwealth Cafe
  • Dime Store
  • Forest
  • Grey Ghost
  • Hudson Cafe
  • Hunter House
  • Imperial
  • Mabel Grey
  • Noble Fish
  • One-Eyed Betty's
  • Otus Supply
  • Parc
  • Ray's Ice Cream
  • Selden Standard
  • SheWolf
  • Sugar House
  • Takoi
  • The Peterboro
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